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 and other alcohol based companies like NJCB. These rules limit the number of events that breweries can host and festivals they can attend, restrict their creativity in marketing and programming, eliminate discounts, restrict size of TVs and reduce YOUR opportunity to enjoy the sweet, golden fruit of their labor. Here is our fight and timeline of events.
SIGNED: Janurary 16.
Signed! Bill 4265 has been signed by Gov Murphy. Read below and let’s celebrate!
Party on Wednesday, January 17
Rumor is that Gov Murphy is going to sign bill S4265 on Tuesday. Either way, please come to Jersey Cyclone Brewing on Wednesday, January 17, night starting at 7PM for a party to celebrate and honor all of the hard working people that have put in so much time and effort into trying to modernize our antiquated brewery laws. It’s gonna be a party!
update: January 8. Bill 4265 passed.
update: January 4. Sign the new BIll???
It looks like the lawmakers have a compromise bill with some of the things Murphy wanted added but with all of the brewery rules requested still in it. It will be introduced on Thursday and come to a vote on Monday to get it into the Governors hands to sign. It should PERMIT breweries, wineries, and distilleries to hold unlimited events and private parties on their grounds but no more than 25 off site. They would also be allowed to sell food including crackers, chips, nuts, and other snacks, as well as coordinating other food with with an outside vendor. It should allow for discounts and Membership Clubs like NJCB to be legal. it should also remove the tour requirement.
update: December 29. Enforcement of Special ruling on PAUSE
Enforcement of the rules including events, TV size, discounts, etc are on PAUSE until January 16. The updated conditions on the bill should be signed and presented to the Governor before the paused date.
update: November. conditional veto
Despite the fact that Senate Bill 3038 (S-3038) / Assembly Bill 4630 (A-4630) was passed unanimously with your support last spring, Governor Murphy has conditionally vetoed the bill and returned back to the Legislature with controversial changes impacting the state’s liquor license system.
Now it’s time to fight this fight! Use this link and spread the word. WRITE now and stop this madness!
Text the Governor.
Send Governor Murphy a message about signing the bill. The number is 732-605-5455. Just be nice even though he won’t read it.
update: August 11. Read this from NJBiz
Here’s a great article from NJBiz. Let’s keep writing the gov’r and Sign The Bill, Phil.
update: june 30. sign it, Gov’r.
The bill passed unanimously and now it’s in the Governor’s desk ready to be signed. Click here to write Gov. Murphy and tell him to sign the bill into law. The time to act is NOW. You can. YOU CAN fix this.
What will change if signed into law. Click here to read all of the rules including discounts are back, the size of the television no longer matters, food trucks can be nearby without fear of being fined, live music is okay and so much more.
update: June 16 2023. DO THIS NOW!
New Jersey is home to over 140 craft breweries, including , which are currently under attack.
Last July, every brewery in the state was hit with onerous restrictions on their license by the New Jersey Division of Alcohol Beverage Control (NJABC), which drastically changed how breweries can operate, down to entertainment options in their taprooms.
These unfair restrictions should end…it’s vital for our growth and the experience we create for you when you visit.
Senate Bill (S-3038) and Assembly Bill 4630 (A-4630) address these restrictions directly – a vote could occur on both in the coming days.
The key to ensuring this vote happens is making our voices heard by writing our state Assembly members and Senators, telling them we support S-3038 and A-4630, and asking them to vocally support and VOTE YES on the legislation. It’s more important now than ever before (and even if you’ve done so before), as we expect these bills to come up for a vote before the end of the month.
You can do this in less than five minutes by visiting: https://p2a.co/A1t8dqZ.
Can you spare five minutes to help and over 140 others like us? Thanks for jumping into the fight.
update: June 1 2023.
We need to convince the leadership in the Assembly to list A4630 for a vote on June 20th. So we need everyone to email the Speaker of the Assembly, Craig Coughlin (https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislative-roster/319/assemblyman-coughlin/contact or AsmCoughlin@njleg.org) and the Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislative-roster/155/assemblyman-greenwald/contact or AsmGreenwald@njleg.org ) and ask them to list A4630 for a vote on June 20th. Let them know that it’s important that they move this bill forward now, before our licenses renew on July 1st with all the burdensome regulations still attached.
Once we know that the bill is listed for a vote in the Assembly (hopefully on June 20th) we need you, and all of your customers, to reach out to your local Assembly members, and ask them to vote in support of A4630. The most effective way to do this is by email – they tally all the emails they receive on any particular bill or issue and that’s a report that their offices actually look at. So letters, phone calls and in-person visits are all good too, but an email will generate a tangible number that will show how much support our bill has. You can find the correct emails by going to https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislative-roster and selecting your town from the drop down menu at the top right (“filter by municipality”). If you need help, please reach out and we can get you the correct contact information. We’ll also be generating some graphics you can use in your social media to ask your customers to email as well.
Once we know that the bill is listed for a vote in the Senate (hopefully also on June 20th) we’ll need to do the same email campaign for you and your customers to email your local Senator and ask them to vote in support of S3038.
TLDR: please email Assembly leadership to get A4630 listed for a vote on June 20th. And please email your Senator and Assembly members and ask them to vote yes on A4630 and S3038.
…as of February 1, Gov Murphy said he “can’t” fix these issues. Here is what he said on Ask The Governor on News12.
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