Rutgers-Eagleton Poll: New Jerseyans support removing restrictions on breweries

New Jerseyans across the board supported a number of liquor license reforms being proposed that deal with the quantity of licenses allowed and how licenses can be used, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, released this week.

Almost all residents were in favor of allowing breweries greater ability to serve food on their
premises — with 92% supporting versus 6% in opposition. 71% were supportive of giving small towns additional “retail consumption licenses,” allowing more restaurants to serve alcohol; 26% opposed this.

Solid majorities were also in favor of lifting the current restriction on the number of events a
brewery can hold in a year (63% support to 26% oppose) and allowing towns that have active liquor licenses not tied to a specific establishment to transfer those licenses to another town in the same county (57% support to 34% oppose).

New Jerseyans were divided only when it comes to providing a $30,000-50,000 tax credit to current license holders as a way to make up for the possible decrease in value of their existing license due to the addition of new licenses: 45% supported this, while 42% opposed it and 13% were unsure.

“This poll is yet another indication that New Jersey residents overwhelmingly oppose the senseless and harmful restrictions on New Jersey breweries — regulations that range from prohibiting food from being sold to limiting the number of events at their facilities,” Eric Orlando, executive director of the Brewer’s Guild of New Jersey, said. “In today’s political climate, getting people to agree on any policy issue is a challenge. But with 92% of residents in support, it’s clear that nearly every New Jerseyan thinks breweries should have greater freedom to operate their businesses and serve their customers.

“This is the second poll in a month that shows the large majority of New Jerseyans in strong support of lifting the constraints on breweries. It’s now time before July 1 for the Legislature to pass and Gov. (Phil) Murphy to sign S-3038/A-4630 — common-sense, bipartisan legislation to remove these limitations. Supporting breweries is a winning issue for our economy, our workforce, our tourism industry, and all our communities.”