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.
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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.
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.
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