Craft brewing has become so popular, New York even created the Brew Trail mapping all the breweries in the state. Winery tours have long been a popular destination in the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley and throughout the state. Now the state is clearing the hurdles for what could be the next craft beverage, mead. So, what is mead?

Like the Colonel's secret herbs and spices, creators all have their own guarded recipes. But the one common ingredient is honey rather than sugar. It's fermented like wine and can be made in various flavors. In addition to fruits, spices, grains, and hops for taste, the honey and even maple syrup can multiply the options.

Now the Governor is planning a new license that will lessen the cost to produce mead and make it easier to sell the product. Currently, the license costs over $3,000 and is only available to farm and commercial wineries. The new ones will only be $75 and lessen lots of regulations.

Businesses producing mead will be able to distribute their product directly to grocery stores, and liquor and wine retailers. They can open restaurants and gift shops and expand to 5 branch stores as well. Governor Cuomo says the legislation would be in the fiscal 2019 budget. You can read the Governor's press release at the state website.


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