‘It’s a sigh of relief for a couple days.’ NJ Breweries voice optimism over ‘TAP’ extension

Brewery owners across the state sound optimistic after lawmakers extended fewer restrictions for entertainment and food for the next few weeks.
The extension for “TAP” – now until Jan. 16 – was approved by the state’s Division of Alcohol Beverage Control on Thursday. It was set to expire at the start of the new year.
“It’s a sigh of relief for a couple of days,” said Jersey Cyclone Brewing Company owner Jay Chwieosiuk. “So hopefully something gets done on the state level and legislative level. But for us business owners, all it allows us to do is plan out the next two weeks in essence into the new year.”
Chwiedosiuk said the uncertainty is causing ripple effects for other businesses, including food trucks, bands and even farmers. His brewery donates spent grain to a local farm to use as feed. As it stands, he’s unable to plan past mid-January.
“We’ve become community centers. We’ve become places for communities to fundraise,” said Chwiedosiuk. “We need events. We need to be able to coordinate with food trucks and with these vendors [for them and us] to be able to survive. Without them you’re going to see breweries continue to close. This last year was very difficult for the industry, and we saw several closures.”
Tennessee Honey Band, which performed at Jersey Cyclone Brewing Company, said the legislation is causing challenges for them as well.
“We could potentially lose potential gigs down the road. It’s something where if we’re limited to how many times we can play at a certain place then we’re limited to how many times we can go there,” said Mike Briante.