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Brooklyn Chamber brings first-ever statewide craft beverage festival to borough

August 26, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
"CHEERS NY will be an event unlike any Brooklyn has ever seen, full of amazing drinks and food and great music," said Brooklyn Chamber President and CEO Carlo A. Scissura. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
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CHEERS NY, a first-of-its-kind craft beverage festival, will kick off on Oct. 3 and 4 in Brooklyn. Produced by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the state of New York through its Empire State Development Corporation and Taste NY, the event represents the first time the state has partnered with a downstate Chamber to host an event of this capacity. The Brooklyn Chamber’s host partner will be Industry City, a bastion of small-scale, high-quality manufacturing in Sunset Park.

The statewide festival will bring together makers with consumers to celebrate the best of the state’s vineyards, breweries, orchards and farmsteads. The weekend-long event will present the entire array of New York State-made craft beverages — beer, wine, cider and spirits — with an emphasis on promoting New York state and Brooklyn as prime destinations for tourists interested in wine trails and brewery and distillery tours. The Brooklyn Chamber will also be creating original content to assist tourists in experiencing all that Brooklyn’s local beverage makers have to offer.

CHEERS NY will build on the success New York state’s craft beverage industry has recently experienced. According to Empire State Development, the craft beer sector grew by 59 percent from 2013 to 2014, has a statewide economic impact estimated at $3.5 billion and currently accounts for 6,552 direct industry jobs while supporting another 4,814 jobs in related industries.

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Not to be outdone, the New York state grape, grape juice and wine industry generates more than $4.8 billion in annual economic benefits, based on statistics from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. The distillery industry has also surged in the last year, with the number of farm distilleries increasing by more than 25 percent, from 62 to 78, state reports said.

“The Brooklyn Chamber consistently brings the very best to Brooklyn, and this event will certainly satisfy the borough’s residents and beyond,” said Brooklyn Chamber Board Chair Denise Arbesu. “Brooklyn has it all and there’s no better place in the world to have a festival of this magnitude.”

Because no wine or beer is complete without a cheese or meat, CHEERS NY will also include a Brooklyn Eats Marketplace, featuring incredible food options from many of the borough’s premier manufacturers, and other high quality items, such as giftware, crafts and tabletop items. 

The Brooklyn Chamber expects to showcase more than 100 beverage and food vendors at CHEERS NY, as well as attract a crowd of more than 5,000 people in its first production year.

“I could think of no better way to kick off the best of what New York has to offer than raising a glass to New York’s craft beverage industry at the inaugural CHEERS NY celebration,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “I commend the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Empire State Development for supporting this growing industry by ensuring that tourists and locals alike can discover the best they have to offer right here in Brooklyn.”

A special ticket price of $50 is available until Sept. 27. Tickets include a souvenir tasting glass; samplings from more than 50 regional wineries, distilleries and breweries; and access to a beer hall and courtyard, outdoor games and the Brooklyn Eats Marketplace. Patrons interested in visiting only the Brooklyn Eats Marketplace can purchase tickets for $10 and have access to Brooklyn-Made food samplings and the outdoor courtyard.

“New York’s craft beverage industry is big business,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “The Craft Beverage Industry Grant Program will provide support to local businesses, helping to create jobs, and bring craft beverage enthusiasts together for a weekend-long celebration to support the local marketplace.” 

“The resurgence of beverage and food manufacturing here in the city and across the state in recent years is cause for celebration,” said Andrew Kimball, CEO of Industry City, the site of CHEERS NY and part of the culinary innovation cluster emerging in Sunset Park. “CHEERS NY gives New Yorkers and tourists alike an opportunity to discover the wide range of beers, wines, ciders and spirits being made here and in doing so, supports the continued growth of this important sector.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

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