Tag Archives: taprooms

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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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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The Florida Brewpubs Report – March 2014

Property of BrewerLong PLLC 2014 - Sarah Parker

There were no new brewpubs who joined the rank of active Florida brewpubs in March 2014. McGuire’s Irish Pub and Brewzzi again top the monthly sales rankings, but newcomer Tomoka Brewery and Fermentation Lounge had big months. Sailfish Brewing Company made the jump to the production brewery roles. It’s all on The Brewpub Report.


Notes about The Florida Brewpubs Report

  • We’ve made some improvements to our second installment of The Brewpub Report, including a new Ranking Change to show how each brewery’s monthly ranking compares to the prior month.
  • The Florida Brewpubs Report reflects the active CMBP-licensed breweries in Florida. The Florida Breweries Report separately tracks the taproom sales of Florida CMB-licensed breweries.

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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 Beer Bills Update – March 23, 2014

As of March 22, 2014, a total of 11 beverage industry bills are up for consideration in the Florida Legislature. All but a handful of those bills are focused on dramatically reshaping the operation of Florida’s breweries. To help beverage industry players and enthusiasts track the activity in Tallahassee, we bring you our weekly legislative update.

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

Committee Approves New HB 387 Authorizing Beer Tastings

The Regulatory Affairs Committee unanimously approved House Bill 387, which authorizes beer tastings at licensed premises. However, this isn’t exactly the same HB 387 we reviewed several weeks ago (in Beer Bills Pending for 2014 Florida legislative session). The text of HB 387 was entirely rewritten by a Committee Substitute. The substitute text closely matches the beer tasting provisions of House Bill 7075 (analyzed in Florida Beer Bill Provides Comprehensive Rules for Taprooms, Brewpubs, Tastings, & Growlers – FL HB 7075), with a few exceptions. One notable difference: HB 387 authorizes 3.5 oz beer samples as compared to 3.0 oz samples authorized by HB 7075.

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Florida Beer Bill Provides Comprehensive Rules for Taprooms, Brewpubs, Tastings, & Growlers – FL HB 7075

In House Bill 7075, the Florida House of Representative’s Business & Professional Regulation Subcommittee introduced a set of rules intended to clarify how Florida breweries get beer in their hands of consumers. The bill answers persistent questions about taprooms, brewpubs, beer tastings, and growlers.

Used with Permission from Creative Commons

Used with Permission from Creative Commons

Two Kinds of Taprooms Permitted

House Bill 7075 divides brewery taprooms into two categories: unlicensed taprooms and licensed taprooms.

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New Beer Bill Would Drastically Change Florida Brewery Taprooms – FL HB: 1329

On the eve of the 2014 Florida Legislative session, Representative Ray Rodriguez introduced House Bill 1329, which proposes big changes for the operation of Florida breweries. The stated purpose of HB 1329 is to authorize a “very limited exception to the three-tier system” by allowing breweries to sell their beer in growlers. While the bill does authorize growlers (in two sizes), it also imposes strict requirements on the operation of existing brewery taprooms and ensures that new brewery taprooms will never operate in the same way.


Used With Permission from Creative Commons.

Used With Permission from Creative Commons.

Different Rules for Taprooms Old and New

House Bill 1329 divides Florida’s production breweries into two categories: production breweries licensed before July 1, 2014 and production breweries licensed July 1, 2014 or later.

Legacy breweries–those licensed before July 1, 2014–could continue to operate taprooms under the existing tourism exemption so long as they continue to meet new requirements. The tourism exemption currently allows Florida breweries to operate a taproom where a brewery’s own beer and guest beers and wine can be served for consumption on premises or carry-out for consumption off premises (more on the tourism exemption in Brewers’ Law 101: Florida Brewing Licenses). Under HB 1329 existing taprooms could continue to operate this way as long as:

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