PRESS RELEASE Carlstadt— January 17th, 2024 — The two trade associations representing New Jersey’s craft brewing industry have joined forces through a merger to be finalized next week at an open-house meeting for all breweries, brewpubs, and breweries-in-planning throughout New Jersey, to be held at Bolero Snort Brewery.
For the last two years, both associations have been working together closely with common goals and priorities. This lock-step approach set the framework for internal conversations about the logistics of the eventual merger, while also carrying out the strategy developed for the passage of S4265, landmark legislation to end 6 years of oppressive and damaging regulations surrounding tasting room operations within New Jersey.
“We have always been a small industry and everyone maintains a lot of strong relationships with other businesses in the state,” said Scott Wells, Owner of Bolero Snort Brewery and Brewers Guild of New Jersey board member, “Uniting into a single unified voice will make it easier to work with external partners, including the state’s legislature and regulatory bodies, and focus on the matters that impact the entire industry the most.”
The impact of this newly reformed group will be realized immediately as the breweries navigate a new world where the post-covid economic climate and shifting customer demands still loom large over the industry as a whole despite the easing of some governmental red tape. The new group will take on these new challenges to help New Jersey rise to the forefront of the industry at large – a level of prominence it has long deserved with exceptional quality and countless awards to boast. While still one of the fastest growing industries in the country, New Jersey remains well behind other states in beer produced, breweries per capita, and economic impact.
“We’re excited to move beyond the legislative agenda that had dominated the industry for a significant time in recent years,” Krystle Lockman, Owner of Axe & Arrow Brewing and New Jersey Brewers Association board member. “Now we will shift towards fostering industrial excellence through continued educational opportunities, sharing of best practices, relationship building, and a larger and more diverse team.”
For now, the combined association will operate as the Brewer’s Guild of New Jersey. Scott Wells of Bolero Snort Brewery and Michael Kane of Kane Brewing will remain on the Executive Board of Directors, and will be joined by New Jersey Brewers Association board members, Krystle Lockman of Axe and Arrow Brewing and Denise Ford Sawadogo of Montclair Brewery. Eric Orlando of The Zita Group, which was instrumental securing in the passage of the new law, will remain on as the association’s contract Government Affairs counsel. Alexis Degan, who previously helmed The New Jersey Brewers Association has joined the team as the Executive Director.