TL;DR: Government bureaucrats are tangling with us and getting in the way of our local craft breweries. Your action is needed to inform lawmakers how much support our brewers have. Please consider taking action as described below.
As you may have heard, the NJ ABC has started enforcing restrictive rules on breweries. These rules limit the number of events that breweries can host and festivals they can attend, restrict their creativity in marketing and programming, and reduce YOUR opportunity to enjoy the sweet, golden fruit of their labor.
DRINK LOCAL. support your local bar and restaurant.
It’s not only time to express your feelings to the state’s lawmakers and ABC, but it’s time to go out and support our New Jersey alcohol and hospitality industry. First thing to do is support the places that care about NJ beer. The restaurants, bars and breweries are all still reeling from COVID-19 related issues and WE can help them by supporting the ones that support us. I’m urging you to go out to a bar and restaurant that supports locally produced, New Jersey craft beer. SPEND your hard earned money supporting them. Buy a few beers, grab food, order a cocktail. Then the next day, go to a brewery and have a beer while picking out some beers to go. Then the next day go to a brewery or two and bring some food with you or stop at a pizza or sandwich place between your visits. Visit a local winery or distillery. Go try some mead or cider made in our state. Just start to help these places with your hard earned money.
Long story short, DRINK AND EAT LOCALLY and support the ones that support LOCAL.
YOUR VOICE COUNTS and YOU CAN HELP FIX THESE RULES.
Now… on to what you can do that will only take a minute.
WRITE YOUR LAWMAKERS! WRITE YOUR LAWMAKERS! This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. This is not politics. This is about fixing regulatory overreach and doing what’s right.
Go to this site to find out your state representatives and send the note below to your local senator (1) and assemblypeople (2) via email.
I am a resident and voter in (YOUR TOWN NAME), NJ. I spend a lot of my free time and hard-earned money patronizing the state’s local breweries with my friends and family because I am a big fan of locally-produced craft beer and the small businesses that brew it.
On Friday, July 1st, all of my local breweries were arbitrarily hit with a long list of anticompetitive restrictions on their license by the NJ Division of Alcohol Beverage Control (NJABC) which has drastically changed my ability to enjoy the atmosphere and offerings of my local breweries. These restrictions are anti-consumer and artificially tip the scales against brewers and the small businesses they’ve created.
Did you know: A brewery can get fined or lose their license if an international soccer tournament happens to come on the TV and nobody changes the channel immediately. Breweries have to choose between hosting my birthday party or someone’s wedding because they have a cap on private parties. Breweries can’t support the local Independence Day celebration or the Memorial Day parade because it counts as an extra “off-site event” that they might not have planned for. A brewery advertising the fact that their local coal fired pizza truck is slinging pies in the street can get the brewery shut down.
Breweries can’t donate a keg to a fundraiser in support of a children’s charity any more, or offer discounts to military veterans or volunteer firefighters who serve their community. Breweries can’t help arrange an outside caterer for a local high school reunion to have food to help their customers consume responsibly and dance the night away. Breweries can’t sell (or even give for free!) the designated driver a cup of coffee to enjoy while their friends responsibly partake in handcrafted ales and lagers. Isn’t that ridiculous?
In many towns, the local brewery as an anchor business is now limited in the events it can host that draw not only local consumers, but also out of town customers who spend their money in a myriad of ways that help the town. Towns that were dying have seen a revitalization driven by these local economic engines creating space, patronizing local artists, advertising not just their product but the experience of being in that town.
This creates fewer spaces for young artists looking to start or build their musical career. It not only disincentivizes local business collaboration, it actually penalizes it. One tenet of the regulations requires each employee to be Safe Serve certified, then strictly prohibits the two most critical components to ensuring the safe consumption of alcohol: food availability.
My local brewery brings people to my town, gives me a comfortable place to spend time with my family and friends, supports my community, and has increased our town’s ratables. It’s important to me that they are able to survive, and have the opportunity to thrive.
Big money interests from outside our community have their thumb on the scale but it’s important that you understand that the voters in your district like me, my family, and my neighbors value these brewers. These interests’ motives to protect their liquor license value should not stand in the way of your constituents like me from being able to enjoy my local brewery without these current restrictions.
I am asking that you support legislation codifying breweries’ ability to host events, donate beer, provide discounts to those who give back to their communities, and show whatever live television programming they (and their customers) wish. Permanent legislation will prevent attempts in the future to take away these valuable consumer-first protections and imposing unfair, anticompetitive edicts on small businesses.
I appreciate your consideration and support of our grassroots, consumer-first campaign to roll back these unfair rules and enact permanent legislative remedies.
Send this info to your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers, and use the share buttons below to post it to your social!
WE CAN FIX THIS IF WE UNITE AND WRITE OUR LAWMAKERS AND SUPPORT THE ONES THAT SUPPORT US!
But what else can you do?
- Sign the Change.org petition
- Sign this Brewers Association social campaign to get attention
- Watch this 5 minute interview with Mike from NJCB on WPIX11.
- Write your local reps
- Share this post
- Tell your friends and family
- Talk to your local breweries
- Support the restaurants and bars that support the breweries
- Do what’s right