Albany — Those looking to taste at wineries in New York State will no longer have to worry about sales tax; on Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the sales tax charge for tastings at wineries will be eliminated.

Cuomo also announced Thursday that the state will create a $350,000 grant for research hops and malting barley for beer.

The Star Gazette reports:

“Cuomo has been bullish on the state’s growing wineries and its expansion of beer production. There’s a website to tout the state’s products at

Wineries had to collect a tax on sales of wine, either by the bottle or the glass, state officials said, and exemptions to the tax didn’t cover wine tastings. But the state tax department worked with the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control to change the regulation, state officials said.

The $350,000 for beer research will go in part to the Geneva Experiment Station at Cornell University in Ontario County, Cuomo said. Researchers there are studying 30 varieties of hops for the state’s craft brewing industry, Cuomo said, and they have 225 acres of hops planted.

Cuomo loosened some laws in 2011, and it’s led to a boom in craft breweries. The number of microbreweries rose from 40 in 2011 to 100 this year. Since 2012, the state has also added 48 new farm breweries.”