Somerdale, NJ— At their monthly meeting on April 6, the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild unveiled the Best Practices Document it’s been working on since last December.
The list of guidelines effectively cleans up some of the murkier parts of the law surrounding the tasting rooms of limited breweries in the state, making it clear that these are not traditional bars and have no intention of operating as such.
The document concedes that tasting rooms, which will close by 10pm as long as local municipalities don’t dictate earlier, are not places for bar games (ie pool, ping pong, etc) or live television (ie sporting events), and that food vendors are not currently allowed on site for on-premise consumption.
But these restrictions do not apply, the document provides, in the case of private events. Furthermore, tasting rooms are within their rights to provide free bar snacks and permit outside food brought in by customers.
“The goal is to clarify some gray areas,” says Guild President Ryan Krill. “We want to better promote craft beer tourism, while maintaining a positive rapport with other alcohol-related businesses.”
The announcement comes at an exciting time for the Guild, whose membership is at an all-time high of 66, including 33 breweries and 17 breweries-in-planning. The association is in the process of hiring an executive director, launching a new website set for reveal in June, and planning for three major beer festivals. For the first, Battleship Fest taking place on the US Navy’s most decorated battleship at the Camden Waterfront on June 27, over 100 tickets have already been sold.
“We’re going to need a bigger boat,” says Krill. “It’s a good problem to have.”
For more information on these or other Guild happenings, subscribe to the group’s monthly newsletter by visiting njbeer.org, or follow them on Twitter @njbeer.
The Garden State Craft Brewers Guild is an association of the restricted and limited license holders in New Jersey. Our goal is to promote the craft brewing industry in New Jersey by means of education, promotion of special events and other social, civic and economic initiatives.
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