State law allows the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control to create temporary permits "to provide for contingencies where it would be appropriate and consonant with the spirit of this chapter to issue a license, but the contingency has not been expressly provided for." for less than 1,000 gallons per year 5 for 1,000–2,500 gallons 0 for 2,500–30,000 gallons 5 for 30,000–50,000 gallons 0 fee per offsite salesroom 0 fee for right to sell to retailers The number of Class C retail licenses for bars, restaurants, and liquor stores is limited by population and often by municipal ordinances.

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The legacy of Prohibition restricted and prevented the industry's recovery until the state legislature began loosening restrictions and repealing Prohibition-era laws starting in 1981.

New Jersey's alcohol industry is experiencing a renaissance, and recently enacted laws provide new opportunities for the state's wineries and breweries.

The state laws governing alcoholic beverages in New Jersey are among the most complex in the United States, with many peculiarities not found in other states' laws.

They provide for 29 distinct liquor licenses granted to manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and for the public warehousing and transport of alcoholic beverages.

A small percentage of municipalities in the state are "dry towns" that do not allow alcoholic beverages to be sold, and do not issue retail licenses for bars or restaurants to serve alcohol to patrons. Retail licenses tend to be difficult to obtain, and when available are subject to exorbitant prices and fervent competition.

In addition to granting local governments wide latitude over liquor sales, New Jersey law has some other unusual features.Conversely, because of the grandfathering of licenses, several municipalities have a substantially higher ratio of licenses.For instance, the resort town of Wildwood has a permanent population of 5,300, but 61 active liquor licenses.Supermarkets, convenience stores, and gas stations in New Jersey rarely sell alcoholic beverages because state law prohibits any person or corporation from possessing more than two retail distribution licenses.While licenses for bars, restaurants and liquor stores are limited, other retail licenses are not.The statutes define an alcoholic beverage as "any fluid or solid capable of being converted into a fluid, suitable for human consumption, and having an alcohol content of more than one-half of one per centum (1/2 of 1%) by volume, including alcohol, beer, lager beer, ale, porter, naturally fermented wine, treated wine, blended wine, fortified wine, sparkling wine, distilled liquors, blended distilled liquors and any brewed, fermented or distilled liquors fit for use for beverage purposes or any mixture of the same, and fruit juices." Retail licenses for consumption or distribution are allocated proportionally to a municipality's population.