NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is saying “cheers” to new legislation that will loosen regulations on the state’s craft beverage industry and bring the state’s 80-year-old Alcoholic Beverage Control Law up-to-date with modern demands.

Cuomo made the announcement at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the states newest craft brewery, Three Heads Brewing,  in Rochester on Wednesday.

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The new legislation would allow for bars, restaurants and other establishments to begin selling alcohol at 8 a.m. — a four-hour increase from the current 12 p.m. start time.

The law would also loosen restrictions on the state’s “Two Hundred Foot Law,” making it easier for establishments located within 200 feet of a school or place of worship to apply for a liquor license. The new laws would also lift certain restrictions on wine, allowing for it to be sold in growlers.

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Small businesses and breweries will also have an easier time to applying for multiple liquor licenses and promoting their products, with consolidated paperwork and fees for craft breweries and small wholesalers.

The new legislation is an expansion of the state’s Craft New York Act, a 2011 bill passed to help bolster the growth of the state’s craft brewing industry.

Craft brewing is a booming business across New York, with the number of independent producers doubling since 2011. According to state officials, the craft brewing business employs more than 10,000 people and has generated almost $27 billion in economic impact.


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