Upstate NY (USA) here. Reading the NYS State Liquor Authority's Brewery Quick Reference Guide and trying to understand the Tied House Law passage on page 1:

"Tied House...Additionally, the 'tied house law' prohibits any person who holds a direct or indirect interest in any retail establishment selling alcoholic beverages (whether in New York State, another state, or abroad) from holding a brewer’s license (or any other manufacturing or wholesaling license) in New York State."

Does this actually mean what I think it means? That if I am even part-owner of a NYS restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages, that I would be denied a Brewer's License?

If not, then what is the correct interpretation of that passage? And if I'm correct, then what would be the motivation behind such a stipulation? For instance, what if I wanted to own a "brewpub" where I would not only make and sell beer, but also make and sell food as well? If I'm reading this right, it almost sounds like that's an impossible setup, even though (of course) its not...

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    If you read the footnote, it sounds like you need a different sort of license: "Note that a restaurant brewer license is not a brewing license, it is a retail license, and cannot be held along with a brewer’s license." It sounds like the state regulates retail brewpubs differently from wholesale brewers.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 29, 2021 at 19:49
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    I believe it was once common for liquor distributors or makers to invest in restaurants or bars on condition that they served only that brewer's products, thus effectively creating monopoly pricing to the detriment of the public. i suspect this law is intended to prevent that situation. But I haven;'t checked sources, so this is a comment not an answer at this time. . Sep 29, 2021 at 19:52

1 Answer 1


The law is here (too long to quote, or understand). There is a proposed modification of the law which may be enacted. In the section Justification, it is noted that under the existing law

a global corporation may technically "own" five subsidiary corporations. Company A may own a winery in France while Company D may own a hotel containing a restaurant in New York. Under New York Law, the liquor license for the restaurant would be prohibited - and it could be subject to financial penalties.

So the restrictions are broader that you mention (ownership of stock is an "interest"), but certainly what you mention is prohibited. The proposed law limits the effect to an interest in a restaurant or brewery "licensed under this chapter", i.e. in the state of New York (currently, a NY manufacturer cannot have an interest in an alcohol-selling restaurant anywhere).

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