A forum on craft beer and its economic development potential was held in Utica on Monday.

The forum at Mohawk Valley Community College is sponsored by the State Canal Corporation, SUNY and Taste NY.

Steve Gosset, a spokesman for the Canal Corporation, says the craft beer industry has grown over the past five years

Gosset says there are now 375 breweries in New York, compared to just 50 in 2011 when Governor Cuomo took office.

The governor signed a law last year which eased or eliminated regulatory requirements that had hampered the growth of breweries and other producers of alcoholic beverages.

The New York State Brewers Association estimates craft breweries are responsible for a $4 billion economic impact in the state.

Howard Zemsky, the state's top economic development official, gave the keynote address.

It's the second in a series of forums marking the bicentennial of the building of the Erie Canal.

Jim Rondenelli, WIBX
Jim Rondenelli, WIBX

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