Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Trying to make NJ more brewing biz friendly

A new front has opened in the campaign to make New Jersey a friendlier place for the craft brewing industry.

Bill S2870, which "increases production limitations and revises privileges of limited and restricted breweries," was introduced in Trenton on Tuesday by state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. of Union County.

The Garden State Craft Brewers Guild, which has been working on the legislation for the past year, is now lining up sponsorship in the Assembly and expects a version to be introduced in that chamber by week's end.

Just exactly what the legislation seeks isn't immediately clear. The bill was just published, but the text hasn't been posted yet on the Legislature's website.

However, as it worked with a lobbyist to shape the bill, the guild's wish list has touched on raising the maximum amount of beer that could be brewed annually for both brewpubs and production breweries.

Additionally, the guild has wanted to let brewpub owners hold more than two licenses, let them brew for the taps at other establishments (i.e. restaurant-bars) that they may own, and in a bid to become more competitive with neighboring states, allow brewpubs to hold production brewery licenses for their locations, so they may sell beer off premises through distributors.

For production brewers, the guild has wanted to let them individually set up a clutch of salesrooms across the state for sampling and retailing to the public.

Remember, those items represent what has been a working wish list. Stay tuned for what the bill actually does propose.


nugget said...

This is great! It's about time... I really hope this passes quickly :)

Sarah said...

This is great! It's about time... I really hope this passes quickly :)