In January 2013, New York joined a recent legislative trend and adopted into law a farm brewery license. The law seeks to protect and promote New York’s brewery-related agricultural sectors by creating a new and cheaper “farm brewery” license that grants special privileges to licensees while mandating that they brew with in-state ingredients. This Note argues that, although well-intentioned, this legislative adaption to the craft beer revolution is a protectionist violation of the dormant Commerce Clause. In doing so, this Note provides a background to alcohol regulation in the United States, outlines the tensions these regulations have with the Commerce Clause, and concludes that although states should promote craft brewing, they must do so legally, uniformly, and non-discriminatorily.
Eric Hawkins, Great Beer, Good Intentions, Bad Law: The Unconstitutionality of New York’s Farm Brewery License, 56 B.C.L. Rev. 313 (2015), https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr/vol56/iss1/8