Effective December 1, 2013, the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control began accepting applications for a new craft distillery license for distillers located in New Jersey. This new license, which makes it easier and more cost-effective for small distillers to distill and manufacture spirits within the state, was born out of new legislation that was signed into law by Governor Christie last August.
The license will entitle the holder, subject to certain rules and regulations, to manufacture up to 20,000 gallons of distilled alcoholic beverages annually, as well as to rectify, blend, treat and mix distilled alcoholic beverages. Further, the license permits the holder to sell and distribute to licensed wholesalers and retailers as well as to retail consumers for consumption both on the holder’s licensed premises and off-premises in quantities up to five liters per person (but only in connection with a distillery tour). The license also permits sampling in specified quantities.
The license application fee is $938. However, there are certain information requests that must be submitted in connection with the qualifying investigation procedure by the Division, including business formation documents, financial records, and proof of insurance. In addition, all applicants will be required to complete a state background check, furnish certain detailed information concerning the licensed premises and publish a public notice referencing their application.
While the licensing process involves compliance with detailed informational requirements, the craft distillery license presents a cost-effective alternative to the expensive New Jersey plenary distillery license and signifies the state’s welcoming a new craft distillery industry within its borders.
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