The Plenary Licenses in New Jersey

Within the Intoxicating Liquors title of the New Jersey statutes, there are three plenary licenses that are available for manufacturers located within the State: the Plenary Brewery license, the Plenary Distillery license and the Plenary Winery license. These licenses are intended for the largest producers of alcoholic beverages, permitting the largest production of all manufacturers’ licenses. They are also the most costly licenses to obtain.

The Plenary Brewery license permits the holder to brew any malt alcoholic beverage and sell and distribute to licensed wholesalers and retailers. This license also permits the brewer to maintain a warehouse. However, the brewer must only ship from that warehouse, which must be located in the State. While this license has no production limits, it does not permit any direct consumer sales and contemplates sales solely through a licensed distribution or retail network, consistent with large scale production. The fee for this license is $10,625.00.

The Plenary Distillery license permits its holder to manufacture any distilled alcoholic beverages and rectify, blend, treat and mix distilled alcoholic beverages. The holder then may sell such beverages only to licensed wholesalers and retailers, and it also obtains the right to maintain a warehouse. Production under this license is in unlimited quantities and the fee is $12,500.00.

The Plenary Winery license is reserved for those engaged in growing and cultivating grapes used in the production of wine on at least 3 acres on, or adjacent to, the winery premises. The license permits its holder to produce any fermented wines and blend, fortify and treat wines, and the holder is further permitted to sell and distribute such products to licensed wholesalers, churches for religious purposes and retail consumers on the licensed premises for consumption on or off premises. In addition, the license permits offering samples for sampling purposes only. Additionally, based on the level of production, this license, upon payment of additional fees, permits wineries to engage in additional retail sales either to licensed retailers or through salesrooms not jointly controlled or operated by it. This license also contains restrictions on the amount of wine that it may ship to individual retail consumers. The initial fee for this license is $938.00.

The above is meant to only be a brief overview of the plenary licenses that are available in New Jersey. These licenses are also further subject to State regulations and rules of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

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