ELLICOTTVILLE — With the grand opening of Ellicottville Brewing Co.’s $6 million production facility in Little Valley this week, several state officials are praising the work of the local company.
The new 75,000-square-foot facility in Little Valley — the company’s fourth location in Cattaraugus County — is meant to help with the expansion of commercial production and bottling operations, as well as create roughly 40 new full-time jobs. EBC, which distributes its products to locations around the world, will also retain its 149 existing employees, officials said.
In a February interview with the Olean Times Herald, EBC owner Peter Kreinheder said he plans to make the Little Valley site into a regional brewery destination. Attractions include the EBC Public Pub & Tasting Room, future outdoor music events and the creation of what he called “The Science Center of Brewing” — a place where tourists can see such aspects of beer making as the malting process and yeast biology.
Empire State Development will facilitate the project through a $600,000 Western New York Regional Economic Development Council grant and $134,000 in Excelsior Tax Credits.
In a statement Tuesday, Kreinheder thanked Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his “enthusiastic support” of the state’s craft beverage industry, which Kreinheder said “has helped propel small breweries such as Ellicottville to a level where we can compete with other regional and national brands.”
“A focus on our industry has helped create a sense of pride for the beer and food produced in New York State and Ellicottville Brewing Company is proud to be a part of that legacy,” he added.
Cuomo lauded EBC for “creating new jobs for Cattaraugus County residents while supporting local farms and providing a new food and beverage destination for all to enjoy.”
In February, Cuomo announced the state is now home to 400 breweries, surpassing the previous record of 393 breweries set in 1876.
EBC, founded in 1995, purchased the former Salamanca Beverage Corp. building at 202 Second St. to establish a new location — others are in Ellicottville, Fredonia and Lakewood. The building had been used for storage before company officials began working with the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency in 2016 for inducements including a sales tax exemption, a payment in lieu of taxes on new value added to the property and a possible mortgage tax exemption.
Kreinheder at the time estimated the new facility could draw up to 50,000 visitors a year.
The project included the construction of a production facility that is capable of making 180 barrels a day. The beer is then bottled, labeled and packaged for delivery locally and distributed to destinations as far away as South Korea.
State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, said entrepreneurs like Kreinheder are “the driving force behind Western New York’s economic boom.”
“By working together with Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development, we are protecting and growing job opportunities for our families and young people so they can stay after they graduate. The high quality beverages produced at this facility are second to none across the country,” she said.
Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, R-Gowanda, called EBC’s expansion “an exciting venture for the people of Cattaraugus County.”
“The company’s growth from Ellicottville to Fredonia and Lakewood, and now to Little Valley is an encouraging boost to economic development and tourism in our region,” he said. “New York State’s craft beverage industry has grown exponentially in recent years, and it is wonderful to see its impact here in Western New York. The positive effects of this kind of investment, in both capital and jobs, are incredible for a community like Little Valley.”