Zoning glitch delays proposed Watertown microbrewery

JUSTIN SORENSEN / WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES
A glitch with zoning is complicating plans for Boots Brewing Co. in a storefront in the Lincoln Building, 85-89 Public Square, in downtown Watertown.

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Schumer: FDA relaxes proposed ‘spent grain’ rule for brewers

Schumer

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a revised rule that would allow brewers to continue donating and selling so-called spent grains to farmers without packaging requirements, Sen. Charles E. Schumer announced Monday.

Part of the Food Safety Modernization Act, the original proposed rule would have required brewers to dry and package spent grain — a natural byproduct of the brewing process — to prevent contamination before it is used by farmers to feed livestock. But that proposal drew backlash from brewers across the state and country, who said the regulation would be too costly to follow and would force them to dump grains at landfills.

According to the revised rule proposed by the FDA, brewers making less than $2.5 million a year in sales wouldn’t need to comply with packaging requirements for spent grain.

“Back in April, I made clear to the FDA that this ridiculous rule would have been extremely damaging for upstate New York, harming both our burgeoning craft brew industry and farmers alike, and I am glad the FDA realized their proposed rule was misguided and needed to be revised,” said Mr. Schumer, D-N.Y., in a released statement. “This new rule, which eliminates the unnecessary burdens that could have threatened this age-old, win-win transaction, is a major victory for brewers and farmers throughout the state. Our small farmers and brewers can now rest easy that they do not have to toss potential profits.” [Read more…]