The 2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law creates a new non-quota, consumption-on-premises only alcoholic beverage license that may be issued to a craft distillery located within a destination entertainment venue. Because the ABT has not yet designated class for this new license, this article refers to this license as a 4COP-DEV.
For a general discussion of the 2021 Craft Distilleries Law, see 2021 Craft Distilleries Law: General Overview.
Craft Distilleries Can Sell More With a 4COP-DEV License
The 4COP-DEV license promises to be an important license for the right situation. It is superior to the craft distillery license in at least one way: The 4COP-DEV allows the license holder to sell alcoholic products manufactured by other manufacturers and acquired through a distributor. By comparison, the craft distillery license limits retail sales to products distilled, rectified or blended on premises only. In addition, the 4COP-DEV license is a non-quota license, meaning that there is not a limited number of licenses available per county. However, the 2021 Craft Distilleries Law creates a number of specific requirements and qualifications for the 4COP-DEV license.
Destination Entertainment Venue, Defined
Only craft distilleries located within a “destination entertainment venue” (referred to here as a “DEV”) qualify for the 4COP-DEV license. A DEV is a venue that meets all of the following requirements:
- The venue is located within a designated community redevelopment area authorized under an adopted community redevelopment plan to support urban redevelopment and economic development.
- The venue is owned by any person licensed as a craft distillery located within the DEV.
- The venue is adjacent to and served by multimodal transportation options, including, at a minimum, bicycle and pedestrian trails included on an adopted city or county trails map and mass transit routes established by a city, county, or regional transportation authority.
- The venue is located within an contiguous area of at least 15 acres that contains (a) at least one indoor event venue with a minimum capacity of 150 people and an onsite kitchen, (b) at least one outdoor event venue with a minimum capacity of 1,000 people which has regularly occurring live entertainment, and (c) one or more licensed craft distilleries sharing identical ownership.
More Rules and Requirements
In addition to being located within a DEV, craft distilleries that wish to hold a 4COP-DEV must meet the following requirements:
- The premises covered by the 4COP-DEV license (that is, the area on which retail sales are made) must be part of the craft distillery’s licensed premises, including its gift shop or tasting room. The 4COP-DEV licensed premises cannot be separate from the distillery.
- No more than three craft distilleries may be licensed as a vendor in the same community redevelopment area. All of those craft distilleries must (a) be located within the same DEV, (b) share identical ownership, and (c) each distill, blend, or rectify at least 50,000 gallons of branded products per calendar year.
A craft distillery that holds a 4COP-DEV is subject to the following operational requirements:
- The craft distillery must operate and open for tours during normal business hours at least 5 days a week.
- The craft distillery is prohibited from making package sales for off-premises consumption or delivering or shipping alcoholic beverages away from the craft distillery (except to a licensed manufacturer, distributor, or exporter).
- Alcoholic beverages manufactured by another licensed manufacturer, including branded products manufactured at another craft distillery location sharing identical ownership, must be obtained through a licensed distributor.
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