New Jersey Legislature Looks to Loosen Reins on Craft Breweries
Cheers! New Jersey’s Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee voted 5-0 last week in favor of bill A2196. The bill is designed, among other things, to eliminate the current “mandatory tour” obligation imposed upon New Jersey’s craft brewers. Under the current state of the law, craft brewers are required to provide a tour of their facilities each and every time a patron enters the premises to purchase the breweries’ products for on-site consumption – whether it is the individuals first or one-hundredth time visiting the facility. If passed, the pending legislation will alleviate craft breweries of this oft-criticized requirement in the hopes of placing New Jersey brewers on par with their competitors in neighboring states where such tours are not required.
As the bill continues to gain steam among craft brewers, many New Jersey bars and restaurants have expressed opposition. These groups fear that the bill will provide breweries with an end-run around the steep costs of obtaining liquor licenses and thereby unfairly compete in the market.
At the present time, the bill is awaiting a second reading before the State Assembly.
As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.
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