Cazenovia resident David Katleski, president of the New York State Craft Brewers Guild and owner of Empire Brewing Co., has been honored by the national Brewers Association for his “tireless efforts to make regulatory reform possible and change legislation” in New York state.
Katleski, who is currently working to develop a new farmstead brewery location for Empire off Route 13 in Cazenovia, received the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award at the national Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America in Washington D.C., and accepted the award in front of 6,000 attendees and industry peers.
“It came as a great surprise,” Katleski told the Cazenovia Republican. “It’s certainly nice to be recognized by my peers for something I just thought was the right thing to do. I’m just trying to help New York grow.”
Katleski, who has been in the brewing industry for 20 years and founded the New York State Craft Brewers Guild 10 years ago, was specifically recognized for his efforts supporting and lobbying for the passage of five major pieces of brewery reform legislation passed in New York in recent years. These pieces of legislation include the small brewers bill, the farm brewers bill, the production tax credit, the brand label registration exemption and the alcoholic beverages transportation permit bill. These laws have helped reduce various and onerous taxes, fees, laws and regulations on small brewers throughout the state, with some even being considered at the national level.
“These have been good for New York and good for farmers,” he said. “Agriculture is the number one business in New York.”
Katleski, Empire Brewing Co. and the New York State Craft Brewers Guild are currently working to improve and increase the growth and malting of barley for beer production in the state, as well as working with Morrisville State College to create an accredited brewing program to educate students on the agricultural culture of beer. He said he hopes the Empire Brewing Co. brewery and restaurant location in Armory Square in downtown Syracuse may be used as the model for the program.