Posted by: Jul 05, 2021

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

The 2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law changes the legal landscape for all craft distilleries in 3 main areas: (1) what they can make and sell to consumers, (2) where they can sell it, and (3) how big they can get. A fourth aspect of the law–the creation of “destination entertainment venues”–will be explored in a future blog post.

Florida Craft Distilleries Can Sell Rectified and Blended Products to Consumers (as Long as They are Mostly From Florida)

The Florida Beverage Laws previously allowed craft distilleries to sell to consumers only the products entirely distilled on site. Now, Florida craft distilleries can also sell to consumers the products that are distilled off site (even by another distillery) as long as they are rectified or blended on site. Each craft distillery must keep for 3 years accurate records of all alcoholic beverages received from another manufacturer, broker or importer.

Effective as of July 1, 2026, a minimum of 60% of a Florida craft distillery’s total finished branded products must be distilled in Florida and contain one or more Florida agricultural products. This requirement is explored further on our sister website and blog, Groves Law, which focuses on the law of Florida agribusiness.

Florida Craft Distilleries’ Can Sell Cocktails in Tasting Rooms and at Events

Florida craft distilleries were previously limited to selling only packaged products for consumption off premises, and not more than 6 individual containers of each branded product per person per year. Those limitations are gone under the 2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law.

Now, Florida craft distilleries are authorized–without requiring an alcoholic beverage vendor license–to sell their own branded products directly to consumers by the drink for consumption on the premises or by the package in factory-sealed containers for consumption off the premises.

Only branded products distilled, rectified or blended on the distillery premises that is located contiguous to the craft distillery’s souvenir gift shop or tasting room may be sold to consumers. A craft distillery may transfer up to 75,000 gallons per calendar year of its branded products to its on-site gift shop and tasting room.

In addition to sales through its gift shop or tasting room, Florida craft distilleries are now permitted to conduct tastings and sales of their branded products at Florida fairs, trade shows, farmers markets, expositions, and festivals. A distillery representative must be present during each event. The ABT is authorized to issue permits to craft distilleries for such tastings and sales.

Florida craft distilleries are still prohibited from shipping products to consumers and may sell and delivery products only to consumers in a face-to-fact transaction at the distillery property or permitted event.

Florida Craft Distilleries Can Get Much Bigger, But Not Too Big

The 2021 Craft Distilleries Law authorize larger distilleries to be designated as “craft distilleries”. Only “craft distilleries” are permitted to sell products directly to consumers (as discussed below). Prior to the new law, the “craft distillery” designation was limited to Florida distilleries that distilled not more than 75,000 gallons per calendar year. Now, each craft distillery can distill, rectify, or blend up to 250,000 gallons of distilled spirits per calendar year.

While expanding the size of craft distilleries, the 2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law also created new rules limiting who can own a craft distillery and how many craft distilleries can have under common ownership.

A Florida craft distillery may not have its ownership affiliated with another distillery unless that distillery is owned by an individual or entity that distills, rectifies, or blends no more than 250,000 gallons of distilled spirits per calendar year on each of its premises in Florida and in any other state, territory, or country.

The law prohibits the transfer of a craft distillery license, or any ownership interest in such license, to an individual or entity that has a direct or indirect ownership interest in any distillery that distills, rectifies, or blends 250,000 gallons or more per calendar year of distilled spirits under any license issued in Florida or in another state, territory or country.

A person may not share common ownership, through direct or indirect financial interest, in more than 10 craft distilleries. Of those 10 craft distilleries, (a) not more than 4 may distill, rectify or blend more than 250,000 gallons per calendar year, and (b) not more than 6 may distill, rectify or blend 50,000 gallons of distilled spirits per calendar year.

Do you have questions about the 2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law? Contact us at contact@brewerlong.com to schedule a consultation.

Because we’re attorneys: Disclaimer.