HACKENSACK, N.J. (PIX11) — The New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control introduced new restrictions that Blake Crawford, the owner of Alementary Brewing, said slowed down his business this summer.
The new restrictions limit how many events breweries across New Jersey can hold each year. Breweries across the state have been navigating the new rules for the past two months, which include requiring patrons to take a tour of the brewery before consuming any of their products and restricting them from working with food trucks.
“We had all these things scheduled for the end of the year, and unfortunately, we had to pull back on a big chunk of that,” Crawford told PIX11 News.
Three pieces of bipartisan legislation have been introduced to relieve the pressure on small businesses in the two months since the restrictions went into effect. According to Eric Orlando, executive director of The Brewers Guild of New Jersey, the state’s breweries are now rethinking how they operate in the face of inflation and a looming recession.
“Are we going to open up a certain amount of days a week? Is it even worth keeping the lights on at certain points?” Orlando said.
“This, without a doubt, is possibly the worst time to implement new regulations,” Crawford said.
Gov. Phil Murphy, who in the past has sided with breweries, has not yet intervened, only telling PIX11 News at a recent appearance that something is “brewing.”
“We need a better mousetrap. We need to unburden these entities, and we are working hard to find a smart way forward,” said Murphy.
Crawford is hopeful a resolution to this issue can come.
“Let’s get all the interested parties back into a room and figure this out,” Crawford said.