Category Archives: Distribution

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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Florida Beverage Industry Bills Update – May 4, 2014

Intuition Ale Works Owner Ben Davis, Speaking at Post-Legislative Event

Intuition Ale Works Owner Ben Davis, Speaking to Craft Beer Supports about Legislative Session

The 2014 session of the Florida Legislature ended, Friday, May 2. Twelve bills were proposed to change Florida laws governing the beverage industry. None of them got passed by both houses of the Legislature. The only beverage bill that got to a floor vote–Senate Bill 1714, which passed the Senate by a vote of 30-10–was loudly decried by Florida brewery owners and their supporters.

In this final weekly update on the 2014 session, we discuss SB 1714’s dramatic passage by the Senate, and its undramatic dismissal by the House. We’ll also review the current state of Florida beverage law. Finally we’ll try to predict what may happen between now and the start of the Florida Legislature’s 2015 session.

Please let us know what you think in our Replies Section. Subscribe to BrewersLaw.com to stay informed.

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Florida Beverage Industry Bills Update – April 27, 2014

***Updated April, 27, 2014 9:00 pm to reflect proposed strike-all amendment to Senate Bill 1714 filed by bill sponsor, Senator Kelli Stargel. Updates reflected as struck-through and underlined text.***

This past week saw action on only two beverage bills, but the action was dramatic. With one week remaining in the 2014 Florida legislative session, the story becomes a tale of two Senate bills.

Senate Bill 470 would have done nothing more than allow beer tastings at licensed retailers. Senate Bill 1714 would completely up-end how Florida breweries map a path to commercial success, putting a big toll on their access to consumers. Only one of these bills is poised to get a vote on the Senate floor–guess which one.

Trading Places

Please let us know what you think in our Replies Section. Subscribe to BrewersLaw.com to stay informed.

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Florida Beverage Industry Bills Update – April 20, 2014

 Happy Easter! With most legislators out of Tallahassee this past 2014-04-19 18.48.19week, there was not much action on the beverage bills being consider by the Florida Legislature. That will change come Monday, when legislators return for the two-week sprint to the end of the 2014 session.

The two Senate beverage bills showing signs of life–SB 470 and SB 1714–are both up for hearings next week. We’ll preview those hearings and focus particularly on the most recent proposed amendments to Senate Bill 1714. Please let us know what you think in our Replies Section. Subscribe to BrewersLaw.com to stay informed.

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Brewers’ Law 101: Florida Winery Licenses

Manufacturers and bottlers of wine in Florida are regulated by the State of Florida and the federal government. This post discusses the state-level licensing of wineries in Florida.

Used with Permission From Creative Commons

Used with Permission From Creative Commons

How does the State of Florida define “wine”?

Manufacturers and bottlers of wine are subject the same licensing requirements in Florida, but what does wine include for this purpose? Wine includes all beverages made from fresh fruits, berries, or grapes, either by natural fermentation or by natural fermentation with brandy added. Cider is a wine according to Florida law, so cideries must be licensed as a winery rather than a brewery. Mead and honey wine do not exactly fall within the definition of wine under Florida law, but meaderies are generally required to be licensed as wineries too.

What license is required to make wine in Florida?

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Brewers’ Law 101: Florida Craft Distilling Licenses

Manufacturers of distilled spirits in Florida are regulated by the State of Florida and the federal government. This post discusses the state-level licensing of distilleries in Florida.

Used with Permission from Creative Commons

Florida Craft Distilleries Need the Right License

The Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverage and Tobacco (ABT) is authorized to issue separate licenses for manufacturers engaged in distilling spirits and manufacturers engaged solely in rectifying or blending distilled spirits. A DD license is required for distilling spirits directly, but the holder of a DD license may also rectify or blend distilled spirits. An ERB license is intended for manufacturers that will only be rectifying or blending spirits manufactured by a separate distillery.

To get a DD license or an ERB license, a Florida manufacturer must file the Application for New Alcoholic Beverage License (DBPR Form ABT-6001) with the ABT. The ABT application requires detailed information about the manufacturer’s premises, as well as everyone who has financial interest in the manufacturer. The license tax for either a DD license or an ERB license is currently the same price at $4,000. Because the DD license permits the manufacturer to distill spirits and also rectify or blend distilled spirits at no additional license tax, in most cases a manufacturer should obtain a DD license.

A licensed distillery may only distill spirits up to 153 proof (76.5% ABV) for sale in Florida. Spirits of 153 proof or greater may be distilled in Florida but only for sales outside the state.

A Craft Distillery Can Make Direct Sales to Consumers

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