Yesterday, in an effort to encourage continued COVID vaccinations, the Governor’s Office announced the launch of the “Shot and a Beer” program, allowing people to get a free beer at participating New Jersey breweries. Unfortunately, this program was passed with input from only a small sector of New Jersey’s craft brewing community, which unfortunately led to the majority of breweries in that state being seemingly excluded from participation. There are two trade organizations that represent the craft brewing industry in New Jersey, the New Jersey Brewers Association (NJBA) is the larger of the two organizations representing over 60 NJ breweries. The Brewers Guild of New Jersey (BGNJ) represents a dozen breweries.
The BGNJ has never sought the advice of any other brewery in the state regarding the program or the deployment. This led to the unfortunate publication of information and reports that only members (but not all members) of BGNJ were participating breweries. Once the special decision was made, it was clear that, despite the initial message, ALL breweries in New Jersey were invited to participate in the program.
We would like to thank both the ABC and Director Graziano as well as the Governor’s Office for working quickly and efficiently to clarify that this opportunity was not limited to the BGNJ roster as they have been throughout the pandemic, the ABC and the governor’s office have been responsive and thoughtful. They looked for the best way to help the industry survive in these difficult times.
What we find perplexing is how contrary the deployment by the BGNJ is to the NJBA’s efforts to include all New Jersey breweries in its efforts related to the relief of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Indeed, during this time, the NJBA made the decision to share all the information we had from the ABC, the DOH and the governor’s office with the entire brewing community rather than just members of the NJBA. Many BGNJ members have taken advantage of this shared information to help them through the shutdown and maintain the stability of their businesses. Unfortunately, the BGNJ doesn’t seem to share the same sense of community – one that we’ve always believed to be at the heart of the craft beer industry. Indeed, we believe that talking about craft beer unites us rather than divides us.
As an organization, we support our members who choose to participate in this program and recognize that some cannot – we support them too. Many of our member breweries are just recovering from the Covid shutdown and are unlikely to be able to offer a free beer to anyone who shows a Covid vaccine certificate. No member’s choice should be construed as a political statement as they may simply not be financially able to participate and we ask our community to understand these issues.
We believe that everyone should get vaccinated and many of our members and their employees have already done so. The NJBA also understands that a Covid vaccination is a personal choice and a medical decision between you and your healthcare provider. This decision must remain confidential and must not be subject to outside influence. We therefore take a neutral stance on this program, leaving it up to our individual members whether or not to participate.
To date, the following breweries have chosen to participate in the program. Stop by for your free beer and keep supporting all the breweries. Your continued support has helped and will sustain us through these difficult economic times.
Any questions regarding this press release can be directed to email@example.com.
13th Child Brewery Elementary Brewing Angry Erik Brewing
Carton Brewing Chimney Rustic Ales Czig Meister Brewing
Death of the departure of Fox Brewing Soles Brewing Double Nickel Brewing Co.
Dr. Brewlittle’s Beer Co. Eclipse Brewing Eight & Sand Beer Co.
Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing Four City Brewing Hackensack Brewing
Men Skirt Brasserie Brasserie Montclair Brasserie Neck of the Woods
New Jersey Beer Co. Tuckahoe Brewing Co. Untied Brewing Co.
Zed’s beer from the Westville brewery
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