New Jersey Slaps New Rules on Craft Breweries

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Last week, the New Jersey Division of Alcohol Beverage Control issued a “special ruling” that imposes a bevy of limits and restrictions on craft breweries in the Garden State. NJ.com details the changes:

Say goodbye to weekly trivia nights, food truck Fridays and Eagles on the TV at your local craft brewery.

A new ruling issued by the state cracks down on what brewery owners will be allowed to do and now requires them to obtain special permits from the state — a decision that the craft beer supporters in New Jersey say will severely set back the burgeoning industry. However, restaurant and bar advocates say the rules will put brewery owners more in line with others in the alcohol industry.

The “special ruling” issued Monday by the New Jersey Division of Alcohol Beverage Control will affect the 88 limited breweries that are now operating in the state — many of which have opened since the state relaxed some of its laws in 2012 — as well as the 23 operations who have applications pending…

Some of the changes breweries are facing include the following:

  • Breweries can now only hold 25 “special events,” such as paint and sip nights, trivia nights, live televised sporting events and live music nights.

  • Breweries are limited to 12 special permits a year to sell products off the brewery premises such as festivals, athletic events, and other civic events.

  • Breweries are limited to 52 private parties (birthdays, weddings, anniversaries) a year.

  • They must electronically notify the ABC 10 days prior to holding the event

The breweries did gain the ability to sell items such as water, soda, pre-packaged crackers, chips, nuts and other similar snacks.

Customers can still bring in their own food, but the brewery can no longer have restaurant menus available, or coordinate with other vendors, such as food trucks, to provide food…”

Read more here.