Vacation destinations: Craft breweries will now get boost from Division of Travel and Tourism

New Jersey has seen a 43% growth in its craft beer industry since 2015. The state, in fact, is tied with Kentucky for the most craft brewery growth in the nation. A new law will help the breweries — and the state — benefit.

On Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that will require the Division of Travel and Tourism to group breweries by geography and style and establish and promote a series of brewery tour trails.

The new law requires the travel and tourism division to publish vacation and day-trip ideas focuses on specific brewery trails, including nearby lodging, restaurants and entertainment attractions.

A minimum of three trails are required.

State Sen. Steve Oroho (R-Sparta), one of five primary sponsors of the bill, said the new law will be a boost for business.

“New Jersey is home to more than 100 craft breweries, and the number continues to grow,” he said. “By promoting responsible brewery tours, we will introduce more people to the creative craft beers produced in microbatches by these unique brewpubs. It is going to be a boost for the niche industry, as well as nearby complementary businesses like sandwich and dessert shops.”

Assemblyman Hal Wirths (R-Sparta) said the promotion will help all businesses.

“New Jersey has some of the best craft beer in the nation,” he said. “Independently, the breweries are doing really well because of the high quality of the product. Giving them more exposure by creating beer trails will add to the good reputation while helping other businesses in the area.”

At least three breweries would be linked in a vacation itinerary that would identify nearby restaurants, lodging, arts and cultural attractions and more on an interactive website.

“I want to thank my Assembly and Senate colleagues for creating legislation to help our craft breweries and other businesses, and the governor for signing this legislation,” Wirths said. “Small business owners need all the help they can get.”