State Senator James L. Seward, R-Milford, and Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, joined owners of Gilligan’s Ice Cream on July 16 in Sherburne to celebrate the signing of a law allowing for the sale of beer and hard cider ice cream. The legislation, sponsored by Seward and Magee “will aid New York’s craft beer industry, cider producers and farmers by helping food retailers and restaurants meet the growing demand by consumers for these new and innovative dairy products,” according to a media release.
Seward said, in the release, “The dairy and craft beer/cider industries are key contributors to our state’s agriculture economy. By bringing these entities together, we are able to capitalize on homegrown New York ingredients with the creation of a cool, new product. I was pleased to work with the owners of Gilligan’s Ice Cream to advance this law, clearing the way for their inventive product that will be popular at fairs, ice cream shops and farm breweries throughout the state.”
Magee said, also in the release, “Years ago I helped pass legislation to legalize wine ice cream which has been a great success and now, by working together with the creative folks at Gilligan’s Ice Cream, I am pleased to have the opportunity to help fulfill the market potential for ice cream made with beer and hard cider. Gilligan’s Ice Cream is sourcing local farm breweries, wineries, and craft beer producers for the freshest, top quality New York products to make their ice cream treats for the public to taste and enjoy.”
Gilligan’s collaborated with the Copper Turret Restaurant & Brewhouse, a teaching restaurant at State Univeristy College of Agriculture and Technology at Morrisville, to create the new ice cream. Upon learning a change in state law was needed to sell ice cream made with beer and hard cider, the owners of Gilligan’s turned to Seward and Magee for assistance.
Gilligan’s partner Andrew Lagoe said, “When we discovered the need for a new law to sell our beer ice cream Senator Seward and Assemblyman Magee responded quickly, clearing the way for us in time for the prime summer months and upcoming fair season.”
Chenango County Farm Bureau President Bradd Vickers said, “Senator Seward and Assemblyman Magee are always responsive to the needs of our farmers and agricultural businesses and this is another example of their advocacy. For ag-related businesses to succeed, they must continue to develop new products and capitalize on market trends. This blending of dairy and craft beer and cider hits all the right notes.”
The law is similar to a one approved in 2008 regulating the sale of wine ice cream. The legislation limits the percentage of alcohol in the ice cream to no more than 5 percent of alcohol by volume, prohibits its sale to those younger than 21, and requires a label that the product contains alcohol.