A brewery in New Jersey sue The state passed a shocking set of new rules in July designed to protect restaurants — as well as bars, grocery and liquor stores — from competition.This suit used to be archive Represented by nonprofit Pacific Legal Foundation in New Jersey court last week Death of Fox Brewing CompanyNew Jersey Craft Brewery.
These rules, which could put many of the state’s craft brewers out of business, are unfounded and bad. New Jersey’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Commission has made it clear that they are not designed to protect consumers, nor in any way, but to protect the state’s strong, deep-rooted alcohol interests.
In 2019, I noticed in an article Pillar Under the rules proposed at the time, ABC claim The special ruling seeks to “strike a balance between the craft beer industry and restaurants.” I pointed out that the so-called “balance” seems to be determined by the restaurant industry in the state. “The state’s strong restaurant lobby… be opposed to ‘Any legislation that would ease the state’s uniquely restrictive [brewery] rule. ‘”
in another Pillar In July, after the rules went into effect, I explained that what the ABC really meant by “balanced” was that it wanted to help restaurateurs and others selling alcohol by hurting small brewers. “Whatever you call it – bad policy, protectionism, crony capitalism, or just nonsense,” I wrote.
In that July column, I dug up and tore down the “outrageous and stupid” rules and detailed that they now require every brewery to:
- Customers must be asked to visit the brewery in detail before purchasing any alcohol consumed on or off-site. Tours may not include beer tastings. (“The licensee must provide such tours, including but not limited to consumer sampling, before allowing any on-site consumption.”)
- Foods in excess of “water and single-use, prepackaged cookies, chips, nuts and similar snacks” may not be sold or served in small quantities. Brewers are also prohibited from partnering with one or more food trucks to sell food on the premises.
- Mixed beverages containing beer may not be sold on premises.
- Free drinks or discounted drinks may not be offered “as a gesture of good will”.
- No brewing and sale of coffee or sale of any soda not produced by the brewery.
- No “‘pop-up’ shops, fairs or craft fairs”.
- No more than 25 special events can be held each year. Special events include live music, trivia nights, “tournament sports on TV” or the broadcast of any TV show (news, sports, movies, etc.) that the brewery promotes via social media.
- No outside marketing company may be hired to assist with any special event.
No wonder breweries are already affected by the new regulations.
“Our business has been severely impacted since the rules came into effect on July 1stone,”Say Chuck Garrity, president of Clarksboro Fox Brewing Company, In an email to me last week. Garrity’s brewery, located across the Delaware River from Philadelphia and other Pennsylvania cities, doesn’t have to deal with New Jersey’s abominable killjoy rules, he noted, and his sales have halved since the ruling went into effect.
“The ABC of New Jersey is regulating entertainment, not alcohol,” Garrity told me. “They are trying to [ruin] The experience of our clients, compel them to visit first, and if they are repeat customers, ask for their personal information. They also limit our ability to provide our customers with a great experience through live music and events. This is completely wrong.“
This is. I’ve explained that the root of the problem is New Jersey’s cap on the same liquor license it requires.By creating artificial scarcity, restaurants and others who want a liquor license will now have to pay up to million dollars for the license. As a result, they work hard to protect “their” stuff from competition, even though their relevant part (the license) has no intrinsic value other than the paper on which it is printed.
“The ABC’s rule is a transparent attempt at New Jersey’s growing craft beer industry to support bars, restaurants and liquor stores,” PLF attorney Caleb Trotter told me last week. “If the government’s inherently unfair pick of winners and losers Not’ enough that the ABC didn’t even follow proper process to make its rules, which makes them invalid under New Jersey’s Administrative Procedure Act. Finally, arbitrarily limiting the number of events a brewery can promote to 25 per year is a clear violation of New Jersey and the U.S. Constitution’s protection of free speech. We look to the courts to rectify this egregious attempt to limit economic opportunity and happiness in New Jersey.“
I will cup for this.