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Consumer Alert

Retailers Ordered to Remove, Cease Selling “Extracto de Malta,” an Unregistered Alcoholic Beverage

Extracto de Malta1 Extracto de Malta2
Click to Enlarge Posters

On Thursday, August 23, 2012, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa and Michael Halfacre, Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), announced criminal charges against two individuals in connection to a scheme to sell “Extracto de Malta,” an illicit alcoholic beverage that has been illegally sold at retail shops without liquor licenses.

This week, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, and its network of County Offices of Consumer Affairs, are alerting small retail food and drink shops, also known as bodegas, throughout the state, many clients of which are concentrated in Hispanic communities, about the fact that the sale of alcoholic beverages without a license is illegal; and that stores have until September 1, 2012 to remove Extracto de Malta from their shelves.

Additional information:

  • Extracto de Malta is an alcoholic beverage with an alcohol volume of 3.5 to 4 percent (the equivalent of a light beer).
  • (NOTE: Extracto de Malta is NOT THE SAME AS, and should NOT BE CONFUSED WITH, the popular non-alcoholic drink called “Malta”).
  • The image of a bottle of Extracto de Malta can be found on this informational flyer, available in English and in Spanish.
  • The State of New Jersey considers Extracto de Malta to be an “illicit beverage,” because it has not been registered as an alcoholic product in New Jersey.
  • It is illegal in New Jersey to sell an alcoholic beverage without a liquor license. The penalties for doing so include a fine of up to $1,000 and up to three years in jail for each count.
  • Retailers must have Extracto de Malta REMOVED from their shelves by Saturday, September 1, 2012. Note: It is also illegal to give away alcoholic beverages for free.
  • If you see Extracto de Malta being sold in New Jersey after September 1, 2012, contact the ABC Investigations Bureau at 866-713-8392.

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