The New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control just put a whole batch of new regulations on the dozens of craft breweries across the state.

Among the new rules are:

  • Breweries can now only hold 25 “special events” like trivia nights, live music, paint-and-sip, and live televised sporting events.
  • Breweries are limited to 12 special permits a year to sell products off the brewery premises such as festivals, athletic events, and other civic events.
  • Breweries are limited to 52 private parties (birthdays, weddings, anniversaries) a year.
  • Breweries must notify the ABC 10 days prior to holding the event.

With our yearly BrewMaster Madness tournament, we've gotten to know a bunch of local breweries, and when we do our tours we always end up spending a lot of time just hanging out and talking with the owners. It's always been interesting to hear about the tons of regulations already placed on breweries. It is kind of an odd business, which is the argument made by the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association president Marilou Halvorsen. They point out that breweries are not quite bars, not quite restaurants, not quite wholesalers; that grey area is what made the state lay out these new regulations.

There are some positives, like being able to sell soda, water, and snacks, but many of the breweries aren't happy, and have started the petition above.

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