Trenton – In an effort to assist local businesses, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee advanced legislation today sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Linda Greenstein which would update certain laws and regulations governing breweries, cideries, meaderies and distilleries to help them grow their businesses.
“The New Jersey craft brewing and distilling industry is rapidly growing and quickly becoming a mainstay for tourists and locals alike,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “This legislation would revolutionize the brewery scene, opening the door for local establishments to become nationally recognized brands. This is a burgeoning industry that when allowed to flourish will not only bring in revenue for the state, but also bring together residents and revitalize downtowns.”
The bill, S-3038, would allow craft alcoholic beverage manufacturers to hold certain events and coordinate with food vendors. The bill would apply to those with limited brewery licenses, cidery and meadery licenses, and craft distillery licenses.
“By removing limits on events, breweries can once again become community hubs, hosting watch parties, fundraisers and family fun days,” added Senator Gopal.
Under the bill, craft alcoholic beverage manufacturers would be able to hold an unlimited number of on-premises special events, off-premises special events and private parties. In addition, they would be able to hold up to 25 social affair events hosted by the holder of a social affair permit.
“For years craft beverage manufacturers have been operating under strict guidelines, preventing them from reaching their full potential,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer). “The legislation will remove harmful barriers to success and allow these local businesses to better serve their customers and their communities.”
Under the bill, manufacturers would be allowed to coordinate with food vendors for the provision of food on the premises and provide menus to customers for the sale of food. They would also be permitted to provide packaged snacks complementary or for sale.
The bill would also permit the use of outdoor taps, table service, and the sale of branded apparel and merchandise. The bill would remove limitations on the number and size of televisions and permit advertisement of viewing parties for televised events. The bill would also remove the tour requirement.
Lastly, the bill would increase the number of barrels a restricted brewery license holder could manufacture per year from 10,000 to 300,000.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 11-0.