Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to expand opportunities for new hard cider and mead producers by creating a new license under the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
“Craft beverage aficionados always have an eye out for the best local products,” Senator Oroho said. “New Jersey is already home to dozens of breweries and wineries, and this measure could give consumers even more to choose from while providing a huge boost to the state’s economy at the same time.”
The legislation, S-2570, creates a cidery and meadery license for the manufacture and sale of hard cider and mead. Holders of the license would be able to make and sell to up to 50,000 barrels of cider and 250,000 gallons of mead per year. They could distribute their product through wholesalers and retailers or sell directly to consumers for consumption on or off the licenses premises where they could also offer samples.
Under current law, holders of a plenary winery and farm winery license can produce hard cider or mead. However, unlike those licenses – which require the use of at least three acres for growing grapes or other fruit — the new cidery and meadery license does not have an acreage requirement.
The bill follows in the footsteps of a 2012 law that established new regulations regarding the operation of craft breweries in New Jersey and lift some of the more archaic restrictions that had been placed on the production of beer in the state. Since that law was passed, the number of craft breweries in the state has grown from just a handful in 2012 to nearly 70 in 2017. The craft brewing industry contributes more than $1.2 billion to the state’s economy, according to the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild.
“This success of this previous legislation gives us plenty of evidence that shows us what can happen when we loosen some of the overbearing regulations that too often stand in the way of economic growth in New Jersey,” Senator Oroho said. “With this measure, we have opportunity to spark opportunities for new local businesses that can drive economic activity and create new jobs in their communities.”
Senator Oroho noted that he has a cidery in his legislative district at present – Twisted Limb in Stillwater.