Press statement from Eric Orlando, Executive Director, Brewers Guild of New Jersey regarding NJ Division of Alcohol Beverage Control’s (NJABC) issuing of Special Conditions on limited brewery licensees

In response to the issuing of new Special Conditions by the New Jersey Division of Alcohol Beverage Control (NJABC) on each limited brewery licensee in the state beginning Friday, July 1st, 2022, the Brewers Guild of New Jersey’s (www.brewersguildnj.com) Executive Director, Eric Orlando, issued the following statement:

“While our organization and other industry representatives had previous knowledge of the intent of NJABC to issue special conditions on brewery licensees beginning July 1st, 2022, we are still disheartened to learn that our feedback on ways to improve and modernize these rules was not incorporated by the Division in their final conditions. Our organization offered several proposed changes in the last two years to regulators with the hopes that they would become part of these conditions in the interim and become the foundation of more permanent industry regulations moving forward. Instead, breweries in the state, still struggling from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now also impacted by record inflation and ongoing supply chain issues, will be limited in their ability this summer and the foreseeable future to serve their customers and provide the types of local, community-centric hospitality options many in our state have become accustomed to and thoroughly enjoy.”

“Our Guild remains hopeful that the Murphy Administration will recognize the need for reform in the wake of the pandemic to keep our local beer industry growing. We hope forthcoming regulations issued by NJABC later this year utilize our recommendations for the good of the dozens of small businesses which make up the state’s craft beer industry. While we understand the NJABC is only empowered to enforce the laws as written, our Guild believes the imposition of these broad conditions at this juncture by the Division is extremely problematic and need to be remedied.”

“Again, while the issuing of special conditions on licensees is discouraging, we are hopeful that our legislative leaders, on a bi-partisan basis in both houses, will enact the statutory changes needed to aid New Jersey’s craft beer industry to the point where we can achieve a similar level of economic success obtained by those in the craft beer industry in neighboring states which face far less restrictions and are allowed access to more business opportunities to help serve their customers. The Brewers Guild of New Jersey will continue to advocate for our members, the industry statewide, and our local consumers, and we remain hopeful that our elected lawmakers, at the behest of local businesses and their constituents, will work to remove the barriers which put our businesses’ livelihoods at risk.”

A copy of the new Special Conditions and the Guild’s proposed changes to the NJABC May 2019 Special Ruling Authorizing Certain Activities by Holders of Limited Brewery Licenses, which serve as a basis of the Special Conditions, are available upon request.

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