Stark & Stark Shareholder Dolores R. Kelley, Esq., with contributions from Associate Marshall T. Kizner, Esq., authored a chapter in the book Moonshiner to Craft Distillery, Leading Lawyers on the Business of Distilling (Inside the Minds)[1], which was published by Thomson Reuters. The chapter they authored, entitled “Ensuring Distillery Compliance Requires an Interdisciplinary Approach,” explains the effect of the evolution of distillery laws on the craft distillery industry.

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On October 25, 2014, Stark & Stark’s Beer & Spirits Group presented to local entrepreneurs “Legal Considerations for Start-Up Distillers in New Jersey” at Cooper River Distillers in Camden, New Jersey. Enacted in December of 2013, N.J.S.A. 33:1-10.3d allows for Craft Distillery Licenses to be issued in New Jersey.

Marshall Kizner, co-chair of Stark

In a prior post, the Restricted Brewery License was reviewed. This license permits the operation of a “brew pub” on the licensed premises. In this respect, the brew pub may supply malt alcoholic beverages that it brews on premises for consumption in an adjoining restaurant that is operated regularly and principally for the purpose of providing meals to its customers and having kitchen and dining facilities. As previously discussed, the holder of a Restricted Brewery License may only produce up to 10,000 barrels for on-premises consumption or sale to licensed wholesalers, and this license may only be granted to a party that also owns a Plenary Retail Consumption License that is operated in conjunction with the above-referenced restaurant.
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In an effort to level the playing field with winemakers and craft brewers, new legislation was proposed in the House of Representatives on February 25, 2014 that would greatly reduce the federal excise tax rate on craft distillers. Congressman Chris Gibson filed the bill. HR 4083, which is named the “Distillery Excise Tax Reform Act of 2014”.
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In an earlier entry, the new Craft Distillery License was reviewed, which became effective for issuance December 1, 2013. Generally, this license presents a cost-effective option for artisan distillers to establish operations within the State. It also provides distillers the opportunity to generate revenues at their licensed premises by permitting them to offer their products for retail sale direct to consumers for on or off premises consumption. However, in making the determination to apply for this license, there are important considerations that the prospective licensee should take into account before establishing operations.
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Next fall, Auburn University in Alabama will become only the second university in the country to offer a degree in brewing beer. With this new degree, the University is attempting to tap into the booming craft brew industry. Auburn’s Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Hospitality Management has worked closely with the business and engineering schools to create a comprehensive curriculum for the new graduate certification in brewing science.
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