NJ lawmakers advance brewery relief bill

In November, Gov. Phil Murphy conditionally vetoed the legislation

In late November, Gov. Phil Murphy conditionally vetoed a bill that provided relief for brewery owners because he said it didn’t go far enough. While Murphy didn’t get the sweeping reform he hoped for, this is a bigger step than the previous legislation.

State Senator Troy Singleton says the bill puts about 1,400 inactive liquor licenses back in business.

“This is frankly the lowest of low-hanging fruit, taking these inactive licenses off the bench and putting them back into circulation,” he said. “And I’m proud that we’re able to do that, as well as the other pieces that are now tied together in this bill.”

Singleton says he thinks it makes for a stronger, all-encompassing package that’s going to spur economic development in the state.

Brewers Guild members applauded the legislation, as it removes many of the restrictions they have been complaining about. With this, breweries can serve other non-alcoholic beverages, coordinate with food vendors, and serve snacks, soda, coffee, and water. They also won’t be limited in the number of events they can host.

Under the bill, shopping malls would be awarded additional liquor licenses to help attract new businesses.

The bill is expected to pass easily when it comes up for a full vote — possibly next week. It would then head to Murphy to be signed into law.

Original Article