Craft beer breweries cry foul over new restrictions issued by the state

There is an outcry among some of New Jersey’s beer breweries over tighter restrictions the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control rolled out earlier this week.

News 12 Staff

Jul 7, 2022, 2:34 AM

Updated 718 days ago

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There is an outcry among some of New Jersey’s beer breweries over tighter restrictions the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control rolled out earlier this week.
Some of those restrictions include a ban on collaborating with food trucks and caps on how many events breweries can hold yearly.
Some of the owners say that their biggest concern is what the enforcing of these regulations means for their workforce, with many still bouncing back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the new rules, craft breweries are limited to 25 special events per year, they can participate in only 12 off-premises events with a permit from the ABC and private parties are capped at 52 events.
The rules were first introduced in September 2018 but were suspended the following month. Then in May 2019, the ABC laid out a special ruling clarifying and expanding the restrictions.
Some brewery owners say they are worried about not just losing staff, but customers as well.
“Right away, employees' jobs are at stake with this. If a brewery employed somebody that specialized in events or hosted their events, now that we can't do those events, who knows if a brewery can afford that person anymore,” says Brian Kulbacki, of Departed Soles Brewing Co.
A spokesperson for the state ABC said in part, "The Division believes the activities permitted under the 2019 Special Ruling strike a fair and appropriate balance between the interests of full retail license holders, such as restaurants and bars, and the craft brewing industry.”
“We’re not asking to serve food, people that come to a brewery can support that restaurant. The two aren’t mutually exclusive and there’s plenty of room and plenty of people to support. Both can coexist,” Kulbacki says.
There is currently an online petition going around that hopes to convince Gov. Phil Murphy to step in to remove some of these restrictions.


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