ALBANY — An Albany County craft beverage producer is the first state-licensed farm meadery to produce mead from New York honey, state officials said Thursday.
Royal Meadery in Delmar is owned and operated by Gregory Wilhelm, a beekeeper and brewer. Royal is the first beneficiary of a measure signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last December that created a farm meadery license similar to the farm licenses that already existed for breweries, distilleries, wineries and cideries.
The farm meadery license gives producers advantages such as the ability to sell their products (and any other craft beverage produced in state) by the glass or bottle from their manufacturing facilities or their tasting rooms.
These licenses — along with tax cuts and modernization of regulations — have helped fuel a boom in the state’s craft beverage sector: 236 farm breweries have opened since the farm brewery law took effect in 2013. The Capital Region alone has gained 85 craft beverage producers, Cuomo’s office noted.
It said the state ranks first in the nation for the number of hard cider producers, second in craft distillers, third in breweries, and fourth for the total number of wineries.