Four local lawmakers recently announced that they would be sponsoring legislation in the state government to designate Rochester as a “craft beer trail.”


As the Democrat and Chronicle reported, the legislation is being sponsored by state assembly majority leader Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit,; assemblyman Harry Bronson, D-Rochester; and Senators Joe Robach, R-Greece and Rich Funke, R-Perinton.


“When our local craft brewers do well, it creates jobs and helps our economy,” said Morelle.


The Rochester Craft Beverage Trail would allow local officials to post signs in the city and along interstates 390, 490, 590, and 90 which identify certain parts of the trail (i.e., certain breweries or brew-centric spots).


The creation of this legislation would give Rochester’s craft beer scene more visibility. Although Rochester’s beer industry has all but exploded in the past few years, the benefits of more visibility would certainly help stimulate the local economy. In Rochester, the small business community as a whole is very important; these businesses provide anywhere from 60-80% of all employment opportunities in local communities.


The craft beer industry in the Rochester metro area has more than doubled in size in just three years; it grew from 97 breweries in 2012 to 207 breweries in 2014.


This city isn’t the only spot in New York State where craft beer has taken hold. According to the Brewers Association, New York ranks fourth nationwide for the most economic impact from craft beer.


The proposed legislation will have to pass through both houses of the New York State Legislature and will also have to be signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but the prospects are looking pretty bright right now.


“I have every assurance this will be passed and signed by the governor,” said Sen. Robach.


We’ll raise our pint glasses to that!