CAPE MAY, NJ — Senator Tom Kean joined Garden State craft brewers on a tour of Cape May Brewing Company’s new facilities to promote his three now-bipartisan jobs bills that would help expand opportunities for New Jersey’s brewing, agriculture, tourism, restaurant, retail and transportation industries.
“I’m proud to have the support of New Jersey’s brewpubs, microbreweries and farmers in pushing this timely legislation to help grow multiple sectors of New Jersey’s economy and create new employment and tourism opportunities,” Kean said. “These three bills will draw more people to our attractions and eliminate prohibitions on how breweries can open, develop and expand. They will double-up on the vast successes of my bipartisan brewing legislation that was enacted in 2012.”
In short, Senator Kean’s S-2910 would permit local breweries to sell their products at community farm markets in municipalities that do not prohibit alcoholic beverages; S-2911 would allow consumers to enjoy local food at microbreweries, while they visit, take a tour or sample beer; and S-2912 would allow New Jersey brew pubs to annually sell and distribute up to 1,000 barrels of malt alcoholic beverages to state-licensed retailers and retailers licensed in other states. All three bills, introduced in late May, have garnered Democrat sponsorship in the Senate and Assembly.
“Cape May Brewing Company is grateful to Senator Kean for his support of Jersey craft beer and, ipso facto, an improved state economy,” said CMBC President Ryan Krill. “While microbreweries have created hundreds of jobs in recent years, these bills would ensure progress doesn’t stagnate. There’s more at stake here than beer; this is about nourishing the state’s agritourism industry and, in a broader sense, its entrepreneurial spirit.”
“Our state’s microbreweries and brewpubs are always looking for new, innovative ways to connect with consumers, local businesses and the communities around them, said Eric Orlando, Vice President of Kaufman Zita Group and representative of the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild. “Not only will these three proposals bring about new marketing opportunities for New Jersey’s burgeoning craft beer industry, but afford other local industries the ability to capitalize on the growing attention being paid to our homegrown microbreweries and brewpubs.”
Senator Kean was a prime sponsor of bipartisan legislation signed in 2012 to modernize New Jersey laws for both microbreweries and brewpubs. Among its numerous provisions, the law allows brewpubs to produce 10,000 barrels a year and open up to 10 locations each. For microbreweries, including Cape May Brewing, that law has brought about new sales and marketing opportunities by allowing these homegrown small businesses the opportunity to offer their products as part of brewery tours and for off-site consumption.
“Cape May Brewing Company is a shining example of the good that happens when we address antiquated laws and regulations to create more opportunities and grow our economy,” Kean said. “Since 2012, they have grown from one employee to 36 employees and counting with extraordinary new facilities.”
Since 2012, the number of New Jersey breweries has doubled to 36, with 16 more in planning. The industry now employs thousands of people and makes a $776.9 million annual economic impact for New Jersey.