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New Jersey Brewers Association Statement Concerning the Special Ruling

The New Jersey Brewer’s Association (njbeer.org) has released the following statement concerning today’s special ruling initiated by the New Jersey Alcohol Beverage Control:

NEW JERSEY BREWERS ASSOCIATION APPLAUDS SPECIAL RULING, CALLS FOR END TO MARKETING CAPS AND FOR WHOLESALE LIQUOR LICENSE REFORM

Cites work still to be done at Legislative Level

For Immediate Release

Contact: Alexis Degan

(CHERRY HILL, NJ) – The New Jersey Brewers Association has released the following statement hailing the new Special Ruling by the New Jersey Alcohol Beverage Control as a significant step forward in the NJ craft brewing industry, while highlighting the work still to be done to modernize the state’s liquor license laws.

“The Special Ruling that was issued by Director Graziano today recognizes the changing landscape of the beer industry in New Jersey and opens up a number of avenues to help breweries thrive in this state and to begin competing with our neighboring states on a more even playing field. This is consistent with the experience the Association has had over the past few years, where the Division has striven to be a partner in helping the craft brewing industry develop. 

“It is clear that Director Graziano and his staff have made thoughtful and deliberative changes to the 2018 ruling in response to the many conversations they have had with the members of the alcohol manufacturing and sales community. This ruling also acknowledges the growing demand for craft breweries in this state, and their increased role as community partners. In short, the Association views the majority of the Special Ruling as positive for the industry.

“For example, the creation of new off-premises permits will allow the breweries to more closely engage in their communities, which has been the demand since breweries began opening. By preserving the rights of breweries to supply menus to customers, and allowing those customers to bring in food, the ruling acknowledges and supports the symbiotic relationships developed between our breweries and their neighboring eateries. 

“It is gratifying to see the Director uphold the rights of the breweries to host the types of events which have drawn new and returning customers to their tasting rooms and their towns. However, the Association believes that the limits on special and private events at the brewery are not appropriate or supported by the law. 

“Indeed, the Association believes that the law specifically provided for these types of events in creating a retail privilege for certain classes of brewery licenses in 2012. Nevertheless, two successive Directors have come to the same conclusion regarding the spirit of the legislation and what the consumers of New Jersey are looking for in their brewery experience.

“Thus, it is now vital that the Legislature clarify the legislation. It is ultimately detrimental to the economy to unnecessarily hamper business models that have been overwhelmingly propelled by and beneficial to the residents in this state with arbitrary limits on events that have been deemed appropriate for these venues. The New Jersey residents themselves have been vocal about their desire to see the brewery culture in this state continue its growth unhampered. 

“The Association believes that to accomplish this goal there are a number of fixes that could be made to prevent this type of piecemeal regulation, and calls on legislators to look at a comprehensive package of legislation that would protect the growing craft beverage industry in New Jersey. The only true, permanent fix is for the Legislature to clarify their own legislative intent in creating these retail consumption spaces, and to act to modernize the entire liquor license process in the state.”

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