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Brunch bill passes

Raise your mimosas: The “brunch bill” is now a law.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday signed legislation to modernize New York’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Law Wednesday, allowing the sale of alcoholic beverages at on-premise establishments before noon on Sunday.

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger fought an earlier bill that allowed restaurants to start serving at 8 a.m. on Sundays. He argued that Sundays should be respected as a day of rest. Restaurants and bars can now serve alcohol beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays and can apply for a permit 12 times per year to serve alcohol beginning at 8 a.m.

April Capozzi, owner of the Amherst Ale House, has been perfecting Bloody Mary and Bellini menus waiting for the law to go through.

“It’s been a long time coming,” she said.

Consumers are excited they can have mimosa on a Sunday morning, too.

“I would love to have a Bloody Caesar with brunch,” said Susan Leanza of North Tonawanda. “I think it’s silly you couldn’t get one before.”

Cuomo seems to think so, too. Calling the regulations “arcane” and “burdensome,” he said rolling them back is an important step toward maintaining the region’s economic resurgence.

The ability to get a mimosa with one’s brunch has gotten all the attention, but the law affects producers and consumers in a host of other ways, including broadening retail sales for producers and reduces fees for wineries, distilleries, breweries and cideries. Some of the rules had been on the books since prohibition.

Here’s what else the law will do:

• Cut red tape paperwork for craft producers. Craft manufacturers can now apply for several licenses in one application. For example, a winery doesn’t have to fill out a second application to produce whiskey.

• Allow the sale of wine in growlers. Wine sold at wineries was previously only allowed in sealed bottles.

• Reduce sales force fees for craft beverage manufacturers or wholesalers. Craft manufacturers no longer have to pay for a bond or a solicitor’s permit fee.

• Reduce fees for small wholesalers. The law creates a new, low-cost importer’s license for companies that sell only to other wholesalers. Rather than paying as much as $27,280 a year for license, they’ll now pay $125 a year.

email: schristmann@buffnews.com

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