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Beer in New Jersey

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Beer in New Jersey

The production of beer in New Jersey has been in a state of recovery since Prohibition (1919-1933) and the Great Depression (1929-1945). Currently, the state has 28 licensed breweries, including a large production brewery owned by an international beverage company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and several independent microbreweries and brewpubs. The growth of the microbreweries and brewpubs since the 1990s has been aided by the loosening of the state's licensing restrictions and strict alcohol control laws, many of which were a legacy of Prohibition.



The first brewery in New Jersey was established in a fledgling settlement of Pavonia in what is now Hoboken when the state was part the Dutch New Netherland colony. It was short-lived and destroyed by a band of Lenape in 1643 during Governor Kieft's War (1643-1645). Large German immigrant populations in Newark and Jersey City led to the establishment of a healthy brewing industry in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Brewing beer became the fourth-largest industry in Newark, and names like Kruger, Hensler, and Feigenspan were among the leading industrial families in Newark.

Later, regional (and later national) brands Ballantine, and Rheingold, and Pabst, among others operated large breweries in Newark and surrounding towns. With accusations of German propaganda and persecution of German-Americans during World War I, many of the state's brewers relocated to the American midwest. Prohibition closed many of the remaining breweries in the state. For instance, of Newark's 27 breweries before Prohibition, none of them exist today. As the industry reorganized and consolidated in the 1970s and 1980s to compete nationally, brewers like Ballantine (in the 1960s), Rheingold (1977), and Pabst (1985) closed their doors.

Presently, the state is home to one large-production brewery, Anheuser-Busch in Newark, which opened in 1951 and is used for brewing Budweiser and Rolling Rock. New Jersey offers a limited brewery license for microbreweries and a restricted brewery license for brewpubs that has allowed the industry to grow in recent years. In 1995, the Ship Inn Restaurant and Brewery in Milford became the first brewpub in New Jersey. Since then the industry has expanded to 28 breweries, most of which are microbreweries or brewpubs. In 2010, New Jersey craft brewers produced 32,000 barrels (992,000 gallons) of craft brew. In 2012, New Jersey liberalized its licensing laws to allow microbreweries to sell beer by the glass as part of a tour, and sell up to 15.5 gallons (i.e., a keg) for off-premises consumption. The same legislation permits brewpubs to brew up to 10,000 barrels of beer per year, and sell to wholesalers and at festivals.

Brewery licenses and regulation

Breweries in the state of New Jersey must obtain licenses from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and from the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. New Jersey taxes beer at a rate of 12 cents per gallon.


Beer in New Jersey Wikipedia

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