Craft beverage producers in Cayuga County are toasting to success as seven businesses secure a combined total of $283,979 in grants through Empire State Development’s Craft Beverage Micro Grant program. This initiative, part of the state’s regional economic development council initiative, aims to uplift the craft beverage industry in New York state.

The seven Cayuga County businesses receiving grants cover a variety of beverages, from wines and ciders to meads and brews. The grants, totaling nearly $284K, will be instrumental in funding new equipment purchases, expansion projects, and facility upgrades.

Three standout businesses—Colloca Estate Winery in Sterling, Heirloom Cider Co. in Sterling, and Prison City Brewing in Auburn—are set to receive the maximum grant amount of $50,000 ea. Colloca Estate Winery plans to invest in a canning line for hard ciders, sparkling wines, and wines. Heirloom Cider Co. will use the funds to enhance cider production by acquiring more fermentation and aging vessels, a high-efficiency label applicator, and storage racks. Meanwhile, Prison City Brewing plans to upgrade equipment to boost production at its State Street location.

Other recipients include Olfactory Farm in Victory, receiving $44,000 for a new production facility and tasting room, and Combgrown Mead in Auburn, awarded $33,474 for equipment purchases and furnishings to expand their tasting room. Aurora Brewing in Ledyard will use their $31,505 grant to acquire two 10-barrel fermenters, water quality equipment, kitchen and bar equipment, and furniture. Sheps Brewing Co. in Auburn rounds out the list, utilizing their $25,000 in state funding to support the purchase of canning and labeling equipment.

Cayuga County’s success is part of a broader statewide effort by the Empire State Development, which is providing nearly $4.8 million to craft beverage producers for 108 projects. Notably, the Craft Beverage Micro Grant Program specifically targets enhancing production capacity, efficiency, quality control, and business infrastructure for craft beverage manufacturers.

Central New York, with its rich agricultural heritage and picturesque landscapes has solidified its position as a thriving hub for the craft beverage industry. The new micro grant program celebrates and supports the growth of this sector, ensuring the continued success of craft beverage enthusiasts in the region.