The trail sports 21 vendors, including several in Ontario and Wayne counties

Good news this week for folks in the Rochester/Finger Lakes craft beverage business. The state Senate unanimously passed creation of a Rochester-Finger Lakes Craft Beverage Trail.

The bill would officially designate a trail in state highway law for the region’s many craft breweries, distilleries, cideries, and wineries.

State Sen. Rich Funke, R-Perinton, sponsored the bill that would permit trail signs on designated local roadways. If enacted into law, Funke’s legislation would permit Rochester Craft Beverage Trail branded signage along portions of Interstates 390, 490, 590 and 90, among other designated routes.

“One of the best things about the Rochester Craft Beverage Trail is that it was born of a grassroots effort to promote an industry that grows jobs and our economy here every day,” stated Funke. “This legislation would do even more to highlight our great local craft beverage makers by establishing the Trail in state law and allowing for signage in key locations across our region.”

There are currently 21 craft beverage businesses on the trail. Those include Naked Dove, Three Huskies Brewing and Heron Hill Vineyards in Canandaigua; Nedloh Brewing in Bloomfield; JD Wine Cellars in Macedon; Casa Larga in Perinton; and 3 Brothers Winery and The VB Brewery in Victor.

The Rochester Craft Beverage Trail was launched in 2014 by an informal coalition of local craft beverage makers seeking to pool their resources and jointly market their products. Funke stated that though promotional efforts have so far been successful, vendors sought official state designation “to increase exposure and secure the placement of branded signage throughout the region.”

New York now has more than 900 wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries. Over the past decade, the number of New York wineries has grown by more than 60 percent, the number of microbreweries rose more than 270 percent, and the number of distilleries saw more than 900 percent growth.

According to the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, the New York grape and wine industry generates more than $4.8 billion in economic benefits annually. According to the state Brewers Association, the New York brewing industry generates more than $3.5 billion in economic benefits annually.

The bill is also sponsored in the Assembly by Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle, D- Irondequoit, where it was most recently referred to the Transportation Committee.

For more information about the Rochester Craft Beverage Trail, visit rocbevtrail.com.