New York brewery slapped on China-made beer tanks

ALBANY, N. Y. – Some politicians are annoyed that a Rochester brewery received from the state, the economic development of the financing bought beer fermentation tanks from China, that may have been produced in New York.

Three upstate members of the Assembly and the Little Falls mayor on Friday criticized Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his economic development agency for without own state, the economic investment to benefit New York companies.

The lawmakers say Syracuse, on the basis of Feldmeier Equipment, Inc., which has two factories on the banks of the Erie Canal in Little Falls, could have produced the 12-China-20-foot-by-60-foot tanks that will now be drawn to Genesee Brewing Co. via the channel.

A spokeswoman for the brewery, Mary Beth Popp, said Genesee has bought seven tanks from Feldmeier over the last three years. She said Genesee reached the company a bid on the 12 tanks, but was rejected twice.

The Chinese tanks are too large to transport over long distance by truck or train, so they are the driving 225 miles to Rochester. They arrive in Rochester later this week and will be transported the few miles between the channel and the brewery by special trucks. She was already in Little Falls on the channel last week, where protests of some Feldmeier employees.

“It disgusts me to know that the state, of the economic development dollars were used to support a project where the goods are manufactured in China, when we have companies like Feldmeier Equipment products as this right in the Mohawk Valley,” Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, a Utica Democrat, said in a statement.

Genesee Brewing Co., in the centre of Rochester, has nearly $10 million in grants and tax credits from the Empire State development fund for the $50 million expansion of the project.

Empire State Development spokesman Jason Conwall said none of that is incentives applied to the tank purchases. The funds are set to support the future expansion of a restaurant and a bar.

“Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development of New York State companies, period,” Conwall said.

Feldmeier vice-president of sales Dave Pollock said the company submitted a bid for a smaller part of the Genesee project, but it was rejected.

“We are losing bids every day that is not a problem,” Pollock said. “Genesee is a business decision to go with the lowest price, I take it, and they will have to deal with public relations backlash of that.”

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