New Rules, New Opportunities

Back in January, New Jersey's liquor laws underwent their biggest overhaul since the Prohibition era. Legislation relaxed restrictions on the number of available liquor licenses. And a new license type was created specifically for shopping malls.


Even more importantly to small businesses across the state, the new rules eliminates burden placed on New Jersey breweries, cideries, meaderies, and distilleries. For instance, those establishments can now:
—Offer snacks and non-alcoholic beverages
—Work with outside vendors, including food trucks
—Host unlimited onsite events and private parties
—Host a limited number of off-site special events

Brews and Brews

One business diving headfirst into the opportunity created by these new laws is Yale Terrace Brewery in beautiful Cranford, N.J.

(Google Street View)
(Google Street View)

Their small tasting room in the heart of downtown Cranford offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and is open most afternoons and evenings. At any given time, they have about ten different microbrews available by the glass, flight, or growler.

But what about during the morning and afternoon hours? When Cranford is bustling with businesses opening up for the day and commuters heading to the train station? But who don't necessarily have a craving for beer at 6 o'clock in the morning?

Easy answer: Coffee and tea. Thanks to the revised liquor laws, Yale Terrace has just announced a new venture called The Morning Roast at Yale Terrace. Utilizing the brewery space during traditionally-closed hours to offer a selection of specialty morning beverages.

The coffeeshop opens daily at 5:30 a.m. and closes when brewery operations start up for the day.
Customers can sip their coffee or tea in-house, at the convenient outdoor seating, or on the go.

Another Neat Feature

Some of The Morning Roast's social media posts hint at an idea that takes this brewery-turned-coffeehouse to another level.


What's this? Coffee and tea tasting flights?!

A quick internet search shows it is not a completely new and unique innovation. But what a great way to use the brewery supplies and infrastructure to offer something novel and fun. (Personally, I am not a regular coffee or tea drinker, but I would love to try a sampling of specialized products to find a new favorite. All while supporting a local, small business.)

Coffee Shop Drinks Found To Contain Excessive Amounts Of Sugar
Getty Images

The Brewery Business is Booming

According to the New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism, the state is now home to over 200 breweries, wineries, and distilleries. And that number is likely to rise, with the increased freedom and opportunities allowed in NJ's new 2024 liquor laws.

At this year's World Beer Cup in Las Vegas, four NJ breweries won some prestigious awards. MudHen Brewing Co. in Wildwood, Kane Brewing Company in Ocean, Bonesaw Brewing Company in Glassboro, and Ship Bottom Brewery in Beach Haven took home gold medals for their showcased beers.

Jersey Brews Trail app
Jersey Brews Trail app

Just a few months, launched a new Jersey Brews Trail. It is not only a free mobile guide to some of the best craft breweries in the state, you can earn rewards for visiting and patronizing them.

NJ breweries with top-rated beer

The reviews are in — see which NJ breweries have the most beers with a great rating on BeerAdvocate.

Gallery Credit: Dino Flammia

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Check out Dan's weather blog or follow him on Facebook for your latest weather forecast updates.

The best outdoor beer gardens at NJ breweries

There are more options than ever for enjoying a Garden State crafted beer in an outdoor setting.

New Jersey tied for first place (with Kentucky) with 43% growth in the craft beer scene from 2015 to 2019, according to C+R Research.

The following is a roundup of breweries around the state with scenic, dedicated outdoor seating as weather allows.

Best coffee shops & cafes near NJ beaches

When it comes to food, New Jersey is known for many things such as pizza and pork roll. Don't count us out when it comes to coffee.

With all the hustle and bustle involved in the average New Jersey resident's day, coffee is essential. It doesn't matter whether you're living in the cities of North Jersey or the vacation spots at the shore.

In fact, as the former owner of two Jersey shore coffee houses, Coffee Dot Comedy in Sea Isle City and the Daily Grind in Ocean Grove, I know firsthand how much people at the Jersey shore love their coffee.

With respect to that, I asked my social media following where the best coffee houses at the Jersey Shore were, especially since my two places no longer exist.

Below is what they came up with. (And see this other article for their coffee shop and cafe recommendations for Central Jersey.)

Gallery Credit: Jordan Jansson

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