New Jersey is the home to over three dozen craft breweries and brewpubs which have won many accolades at beer competitions and festivals throughout the country. In addition, the craft beer industry contributed 8,565 full-time jobs in 2012 to the State’s economy.
Aiming to generate more revenue to the craft beer industry by providing an accessible way for residents and visitors to view brewery sites, legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Carol Murphy (D-Burlington), and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) cleared the full Assembly on Monday, 74-0.
The bill (A-1091) directs the Division of Travel and Tourism within the Department of State to identify a series of breweries to be a part of a brewery trail. The division would create no less than three brewery trails to be identified for the program Special consideration will be taken for those who are geographically close to other breweries or have a specific theme or are surrounded by the arts, cultural, historical, entertainment, or other tourism destinations. The Division of Travel and Tourism, under the bill, to develop and maintain a website that provides the information of every holder of a limited brewery license or restricted license.
The sponsors issued the following statement on the bill:
“The Brewery Association has reported that New Jersey breweries are growing at a faster rate than Pennsylvania, but below New York’s 514% increase. New Jersey had a 454% increase in breweries from the opening of 24 breweries in 2011 to 109 breweries in 2018. In 2019, the craft brewery industry nationwide saw a 6 percent growth bringing in $29.3 billion in revenue.
“The pandemic has placed many businesses in a tough spot, including New Jersey’s craft breweries. Like other small businesses, they have worked to adapt to the times with outdoor seating and curbside delivery. As we continue to reopen, these business owners could use more assistance in attracting customers. A specific trail and website designated to promote craft brewery sites will celebrate the ingenious business diversity that is New Jersey and also help to sustain a growing industry in the state with promotion of its venues.”