New Jersey alcohol board issues new rules for local breweries

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The New Jersey Alcohol Beverage Control has issued new rules for local beer breweries to follow.

The ABC says that the rules are for businesses with limited brewery liquor licenses. The control says that the primary purpose of those licenses are to manufacture and not operate as a retail outfit.

One of the rules will limit breweries to holding 25 events per year, which must be approved by the state.

Raritan Bay Brewing owner Jeff Benfer says that his brewery will often hold yoga sessions.

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GUIDE: New Jersey Breweries

“We get about 20 people to come out. They enjoy a good stretch with one of the local yoga studios that come out and puts on the class and then they come downstairs and enjoy some beer,” he says.

Benfer says he is worried about what these new rules will mean.

Another restriction limits the amount of outside events a brewery can take part of, and another limits what type of literature can be inside the brewery.

"We have menus for four different local restaurants. People ordering to get food delivered here and they enjoy some food and I think it's a little crazy to say that no, you can't have even menus for restaurants in our brewery,” Benfer says.

But not all local breweries are against the restrictions. The owners of Belford Brewing Company issued a statement saying that they support the ruling and it will help smaller breweries like theirs by leveling the playing field.

Benfer says that the new restrictions do not only impact breweries.

“We try to incorporate the town and the community into o what we do here and give back and this will hurt us in that regard,” he says. “Not only from a business perspective but from a community perspective."

Benfer says that he plans to talk to his local legislators to see if any of the restrictions can be changed.

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