Breweries Under Attack
                                   by Dan Loggins
                       

Greetings Bob -

Well I just read an article by Chris Franklin and it seems government
has reared its power again here in my state of NJ and I for one am
not happy about his anti-beer and anti-consumer regulation. Here's
the story..

A new ruling just issued by the state cracks down on what brewery
owners will be allowed to do and now requires them to obtain special
permits from the state — a decision that craft beer supporters like
me in think will severely set back this burgeoning industry. The force
behind it are restaurant and bar owners.  They of course say the
rules will put brewery owners more in line with others in the alcohol
industry.

The “special ruling” issued by the New Jersey Division of Alcohol
Beverage Control will affect the 88 limited breweries that are now
operating here in my state — many of which have opened since the
state relaxed some of its laws in 2012 — as well as the 23
operations who have applications pending.

What do you think of these new regulations, Bob? 1. Breweries can
now only hold 25 “special events,” such as paint and sip nights, trivia
nights, live televised sporting events and live music nights.
2.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. 3. Breweries are limited to 52 private parties (birthdays,
weddings, anniversaries) a year.4.They must electronically notify the
ABC 10 days prior to holding the event.  
5.The brewery can no longer have restaurant menus available, or
coordinate with other vendors, such as food trucks, to provide food.

I'm especially bothered by the limit of only 25 events a year which
require approval by the state..I often enjoy brewery events like live
music, education, wellness, animal rescue, community gatherings,
karaoke, trivia, yoga, and others. They are also limiting private
events that help sustain a brewery. And forcing  restrictions like
removing local restaurant menus is especially burdensome. These
new regs hurt the entire community and eventually could result in
the lose of many jobs.  So the question is Why? Who benefits from
this?  The answer is obvious since the ruling specifically targets and
hurts the smallest of breweries in downtowns and redevelopment
zones.

Restaurants and bars have the finances and clout to hire the best
lobbyists.  Their investment has paid off to the detriment of all of us
who love local craft breweries.  

If you believe as I do here's an online petition you can sign to
change these new regulations: https://brewedindependent.org/

Hope you publish this Bob.  It's an important issue to your readers in
New Jersey and in fact anywhere where craft is under attack.

Thank you!
----------
Thanks Dan. I looked at the new regulations and can see your point
however you have to consider that a bar in NJ might have paid several
hundred thousand dollars for their license while a brewery likely paid
only a couple of thousand. In any event I'm guessing we haven't heard
the last of this issue.  If things continue to change please let us know.
.
Again, many thanks for sending your article in- please write again!

I'd like to  invite everyone to send me their own columns about anything
related to beer in any way just as Dan did.   I select the best and publish
them here.  So join in and get writing!

Cheers!
Bob
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Bob Montemurro
"the ombudsman of beer"

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