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Breweries celebrate new state legislation alleviating restrictions

Breweries across the state are toasting Gov. Phil Murphy's recently signed bill that eases restrictions for their businesses.

Rob Taub

Jan 16, 2024, 10:30 PM

Updated 155 days ago

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Breweries across the state are toasting Gov. Phil Murphy's recently signed bill that eases restrictions for their businesses.
“This is a great opportunity for us. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” said Donald Vogt, 902 Brewing owner.
The new legislation allows for breweries: -To manufacture 300,000 barrels a year, up from 10,000 previously. -Distribute 50% of the beer that's made on site each year to retailers, instead of just wholesalers. -Offer snacks and other non-alcoholic beverages. -Work with other vendors, like food trucks. -Have unlimited events on site, up to 25 events off site and up to 25 events that are hosted by a holder or a social affairs permit.
Vogt is most pleased with the legislation that will allow him to partner closely with food trucks who are interested in parking outside of his brewery.
“We don’t want to be in the food industry. We just wanted to food trucks to be able to be here so that people can drink safely,” said Vogt. “We want people to drink, have food in their bodies and not have to worry about getting in their cars, driving to get food and bringing it back here.”
The new law will also allow breweries to better coordinate with musicians who want to perform at their venues.
Eric Orlando, the executive director of the Brewers Guild of New Jersey said conversations he’s had with breweries across the state have been very celebratory. Many of them are already getting booking events well into the year.
“We’re already starting to book events for the summer and the fall - this early on in the year,” said Orlando. “This is definitely welcome to the breweries and I think that there’s going to be a lot of happy musicians and folks in the state that are going to finally be able to come to a brewery and perform.”
The new legislation also creates a farm-brewery license which allows farmers to produce malt alcoholic beverages for sale. According to Orlando, farmers in New Jersey are interested in doing so and hoping to get started by next year.
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