Category Archives: Breweries

How to Take Advantage of Florida’s 2015 Beverage Law

Agrarian_Ale_BelGene_Blanca_at_Tap_and_GrowlerWhen Governor Rick Scott signed into law CS/SB 186, he largely ended Florida’s state of growler confusion. However, the 2015 beverage law–which is now known as Florida Law 2015-12–will do much more to improve the status of craft beverages in Florida when it becomes effective July 1, 2015. This article describes how Florida’s breweries, distilleries, distributors, and vendors can take advantage of the recent improvements to Florida’s Beverage Law.

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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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The Florida Breweries Report – November 2014

Florida Breweries Report Logo (14.11)Three new breweries join the ranks of Florida breweries, and monthly retail sales were up in November 2014.

Monthly Highlights

  • Three new breweries are included in this edition of The Florida Brewery Report: Stilt House Brewery in Palm Harbor, Bowigens Beer Company in Casselberry, and Barley Mow Brewing Company‘s new production brewery in Largo.
  • In November 2014, the total number of reporting breweries stands at 133. Of those, 105 breweries reported retail sales.
  • Month-to-month taxpaid sales was up 4.43% in November 2014. total sales during the rolling last-twelve-months (LTM) increased by 2.77%.
  • In October 2014, Florida breweries’ taxpaid sales accounted for 0.34% of all beer sales in Florida.

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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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You’re Invited to Florida Craft’s Kickoff Event

I am personally inviting you to Florida Craft’s Kickoff Event, Wednesday, October 15, from 5 pm to 8 pm at Redlight Redlight in Orlando.

Florida Craft Logo PNG 2000As many of you know, the Brewers’ Law team has for the last year been deeply focused on helping Florida beverage manufacturers—brewers, winemakers, and distillers—with the legal and regulatory steps for launching and operating their businesses. We’ve learned a couple of things from this experience: beverage laws are crazy and craft beverage makers are wonderful, hardworking, talented people fully deserving of their communities’ support. That’s why we helped create Florida Craft.

Florida Craft is a grassroots, non-profit association that supports and promotes Florida craft beverage manufacturers. It’s goal is to build community behind our craft beverage makers. We’re doing that in a big way on October 15, with our Kickoff Event. Please stop by, say hello, and have a Florida craft beverage (note: other states will be represented). It’s a come-and-go-as-you-please event, but I’ll be speaking with Redlight Redlight’s co-owner and master brewer, Brent Hernandez at about 6:30.

If you can’t make it to our Kickoff Event, don’t worry—you can still support Florida Craft. Join as a Florida Craft member and get your Florida Craft Card™. The Florida Craft Card™ gets your discounts and specials at Florida craft retailers throughout Florida. Participating retailers are stepping-up to help Florida Craft, and you can do your part by having a drink. How hard is that?

Thanks for supporting Florida Craft. Remember: You could drink a craft beverage made outside Florida, but why?

Trevor

Florida Breweries Benefit from Local Support

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Credit Sam Slaughter, Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co.

In her August 1, 2014 column, Orlando Sentinel columnist Beth Kassab celebrates Central Florida’s growing number of breweries and the support they’re getting from local government officials. At the same time, Ms. Kassab takes aim at Florida’s state-level politicians, most of whom haven’t given much help or attention to Florida breweries.

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