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Section 99 of New York’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Law (“ABC Law”) allows an on premise licensee to obtain a permit to remain open past 4 a.m. The permits are generally referred to as all-night permits and are usually associated with New Year’s Eve, although an application may be accepted for other holidays or events.  The law was amended effective immediately. Now, before a permit will be issued, the applicant must give notice to the local police department or, if none exists, the county sheriff. In addition, in the five boroughs of New York City the licensee must give advance notice to the local community board.


“Braggot”  (which is both singular and plural) means a malt alcoholic beverage made primarily from hone, water and malt and/or hops. It may also contain fruits, spices, herbs, grain and other agricultural products. Honey must “represent at least fifty-one percent of the starting fermentable sugars by weight of the finished product.”  Under the ABC Law braggot is designated and sold as beer.

A new definition has been added for a “Farm Meadery.” It includes “any place or premises, located on a farm in New York State, in which New York state Labelled Mead or New York State Labelled Braggot is manufactured, stored or sold, or any other place or preise in New York State in which New York State labelled med or New York State Labelle Braggot is manufactured, stored and sold.”  The definition of farm has been expanded to include “the land, buildings and equipment used to prepare and market honey and apiary products as a commercial enterprise.

Mead made a big comeback in 2018 as a result of consumer awareness of the plight of the honeybee and popular books and movies such as The Game of Thrones and the Harry Potter series. In New York, the beverage alcohol industries is keeping pace.  Section of the ABC Law has been amended to add definitions for “broggot” and “Mea” and to create a new license for a farm meadery.

In essence, if one treats a product as mead or braggot, it can be distributed through beer wholesaler. If the product is wine or is treated as wine, it must be distributed by a wine or liquor wholesaler.

“Mead” means “A wine made primarily from honey and water. It may also contain hops, fruits, spices, herbs, grain or other agricultural products. Honey shall represent at least fifty-one percent of the starting fermentable sugars by weight of the finished product.”  If the product contains more than eight and one half percent alcohol by volume, it must be marketed and sold as wine. If the alcohol content is less, the brand owner may elect to treat it as Mead for all purposes.

The statute creates licenses for mead producers, which authorizes its holder to produce Mead and Braggot. There is also a new Farm Meadery license, which authorizes its holder to product New York labeled Mead and Braggot.  Like other producers of New York labeled products, the holder of a Farm Meadery license has broader rights to deal with other New York Labeled products.

One last point is worth noting. The TTB has its own rules relating to mead or as they call it, honey wine.  “Blending Honeywine and beer is disalled at a winery premise, period.l If you have a winery license you cannot make any category of braggot. If you have brewery license, you may use honey as an adjunct fermentable suger with malt. Such products fermented with both honey and malt cannot be labelled mead because the law considers “mead’ and “Honeywine” to be synonyms not to be used as a designation for a malt beverage.” See FAQ HW 27 & HW 28.

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