TRENTON – New Jersey will step up its promotion of the growing craft beer industry in the state under a new law that requires its tourism division to create a brewery trails program.
The law, enacted Friday, directs the Travel and Tourism Division to create at least three trails that consist of a series of microbreweries linked geographically or thematically by artistic, cultural, historical, entertainment or other destinations.
The rapid growth of brewing activity in New Jersey was reflected in statements by legislative sponsors of the new law made following its enactment, which indifferently indicated that the state is home to 98 breweries, more than 100 breweries or 108.
The New Jersey Craft Beer Group says there are currently 131 breweries in the state, as well as 22 breweries.
“Other states, such as Maine and Vermont, have already had great success including brewing trails on their state travel websites,” said Sen. James Beach, D-Camden. “By making this area more visible and accessible to both tourists and locals, this law will allow us to support and grow the New Jersey craft beer industry. “
“By promoting responsible brewery tours, we will introduce more people to the creative craft beers produced in micro-batches by these unique breweries,” said Senator Steve Oroho, R-Sussex. “This is going to be a boost for the niche industry, as well as nearby complementary businesses like sandwich shops and desserts.”
The state will post vacation itineraries and day trip ideas based on specific brewery trails on the Travel and Tourism Division website, including surrounding attractions, restaurants, dining options. accommodation and entertainment.
The website will provide information on each holder of a Limited Brewery License or Restricted License in the state.
“New Jersey has some of the best craft beers in the country,” said Assembly Member Hal Wirths, R-Sussex. “Regardless, the breweries are doing very well because of the high quality of the product. Giving them more visibility by creating beer trails will add to the good reputation while helping other businesses in the area.
Assembly women Carol Murphy, D-Burlington, and Valerie Vainieri Huttle, D-Bergen, said in a joint statement that craft breweries, like many businesses, were placed in a difficult position to adapt to the pandemic.
“As we continue to reopen, these business owners could use more help to attract customers,” they said. “A specific trail and website to promote craft brewery sites will celebrate the resourceful diversity of New Jersey businesses and also help support a growing industry in the state through the promotion of its sites.”
Michael Symons is the State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at [email protected].
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