CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Gov. Kathy Hochul toasted that alcohol-to-go will be allowed in the state once again for bars and restaurants. However, some alcohol producers are not toasting to this announcement.
Gov. Kathy Hochul posted on social media “Cheers to New York” on Wednesday. During the state of the state, she proposed a new round of alcohol-to-go privileges.
Her plans are to reinstate New York’s alcohol-to-go option that was instituted in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Matt Jager, the owner of Yankee Distillers the news has him feeling a bit sour.
“We were excited when we heard the words bars and restaurants come out of Governor Hochul’s mouth on Wednesday. We were just disappointed when farm producers or farm distillers didn’t come out of her mouth after that,” said Jager.
Jager says missing in this proposal are the hundreds of New York State farm distillers, cideries, meaderies, and breweries that enjoyed this allowance during the height of the pandemic.
“It’s actually insulting that we were left off on the list of bars and restaurants that are going to have these privileges returned,” said Jager.
Matt Jager, the owner of Yankee Distillers has a tasting room in Clifton Park. He serves his customers with 100% New York-produced spirits as specialty cocktails.
Many of these producers have tasting rooms that sell beverages made from New York agricultural products and in the past year and a half.
But unlike your local brewpub, tavern, or chain restaurant, Jager won’t be able to sell his drinks to go.
“I tie our success to the success of these farmers, the success of New York agriculture, that’s why it’s particularly insulting,” said Jager
“It’s just patently unfair,” said NYS Assemblymember Patricia Fahy.
Assemblywoman Fahy has been at the forefront fighting for alcohol-to-go to return.
She says it’s a critical lifeline for this industry including the farm distilleries.
“This is responsible drinking and it’s only two drinks with any given order. It’s very responsible and it has to be sealed. This is about helping an industry that is on its back and needs helps.”
There’s no immediate date set for when alcohol-to-go will return, however as restaurants and bars see this as a win, Jager will keep on fighting.
“That means we still have time to fight, so that is really our message. There’s still a chance to push this through, we just have to make a stink,” said Jager.