New Jersey and Connecticut Offer Free Beers for Getting Vaccinated

The states' governors have teamed up with local businesses to incentivize residents to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy has set a goal to have 4.7 million residents fully vaccinated by June 30. As of this writing, more than 3.2 million people—around 37 percent of the state's total population—are totally vaxxed. But in order to make the prospect of a potentially life-saving vaccine even more enticing, Murphy has announced a new program called "Shot and a Beer," which allows anyone who gets their shots this month to receive a free beer at more than a dozen different breweries in the state.

"We're not going to be afraid to try new things," Murphy said after announcing the program on Monday. The Shot and a Beer initiative is the result of a partnership between the New Jersey Department of Health and the Brewer's Guild of New Jersey—and the breweries have generously agreed to cover the costs of those complimentary beverages.

Any New Jersey resident aged 21 and over just needs to take their vaccine card to a participating brewery and show it to a member of staff. The breweries that are currently taking part include:

Battle River Brewing
Bradley Beer Project
Bolero Snort Brewing Company
Brix City Brewing Company
Carton Brewing Company
Flounder Brewing Company
Flying Fish Brewing Company
Gaslight Brewery and Restaurant
Hackensack Brewing Company
Kane Brewing Company
Little Dog Brewing Company
Magnify Brewing Company
River Horse Brewing Company

(Food & Wine has reached out to the New Jersey Department of Health to ask whether participants are limited to one free beer, period, or one free beer at each brewery.)

Group of happy friends drinking and toasting beer at brewery bar restaurant - Friendship concept with young people having fun together at cool vintage pub - Focus on middle pint glass - High iso image
krisanapong detraphiphat/Getty Images

Meanwhile in Connecticut, the Connecticut Restaurant Association has teamed up with Governor Ned Lamont on a program they're calling "Connecticut Drinks on Us." From Wednesday, May 19 through Monday, May 31, residents who show their vaccination card at more than 200 participating restaurants in all eight counties can receive a free alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage.

"The more people get vaccinated, the sooner we will be able to return to business as normal," Tyler Anderson, the chef-owner of Millwright's, told the Hartford Courant. "I don't believe in pushing people and making people get the vaccine. But I believe in the vaccine and I think it's a nice way to incentivize people."

According to the Courant, a food purchase is required for this participation, and diners are limited to one free drink per visit—although they can collect a free beverage for 13 straight days if they want.

For those of us who live outside New Jersey and Connecticut, Budweiser is still giving away "A Beer on Bud" to anyone who's received at least one dose of the vaccine, and Sam Adams is sending $5 in 'beer money' to adults who post a pic of their post-vaxx sticker or bandage and use the hashtag #shotforsam. And last but not least, don't forget that you can still score a free doughnut every single day if you show your vaccine card at Krispy Kreme.

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