Touring the brewery is a big part of craft beer culture; it has been from the start.
Thanks to the law changes in New Jersey, the tasting room is poised to become a breakout star for production brewers, much bigger than it had been in years past. Those brewers can now do more to receive their tour guests.
Think back, if you were old enough to drink then, to the bad old days of getting only a tiny sample pour and being told you could buy just two six-packs or a couple of growlers, and that was it.
It sucked, really.
Defied logic, too.
Was positively Jurassic.
Last fall, Trenton finally understood the point its craft beer industry had been making for years: It's time to join reality. Catch up to modern times. We're all adults here. (If you think the Garden State had some less-than-reasonable rules, take a look at Mississippi. It just finally made homebrewing legal. Not that that's a reason to move there.)
Now up and down New Jersey, production breweries are either refining their tasting room practices to better serve tour patrons or remodeling, adding some creature comforts (i.e. a place to sit for a few) or some swanky-looking bars to park a pint on and talk, or decide on a growler purchase and maybe some swag.
Life's good, and now you have more reasons to support your local breweries.
Polls are sort of passé, but what the hell? Here are a couple: