So, a cousin of mine lived in China for a few years. I asked him to sum up what China was all about, and he said that a lot of the culture there is all about getting the best of something, or at least what would be perceived as such. So, less interested in making their own wine — they want to buy wine from France because they make the real wine. And so it goes with other examples I can’t remember.*
This random anecdote made me more interested in this recent announcement from the State of New York that Cazenovia company, the state’s largest farm brewery, has become the first officially licensed “I ❤ New York” beer and will be distributed throughout China under Empire’s “Two Dragons” label.
The beer will be branded with the “I ❤ New York” tourism logo to help call attention to the growing number of craft breweries and agritourism destinations in New York State. It is projected to arrive in China in February. Basically, this beer is really going to test my cousin’s theory.
Enough about your dumb cousin. Tell me more about the beer.
Two Dragons is an ale-style beer brewed with New York State hops and Chinese black tea. Empire Brewing Co. owner David Katleski says he was inspired during a trip to China to combine the art of American craft brewing techniques with the history and precision of Chinese tea making. Initially designed for the Chinese market, the beer also is being distributed into Empire Brewing’s New York, New Jersey and Delaware distribution network.
The beer is being produced in Empire’s new brewing facility in Cazenovia, about 20 miles southeast of Syracuse, supported by state funding from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The new Farmstead Brewery covers 42,000 square feet. It will allow Empire to expand production from 4,500 barrels per year to 17,000 barrels in year one, and 20,000 barrels by year three.
Since 2011, the state has implemented a number of significant reforms and expanded programs to grow the craft beverage industry, including launching a $60 million statewide promotional campaign and hosting wine, beer and spirits summits across the state.
New York now is home to more than 900 wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries. The number of farm wineries has increased from 195 in 2010 to 316 today; the number of microbreweries from 40 in 2010 to 154; the number of farm distilleries from 10 in 2010 to 98 today. Two new licenses have been created since 2011 — the farm brewery license in 2013 and the farm cidery license in 2014. New York now is home to 132 farm breweries and 24 farm cideries.
*(As always, CBB apologies if this is a gross mischaracterization or insult. We are ignorant Americans whose only world knowledge comes from people we know who happen to go places. And they might be idiots.)