NYS Supports Craft Brewing as Economic Driver

May 2, 2013 Updated May 2, 2013 at 6:47 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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May 2, 2013 Updated May 2, 2013 at 6:47 PM EDT

BATAVIA (WKBW) Turning grain into green, as in local economic benefit, that's the plan. The method? Beer.

It starts in a field in Batavia, where an investment of more than a hundred thousand dollars from Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to kick start local barley, which is turned into malt, the main ingredient in beer.

"So it's going to start by giving farmers more diversity with their crops," NYS Malt Grower Ted Hawley said, "I'm going to be creating jobs in my process, I've been contacted over 50 micro craft and nano brewers and garage brewers for my product, and that's just going to expand into jobs into the industry and the local economy."

Those locally grown ingredients can then be sold to local breweries, to create an all New York State made beer that keeps money in-state.

"The local brewers are getting a true local malt, which they haven't been able to get. So it is a true New York Beer, which they have not been able to produce," Hawley added.

Breweries like Flying Bison in Buffalo fall under that umbrella, who are among the small local breweries that have become extremely popular with beer drinkers nationwide.

"They don't want that bulk national beer that tastes pretty similar from brewery to brewery. They want something that has got some freshness, has some flavor, has a reason to drink it," Flying Bison founder Tim Herzog said.

And with new locally produced grains, Herzog calls it a local win-win for the economy as well as the beer drinker.

"To have malting barley grown in New York, malted in New York, we can brew with it here and put it in a bottle or a keg and have our local customers drinking it fresh. So to be able to have an all New York State brewed beer, it just doesn't get much better than that," Herzog added.