New Jersey Tasting Room Regs on Hold

The state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) issued a ruling intended to clarify certain abilities of limited brewery licensees (up to 300,000 barrels annual production) and attempted to strike a balance between the interests of full retail license holders, such as restaurants and bars, and the craft brewing industry. The ruling restricted limited breweries to holding up to 25 on-site events per year and up to 12 off-site events per year, subject to authorization by the ABC. It also limited to an annual maximum of 52 the number of private parties occurring on the premises of a limited brewery. While allowing certain snack food items to be available in a brewery tasting room, the ruling prohibits food trucks and the provision of local restaurant menus for order-in purposes. Patrons would, however, be able to bring their own food into the brewery’s tasting room. Following strong and vocal opposition from a number of brewers, consumers and legislators, enforcement of the ruling was suspended and stakeholders will reconvene for further discussions.

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Pete Johnson serves as the State & Regulatory Affairs Manager for the Brewers Association. He joined the BA at its inception in 2005, having previously worked as Programs Director for the Brewers Association of America. Before coming to the small brewing industry in 2001, Pete worked for 14 years with both state and federal elected officials in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

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