New Jersey's new brewery rules leaving some frustrated

Friday, July 8, 2022
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The new law also requires breweries to give a walking or virtual tour of the facility before allowing patrons to consume alcohol.

TRENTON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Some breweries in New Jersey are frustrated over the state's new rules that took effect on July 1.

The new rules from New Jersey's Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control limits events to 25 on-site per year -- like concerts and quiz nights -- and 52 private parties.

That includes everything from large breweries across New Jersey to the artisans, the craft brewers and the mom and pops -- the small businesses known for the special, one-of-a-kind beer they make, but also the fun experiences they provide.

The new law also requires breweries to give a walking or virtual tour of the facility before allowing patrons to consume alcohol.

Additionally, businesses can no longer serve food or coordinate with food trucks or vendors, and they can't serve coffee either.

"Some of the brewers will go out of business because it's harder to do what we're trying to do, which is provide a happy atmosphere and a place for people to gather," Steve Zolnay, of Invertase Brewing Company, told WFMZ.

The 2019 ruling is meant to balance the interests of restaurants and bars and brewers.

"The special conditions set forth in the 2019 Special Ruling are the result of an extensive outreach effort by the Division to meet with industry leaders, individual craft brewery owners, members of the Legislature, and others," the New Jersey Attorney General's Office said in a statement. "The Division believes the activities permitted under the 2019 Special Ruling strike a fair and appropriate balance between the interests of full retail license holders, such as restaurants and bars, and the craft brewing industry. The Division will continue to work with all licensees to promote a fair and robust alcoholic beverage industry in New Jersey."

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