Tag Archives: three tier system

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.

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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

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Florida Beverage Industry Bills Update – April 13, 2014

The stage is set for the home stretch of the Florida Legislature’s 2014 session. This upcoming week, legislators return home for an Easter-week break. When they return on April 21, it will be a two-week sprint to the finish on May 2, 2014. Will any of the beverage bills make it to the end? It’s looking doubtful.

This week, we throw in the towel for bills that appear to have no chance, and we try to project the future of the few bills that still have a fighting chance. 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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Do Florida Brewery Taprooms Hurt Retailers?

That’s the claim made by some distributors, as reported in Craft Business Daily. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Alan Shaw (@AlanCShaw) has been at the center of the conversation with his web article and the comments to it. Alan writes:

I understand why retailers and distributors are complaining about tasting rooms selling their packaged beer right to consumers, because the brewery has cut out the distributor and retailer in that transaction.

A number of retailers commented to Alan that they have no problem with brewery taprooms. However, that distributors and retailers might push back against taprooms is an expected consequence of the three-tier system. The three-tier system intentionally keeps the roles of brewers, distributors, and retailers separate, meaning that tension among them is inevitable.

The three-tier system has evolved separately in each state. In Florida, the system embraces brewery taprooms to “promote the brewery and the tourist industry of the state,” according to Section 561.221 of the Florida Statutes.