NJ beer distributor paying $2M for underpricing tap systems

Beer glasses on dark background

Hunterdon Brewing Co. LLC, a major distributor of craft beer in New Jersey, agreed to pay a $2 million fine to settle allegations that it violated statutes and regulations by selling draft beer tap systems at below fair market prices and concealed the charges by mislabeling them as “miscellaneous draft charges” on invoices, New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control said Monday.

They also said Hunterdon, based in North Jersey, ignored credit regulation for at least 700 retail customers.

The fine is the largest ever imposed on a single wholesale licensee for trade practice violations, the state said.

“Fair market prices exist for a reason. The improper trade practices allegedly employed by Hunterdon Brewing threatened to disrupt competition and throw the wholesale industry into disarray,” said the Attorney General said.

Investigators compiled sworn statements from more than two dozen retail licensees and reviewed thousands of documents, officials said.

The fine is due in four equal installments starting Thursday, though the last payment could be skipped if a compliance audit finds no substantial similar violations, the state said.

Hunterdon officials said in a statement that the “charges stemmed from Hunterdon not maintaining accurate records and reporting delinquent accounts.”