As we readied to report on the Florida State Senate passing the proposed bill that would severely limit the selling and growth opportunities for craft breweries in the state, this update came out from The Tampa Tribune:
A legislative effort to regulate Florida’s craft beer industry passed the Senate Tuesday – and is likely dead on arrival once it gets to the House.
Rep. Dana Young, a Tampa Republican and deputy leader of the chamber’s controlling party, has been a fiercely loyal friend to Florida’s craft brewers.
She said procedural hurdles will almost certainly keep the measure off the House floor between now and the end of the yearly legislative session on Friday.
The bill (SB 1714) doesn’t have a House companion, Young noted, “and I don’t see a way around that.”
So, there you go.
In case you are just catching up, this all started with a bill last year that would allow breweries to sell 64-ounce growlers. Other parties got involved crafting the bill and then it morphed into a bill that would also force almost all but the smallest breweries to buy their own cans and bottles from distributors (at a markup) before selling them.
Details from the Miami Herald article:
Breweries would still be allowed to sell beer on tap in tasting rooms. And they’d be able to sell half-gallon beer jugs, called growlers, that now are illegal in Florida, along with the gallon and quart growlers that currently are legal.
The bill was changed to eliminate a provision that would have forced all breweries to sell their cans, bottles and kegs of beers to a distributor and then buy it back at a markup without the beer ever leaving the brewery. If the bill passes, distributors would have to pick up the beer at their brewery, bring it back to their warehouses and then redeliver it to the brewery.
The only exception would be breweries that make 1,000 barrels or less, the equivalent of 2,000 15-gallon kegs. But brewers said that’s not large enough to be able to profitably bottle or can beer.
The Miami Herald article notes that a majority of craft brewers from around the state have made it clear that this bill would halt expansions or potentially prompt a move out of state to continue growing.
“That bill is a play by large corporations to add more regulation, more requirements, more stress to small breweries,” said Ken Rosenthal, who opened Pair O’Dice Brewing Company in Clearwater six months ago. “No mistake, this bill will seriously hinder and even kill growth in the craft beer industry.”