Category Archives: ABT

The Compliant Florida Beer Festival

By Hans Splinter. Creative Commons.

Craft beer festivals are tremendously popular in Florida. The multiplication of beer festivals throughout the state has caused the state’s principal regulator of alcoholic beverages–the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (the ABT)–to take a closer look at how beer festivals are operated. Like all activities involving alcohol beverages, Florida beer festivals are subject to a confusing web of state and local laws and ordinances.

The following tips are intended to help organizers of Florida paid-admission beer festivals understand how state and local laws and ordinance may impact their festivals.

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Brewers’ Law 101: Florida ABT Retail License

Florida ABTThe retail sale of alcoholic beverages (generally, any beverage with greater than 0.5% alcohol by volume) is regulated by the state government. Within the government of the State of Florida, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT). The ABT is the agency responsible for licensing the alcoholic beverage industry, for collection and auditing of taxes and fees paid by the licensees, and for enforcing the laws and regulations of the alcoholic beverage industry.

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Brewers’ Law 101: Florida ABT Manufacturing License

Florida ABTThe manufacture of alcoholic beverages (generally, any beverage with greater than 0.5% alcohol by volume) is regulated by the federal government and the state government. Within the government of the State of Florida, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT). The ABT is the agency responsible for licensing the alcoholic beverage industry, for collection and auditing of taxes and fees paid by beverage licensees, and for enforcing the laws and regulations of the alcoholic beverage industry.

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You Can’t Tag This

Credit David Woo. Creative Common licensed.

Credit David Woo. Creative Common licensed.

Think before you post, tag, tweet, or instagram.

Florida beverage manufacturers want to maintain good relationships with the bars, tasting rooms, and restaurants that sell their products. As a manufacturer, it’s natural to want to support the vendors that support you. But when it comes to promoting vendors on social media, Florida beverage manufacturers must use caution.

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Clarification on ABT’s New Taproom Licensing Policy

As previously reported, the ABT has adopted a new policy requiring all taproom license applications to be reviewed in the Tallahassee district office. The new policy was announced in an email from Marie Fraher, the ABT’s Chief of Licensing, in an email to ABT licensing personnel. We obtained a copy of Ms. Fraher’s email by public records request, and you can read it here.

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FISA Lawsuit Prompts ABT to Immediately Change Licensing Procedures

Shortly after before the Florida Independent Spirits Association (FISA) and the Florida Retail Federation (FRF) filed lawsuits accusing the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (ABT) of improperly licensing Florida brewery taprooms (discussed in Q&A for Breweries: The FISA Lawsuit), the ABT quietly changed its procedure for how brewery applications are to be handled.

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Who Can Fill Growlers in Florida? Depends on Who You Ask

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Can a Florida beer bar fill growlers? Can a Florida brewery fill growlers with guest beers? The Florida Beverage Law and related regulations do not provide a clear answer. So we took the next step: we called the government agency in charge, the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (ABT). Actually, we called each of the ABT’s Law Enforcement District Offices, and we asked each of them this question:

“Can a holder of a 2COP license fill growlers (within the legal size limits and properly sealed) for off-premises consumption?”

The answers we got, shown in the table below, were not entirely consistent.

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Label Laws for Florida Beverages

Beer Label 14.10.24Labels on alcoholic beverage containers must comply with both U.S. and Florida laws and regulations.

The reason these laws exist is to ensure container labels accurately represent the beverage inside. Beverage manufacturers must include specific information on the product labels. Florida manufacturers must also comply with the Florida Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco’s (ABT) label registration process and, in some cases, the federal Tax and Trade Bureau’s (TTB) label approval process.

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When a Brewery Closes

Credit Ben Husmann. Creative Common License.

Credit Ben Husmann. Creative Common License.

Have you every watched a runner take a hard fall during a marathon? That’s how I feel about Mile Marker Brewing Co.’s closing its taproom last week. I am sure it was a hard decision for the Mile Marker team, and I wish them the best.

I do not have any special insight into the situation at Mile Marker, but it got me thinking about some of the legal issues the may come up when a Florida brewery, winery, or distillery closes its doors. Continue reading