New York State Distillers Guid Announces 2020 Economic Impact Study: Black Button Distilling Makes their Mark on Empire State

Rochester, NY (February 1, 2021) –
 According to annual research by the American Craft Spirits Association, over the last five years the number of craft distilleries popping up across the United States has been steadily growing by about 20% year over year. New York State has emerged as the second largest craft distillery stakeholder in the country, experiencing a 60% increase in craft distillers since 2016. Today, the New York State Distillers Guild is pleased to share a 2020 Economic Impact Study of the New York State Distilled Spirits Industry prepared on behalf of the Guild by John Dunham & Associates (JDA).

Rochester, NY based Black Button Distilling stands out among the state’s leading distilleries. The city’s first grain-to-glass distillery since prohibition and a certified NYS Farm Distillery, Black Button grew by over 20% in 2020 despite restrictions and closings due to the pandemic. They quickly pivoted to support their community needs at the height of COVID-19, halting liquor production to eventually create over 400,000 bottles of FDA approved hand sanitizer, which was distributed to schools, hospitals, small business, and the New York State Board of Elections to support safe voting practices.

Black Button Distilling has been able to retain their full time workforce during this pandemic year and they are proud of their work that has supported the state economy. According to the 2020 Economic Impact Study, the New York State distilled spirits industry, including companies like Black Button, created an economic output of $4.4 billion in 2020, of which $3.2 billion impacted New York State directly. The statewide craft distilling industry created 11,540 full time jobs in 2020, amounting to $962.2 million in wages and benefits.  Within the study, New York State’s 160 distilleries created 1,350 (FTE) jobs, generating $2.7 billion in economic activity.

“It’s been an incredible journey watching the New York craft distilling market grow from just a handful of producers to now, eight years later, generating over 2.7 Billion dollars in economic activity for the state,” said Jason Barrett, President of Black Button Distilling. “We are artists, strategists, innovators, creators, engineers, experimenters, hagglers, scientists, politicians and most importantly business professionals.  We touch every facet of a community from the local farmers providing our ingredients, to the tourism agencies capturing the curious, to the manufacturers ensuring we have all the tools to meet our industry’s highest standards. Together, Distillers represent an economic force that keeps our communities vibrant with craft.”

To view the full 2020 Economic Impact Study, follow the link HERE.

Born and raised in Rochester, Barrett has a true passion for his local community and has developed a loyal base of fans over the last eight years since founding Black Button Distilling. Today, he’s expanding Black Button’s distribution into 14 new states, in addition to a growing e-commerce business. He envisions the future of the craft distilling industry in New York to be bright: “The best thing the governor and state legislature can do to support our fledgling industry is to pass the Alcoholic Beverage Production Tax Credit, bringing parity to our business with the benefits already bestowed upon New York breweries,” he said. “If that happens, I see our industry growing over the next five years, on the same playing field as the popular breweries and wineries powering our NY state economy through significant manufacturing, tourism and agricultural growth.”