Pesetsky & Bookman, The Alliance's legislative and general counsel, regularly follows developments in the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.
They've provided us with this update about mead:
Mead, also known as honey wine, is an alcoholic beverage produced from fermented honey. People have been making mead since ancient times, but the beverage has recently seen a resurgence in popularity. For years, it has been unclear as to how mead fits into New York's alcohol regulatory structure. But thanks to legislation signed by Governor Cuomo in December, we now have clear rules on mead. Thankfully, the rules are straightforward.
Effective March 28, if you have a Tavern Wine or Restaurant Wine license (which allows you to serve beer, wine, and cider), or if you have a Full On-Premises license (which allows you to serve all types of alcohol), you will automatically be allowed to serve mead. No additional licenses, permissions, or fees are required.
Like any alcohol, bars and restaurants must purchase mead only from licensed wholesalers. Wine and spirits wholesalers will be able to offer all types of mead, while beer wholesalers will be able to offer mead with an alcohol content of 8.5% or less.
With the popularity of mead on the rise, we are pleased to see that the state has taken these steps to clear up any confusion about how mead is regulated.
This publication is intended for general information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with knowledgeable legal counsel to determine how applicable laws apply to specific facts and situations. This publication is based on the most current information at the time it was written. Since it is possible that the laws or other circumstances may have changed since publication, please call us to discuss any action you may be considering as a result of reading this publication.