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Altamont Craft Beer Festival helps boost local economy

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Albany/HV: Altamont Craft Beer Festival helps boost local economy
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Hundreds came out for the third annual Altamont Craft Beer Festival Saturday. Vendors and attendees say the event has multiple perks that go beyond trying a new beer. YNN's Madeleine Rivera has more on how the festival boosts the local economy and what lawmakers are doing to help small breweries.

ALTAMONT, N.Y. -- If you like beer, the Altamont Craft Beer Festival was the place to be Saturday.

"It's cool. There's beer here. And that's cool," said PJ Antoinette, a Guilderland resident.

For the hundreds that attended the event, that notion seemed to sum it up.

"Beer is the heart of American history," said Forest Crawford, an Oneonta resident.

More than 40 breweries from all over the northeast offered a selection of over a hundred beers.

"Harpoon IPA, Pumpkin Beer of some kind, they were good. All of the beers that I tried were good," said Antoinette.

Vendors say they also benefit from an event like this.

"An event like this is great because it gives people the opportunity to taste beers that they may not always get their hands on or wouldn't be able to buy at a store or at a bar. So it's a great exhibition," said Jeremy Irving, a sales manager at Remarkable Liquids.

"We like to come out and support these guys. They're not, I wouldn't say small because a lot of these are big companies, but they are small time," said Steven Hillis, a Richmondville resident.

Some lawmakers are working on legislation that would further help smaller breweries. The Small Brew Act would reduce the excise tax for small breweries, helping them save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

"Anything that the government can do to help the small breweries is a great thing," said Marie McMillan, manager of the Altamont Fair.

"They're fighting for shelf space every single day. They're fighting to get their beers into local beers. For them to be able to cut some taxes should help them basically keep their brewery going," said Irving.

A love for beer helping to boost business.

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