For years, small and independent craft breweries have been turning the beer industry upside down.
Now you have a seal to show it loudly and proudly.
Your risk-taking, innovation and relentless desire to build better communities have made America the craft beer capital of the world.
When Jamie Queli opened Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing in Cherry Hill, N.J., in 2014, several elected officials and a crowd of local beer lovers came to celebrate the ribbon cutting. A scant number of bar/restaurant representatives stood among them, and three years later, at least two of her closest bar and restaurant neighbors and a regional restaurant chain with a location less than a mile away refuse to sell her beer even though it’s popular around the state. Why?
As one publican has told her, “You didn’t pay for your [liquor] license so you’re unfair competition.”
Though breweries work in partnership with their distributors and retailers, they also compete against them when they construct tasting rooms and pubs that might draw hundreds of customers every day of the week. New Jersey’s craft brewers guild faced stiff resistance in 2012 when it successfully lobbied for a bill that would allow breweries to sell pints and greater quantities of packaged product directly out the door. Though the law has immeasurably transformed the state’s brewing landscape and more than tripled the number of its producers, brewers had to make significant concessions to the associations that represent the state’s restaurants, beer wholesalers and liquor stores in that they must require patrons to take a tour every time they come to sample beer and they can’t operate a restaurant.