(TRENTON) – The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee has advanced legislation by Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) to allow for the licensure of micro-distilleries in New Jersey. Earlier this year, Senator Norcross’s bill to update the state’s craft-brew industry was signed into law. Similarly to that bill, S2286 seeks to expand micro-distilleries in New Jersey as tourist destinations as well as job-creators. “We have seen the success of craft breweries in New Jersey, as well as growing interest in craft-distilleries across the country,” said Senator Norcross. “By capitalizing on this interest and creating an industry around it, we can stimulate New Jersey’s economy in a sustainable way.” A plenary distillery license costs $12,500 per year in New Jersey and has no production limits. These smaller distilleries would be limited to producing 20,000 gallons of distilled alcoholic beverage per year for a $938 license, and tour participants will be allowed to purchase up to five liters of distillery product for consumption off-site. Another condition of Norcross’s bill is that 51% of the materials must be sourced in New Jersey. “These distilleries have the potential to become destinations, not just production facilities,” Senator Norcross added. “We’re opening our doors to new industry, creating jobs where there weren’t before. If we can do that while helping strengthen the businesses that already employ and support our residents, it becomes a win-win.” The bill was passed out of committee by a vote of 3 to 2, and now awaits consideration by the full Senate.
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