Mead and Braggot: What Could Brewers Make and Sell Under the New Licensing Provisions?

April 7, 2019

By: Michelle R. Billington

Part 2 of 3 in a Series about Mead & Braggot. To view Part 1, click here.

The new “mead producers’ license” and “farm meadery license” both authorize the licensee to manufacture and sell mead and braggot. Specifically, the mead producers’ license will allow the licensee to produce mead and braggot on its licensed premises for sale in bottles, barrels, or casks to beer, wine and liquor retail licensees. Mead producers’ licensees may sell the mead and braggot outside the state as well. The license further authorizes tastings of NYS-labeled meads and NYS-labeled braggot under certain circumstances, including at the licensee’s restaurant, inn or bed and breakfast at/or adjacent to its meadery. Mead producers must manufacture at least 50 gallons of mead and/or braggot annually to maintain the license. 

The farm meadery license will allow the licensee to operate a meadery to manufacture NYS-labeled mead and NYS-labeled braggot. The license further authorizes various types of sales of the licensee’s mead and braggot, such as sales in bulk to anyone licensed to manufacture alcoholic beverages in New York and sales to licensed farm distillers, farm wineries, wineries, farm breweries, other farm meaderies, and to wholesalers and retailers licensed to sell such products.  Farm meadery licensees will also be authorized to conduct tastings of its mead and braggot (or any other NYS-labeled mead or NYS-labeled braggot), and to sell them at retail for on- or off-premises consumption. However, if on-premises consumption is offered, the licensee must regularly keep food available to the retail customers. 

The farm meadery license can be issued to holders of a farm brewery, farm winery, and farm distiller’s licenses for use at those licensees’ existing licensed premises.  Furthermore, the farm meadery license covering premises adjacent to those under a farm brewery, farm winery or farm distiller’s license may share and use the same tasting room facilities to conduct any tasting that the licensee is otherwise authorized to conduct.  

The farm meadery license also creates potential new partners for breweries whose beers could be featured on guest taps at any new farm meaderies that may open in the state. The license would authorize the farm meadery licensee to conduct tastings and sell at retail for on- or off-premises consumption NYS-labeled beer manufactured by a licensed brewery or licensed farm brewery. 

If farm breweries elect to add braggot to their product offerings under the authority of their existing farm brewery license, they should keep in mind that the braggot produced must be counted along with beer and cider toward the 75,000-barrel limit authorized for farm breweries. This limit starkly contrasts with the production cap under the new farm meadery license, which authorizes manufacturing up to 250,000 gallons of mead and braggot annually (at least 50 gallons of mead and/or braggot must be produced annually to maintain the license).

To continue to Part 3, click here.