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The State of NYS Craft Beer – 1 Year After the Shutdown

New Yorkers are known for being resilient, but we did not realize the strength of our community until we were met with the challenge of Covid-19.

A year ago today, breweries and restaurants were shut down for on-premise consumption. A devastating time for small businesses followed with jobs lost and breweries closing permanently.

New York State’s craft beer industry is responsible for 20,000 jobs and a 5.4 billion dollar economic impact. A COVID-19 Impact Poll run by the NYSBA revealed that  breweries had to furlough 65% of their fulltime employees and 86% of their part time employees during the shutdown.

Over the last 12 months we have witnessed a commitment to not only survive, but to thrive. The NYS craft beer community is bigger and stronger than ever before. Today there are more licensed breweries in the state than a year ago, positioning NY as 2nd in the US.

By fighting with a coordinated voice and putting the needs of the industry above their own agendas, breweries have been able to make great beer and serve their communities. 

Here’s how the community kept New York State Brewing:

1) Enthusiasts kept their refrigerators stocked and brewers brewing by ordering beer for curbside pickup, delivery, and shipment.


When the shutdown began breweries found new ways to get beer to consumers. The New York State Brewers Association (NYSBA) contacted to Governor’s office to negotiate the temporary permittance of curbisde pickup, delivery & shipment of beer to keep breweries operating.


2) Taprooms welcomed enthusiasts back successfully.

There are extensive and everchanging health and safety guidelines issued by the SLA that breweries must enforce to help stop the spread, keep taprooms open, and avoid penalty fees and shutdowns for non-compliance.

Not only did breweries successfuly implement these guidelines, enthusiasts also did their part by masking up and taking the New York State Craft Beer Pledge. 


3) The community kept craft social with virtual happy hours and tasting experiences.

Social distancing does not mean social disengagement. The craft beer community continues to find new ways to stay connected and keep spirits high with virtual happy hours and tasting experiences.

Click here to watch recorded virtual happy hours.


4) Breweries collaborated to support industry members impacted by the pandemic.

Curtain Up, Revive WNY Restaurants, and Other Half Brewing Company’s All Together IPA (brewed by 825 breweries in 53 countries), are just a few of the many collaborative initiatives that came out of the pandemic. Proving that breweries are generous even during the hardest of times.


As staff of the NYSBA serving the 480+ craft breweries in NY, we are inspired and humbled by the resiliance of this community of breweries, farmers, vendors and enthusiasts.

The change of seasons brings renewed optimism and the past has proven that we can make it through tough times…even a pandemic. Cheers to NYS craft beer!

#thinkNYdrinkNY #keepNYSbrewing