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.

“The emergence of Persimmon Hollow and at least four other craft breweries in Central Florida, as well as [The Hourglass Brewery’s] expansion, is a victory against the Republican-led assault on craft-beer brewers.

“The good guys have been aided by allies in local government, who see the value of a flourishing craft-brewing market.” [Hyperlinks inserted]

I spoke to Ms. Kassab while she prepared her column. She was very interested in the convoluted laws and challenging politics that threaten to keep would-be Floridian brewers on the sidelines.

“‘The brewers are the new kids on the block, and as of right now they don’t have the political clout or the coffers to go head to head with some of the distributors that have been selling Anheuser-Busch and Coors and Miller for a very long time,’ said Trevor Brewer, an attorney who represents a number of Florida breweries.”

Attention from Beth Kassab and her readers is precisely the community-based support that Florida breweries and other craft beverage makers need to grow and flourish. It may be paying off already: Persimmon Hollow met its Kickstarter goal to raise $20,000 needed to finish out its DeLand taproom.