Aug 25, 2014 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Empire Brewing Co.’s farmstead brewery in Cazenovia — slated to open in spring 2015 — last week received a federal boost to its ongoing creation with the award of a $200,000 USDA rural development program grant. The money will be used toward the brewing, marketing and bottling of the company’s new line of craft beer containing ingredients from its Cazenovia farm.
“This grant allows us to grow both figuratively and literally. Central New York is our home and we look forward to creating increased opportunity for jobs and quality products,” said Empire Brewing Co. owner and Cazenovia resident David Katleski in a press release. Katleski is also president of the New York State Brewers Association. “Becoming a first-time farmer has its challenges, and to tie farming and agritourism to the Craft Brewing industry is a business model that we are confident the USDA will hold up as an example for others.”
The USDA announced Aug. 19 that it was investing $25 million through its Rural Development’s Value-Added Producer Grant program to help 247 agricultural producers nationwide grow their businesses by turning raw commodities into value-added products, expanding marketing opportunities and developing new uses for existing products. The funding was included in the 2014 Farm Bill.
In the case of Empire Brewery, the funding will go toward helping them expand their operation, grow their own hops and bottle their own beer for the first time.
“The craft brew industry is booming in Central New York, and Empire is one of the breweries leading the way. That is why I stood at Empire Brewery in July and pushed for this value-added federal funding,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer on Aug. 20, when he helped announce the USDA grants that will benefit New York state. “Now, with this funding secured, Empire will be able to create its own bottling facility and grow its own hops, allowing it to serve as a prime example for a new brewery business model for operations across the state. This funding will not only allow Empire to increase its ‘farm to bottle’ production, but also create jobs in the region and solidify it as a major economic driver throughout all of Central New York.”
Empire Brewing Co.’s farmstead brewery, located on a 22-acre property on Route 13 in Cazenovia, was approved by the village in September 2013. The brewery will include an 18,000-square-foot building that will manufacture and package beer for regional, national and international distribution. There will also be a tasting room and gift shop.
The agricultural component of the farmstead brewery will include hops, lavender, vegetables, herbs and fruits for use in the brewing process and to support the food production needed at Empire’s Armory Square restaurant.
Groundbreaking for the new facility is expected to occur this fall, with the opening next spring.
Empire Brewing Co. is not the only local business to benefit from the USDA grant. Kriemhild Dairy Farms in Hamilton and Side Hill Farmer’s Cooperative in Manlius also received funding.
Kriemhild Dairy Farms, which is located at 730 State Route 12B in Hamilton and has a weekly spot at the Cazenovia Farmers Market, will use its $49,999 in rural development funds to assist the company with working capital funds related to packaging materials of their cultured butter, sour cream, crème fraiche and buttermilk products, according to the USDA.
The Side Hill Farmers Cooperative, located at 315 Fayette St. in Manlius, will use its $199,426 to expand consumer awareness of Side Hill Farmers Cooperative branded beef and pork products, which are marketed through the co-op’s retail store, according to the USDA.
Side Hill offers beef, pork, poultry and lamb in addition to prepared dishes, such as soups, slaws and sandwiches and a small grocery market, comprised of foods filled by local farmers, many of whom live in Madison County.
“This is great news for Kriemhild Dairy Farms, … Side Hill Farmer’s Cooperative and Empire Farmstead Brewery,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee. “We need our farmers to thrive if we’re going to have a strong and growing economy in New York. These federal grants will help ensure that our small farms and independent producers have the resources they need to bring their products to market and continue to drive economic growth in their region and across the state.”
For more information about Empire Brewing Co. and its farmstead brewery, visit empirebrew.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.