By UMMEY KARIM
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Barclays Center announced Thursday that a Taste NY bar will be set up at the arena to sell beer, wine and spirits from all over New York State.
Taste NY, which promotes New York State agriculture, would follow the arena’s existing Brooklyn Taste program, which offers the flavors of 55 Brooklyn restaurants, according to Brett Yormark, chief executive officer of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which runs Barclays Center. “Taste NY is the perfect complement to our Brooklyn Taste program and furthers our commitment to sourcing from local producers,” he said.
Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders, has drawn more than 6 million people to its events. “We will shine a spotlight on local food and beverage and New York’s wineries and distilleries and breweries,” said Howard Zemsky, president of the Empire State Development Corp. “This is now a $27 billion dollar business in New York State which has been exposed to 2 million people already.”
Assemb. Latrice Monique Walker, D-Brooklyn, said the Taste NY bar will help to revitalize the state’s agricultural industry by stimulating demand for homegrown products. “This will help mobilize the upstate economy by buying from people right next door,” she said.
Participating vendors include Neversink Spirits of Portchester, Bedell Cellars of Cutchogue, Orchard Hill Cider of New Hampton, the Bronx Brewery of the Bronx, Flagship Brewing of Staten Island, and Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, Brooklyn Wineries, Sixpoint Brewery, Red Hook Wineries, Van Brunt Stillhouse and NY Distilling Company Co., all of Brooklyn.
“It’s a great opportunity to reach consumers who don’t normally see our products,” said Daric Schlesselman of Van Brunt Stillhouse, which has participated with Taste NY previously.
“We’ve been a big supporter of them and they’ve been a big supporter of us,” said
Conor McCormack of Brooklyn Winery, who said his company had been part of Taste NY and wanted to become more involved.
Josh Quinn,the Brooklyn sales manager n for the Bronx Brewery, said this was their the company’s first time participating with Taste NY and that it would absolutely continue. “It reminds people in Brooklyn that the Bronx is not that far away,” he joked when asked what it means for the brand to be affiliated with Barclays Center.
Quinn said the Bronx Brewery is re-branding itself with a redesign of its cans, so “the time is perfect” to get more exposure for its products.
Taste NY will be rotating the vendors in the Taste NY Bar.
Photo: Participating vendors at the first Taste NY Bar. (Ummey Karim)