Craft beer has, at times, tracked alongside the growth of the local food movement. In some communities, that makes sense; the beer people drink most is brewed just across town, with ingredients that give it a sense of place. Taking that connection one step further, a New Jersey lawmaker has introduced legislation that would allow breweries to sell beer at farmers markets. Yep, that could mean a bock alongside your beets.
The details: The bill would allow breweries to sell beer for off-premise consumption (e.g. bombers to-go), plus a provision to allow sampling at the market. It makes sense to me; some breweries have experimented with “beer CSAs,” a 6- or 12-month beer share that operates on a Community Supported Agriculture model. This proposal taps into the same desire to support local businesses, reduce the distance beer has to travel, and perhaps most importantly, drink the freshest beer possible.
Smartly, the proposed legislation excludes roadside farm stands from selling beer—the mixing of roadways and beer can be problematic. The bill was introduced mid-May but has yet to be voted on. California passed a similar bill earlier this year, opening the door for breweries at farmers markets in that state.