Florida | Read Time: 4 minutes

What is a “Tied House” and Why is it Evil?

How a Florida law designed to prevent the “evil” of vertical integration in the alcoholic beverage industry limits the ability of suppliers to help you buy their products. Tied Houses, Evil and Otherwise The term “Tied House Evil” appears in the heading to Florida Statutes Section 561.42. Although the term is nowhere defined in the Florida Statutes, it is rooted in Prohibition in the United States and the re-legalization of alcoholic beverages when Prohibition was repealed in 1933. A “tied house” is a contractual relationship between an alcoholic beverage vendor and a supplier, in which the vendor is required to by part or all of its supply from one or a handful of suppliers. In many cases, the supplier provided essential financial backing–such as a loan or lease–without which the vendor (called the “managed house”) might not exist. The practice of tied houses still exists in the United Kingdom and other countries, but in the United States it was generally abolished by “tied house evil” statutes passed after the appeal of Prohibition. In 1971, the Supreme Court of California described “tied house evil” statutes as follows: By enacting prohibitions against “tied-house” arrangements, state legislatures aimed to prevent two particular dangers: the ability and potentiality of large firms to dominate local markets through vertical and horizontal integration . . . and the excessive sales of alcoholic beverages produced by the overly aggressive marketing techniques of larger alcoholic beverage concerns.  California Beer Wholesalers Ass’n v. Alcoholic Beverage Control App. Bd., 5 Cal. 3d 402, 407–408 (1971). Statutory Limits on Help for Florida Vendors Florida’s Tied House Evil Statute, Florida Statutes Section 561.42, generally prohibits alcoholic beverage suppliers from (1) having a direct or indirect financial interest in a Florida vendor, and (2) providing gifts, loans of money or property, or rebates to a Florida vendor. Florida vendors are also prohibited from accepting support from suppliers. The suppliers that are limited by the Tied House Evil Statute include manufacturers, distributors, importers, primary American sources of supply, brand owners or registrants, brokers, sales agents, or sales persons, whether or not they are operating in Florida or outside the state. There are, of course, exceptions to the Tied House Evil prohibitions. Distributors can give vendors trade credit (that is, extend the date for payment for sale) up to the 10th day after the calendar week in which a sale is made. Distributors can also give trade discounts in the usual course of business upon wine and liquor sales (discussed more fully in Alcohol Distributors’ Discounts Under Florida Law). The prohibition against providing gifts and loans of property excludes bottles, barrels and other containers necessary for transportation of purchased beverage products and, importantly, excludes advertising materials (although, advertising materials expressly excludes outside signs). Outdoor Signs are Bad; Indoor Signs are Good The Florida Tied House Evil Statute has a lot to say about signs–printed, painted, electric or other. Suppliers are prohibited from directly or indirectly giving, lending, renting, selling or otherwise furnishing to a vendor any outside sign, and vendors are prohibited from accepting them. Suppliers can furnish vendors with indoor signs, including posters, placards, and other advertising materials. Vendors are permitted are permitted to display signs (including neon or electric) signs in their windows facing outward, but they are limited to one sign advertising the product of any one manufacturer. Beer Glassware and Other Advertising Assistance The Florida Tied House Evil Statute says a lot more about the assistance beer and malt beverage suppliers can provide to vendors, particularly concerning advertising materials. Beer coupons: Suppliers are prohibited from providing any type of malt beverage coupon which is to be redeemable by a vendor. Expendable retailer advertising specialities: Beer supplier may sell to vendor, at actual cost or higher, trays, coasters, mats, menu cards, napkins, cups, glassware, thermometers and the like. Durable retailer advertising specialities: Beer suppliers may rent, loan without charge, or sell to vendors clocks, pool table lights, and the like which bear advertising materials. Consumer advertising specialties: Beer suppliers may sell to vendor, at actual cost or higher, ashtrays, T-shirts, bottle openers, shopping bags, and the like. Cooperative advertising: Beer suppliers may not engage in cooperative advertising with vendors (more on this in You Can’t Tag This). Draft equipment and tapping accessories: Beer distributors may sell to vendor, at actual cost or higher, draft equipment and may also furnish replacement parts of nominal intrinsic value, including washers, gaskets, tail pieces, hoses, hose connections, clamps, plungers, and tap markers. Branded glassware gets detailed treatment in the Florida Tied House Evil Statute. A beer distributor may give to a vendor a limited amount of branded glassware that the distributor receives at no charge from the beer manufacturer. The glassware must hold no more than 23 ounces of liquid vollum and must bear a permanent brand name intended to prominently advertise the brand. The beer distributor can give the vendor no more than 10 cases of glassware per year per licensed premises. Both the manufacturer and distributor must keep records of glassware gifts for at least 3 years. The vendor may not sell the glassware or return it to the distributor for cash, credit or replacement. Do you have any questions about Florida’s Tied House Evil Statute or what assistance alcoholic beverage suppliers can provide to Florida vendors? Contact us at contact@brewerlong.com to schedule a consultation with a beverage attorney. Because we’re attorneys: Disclaimer.

Continue Reading
The Florida Breweries Report | Read Time: 2 minutes

The Florida Breweries Report – May 2021

Florida breweries’ monthly taxpaid sales exceeded 11,000 barrels for the first time in May 2021. Monthly Highlights The Data: The Florida Breweries Report reflects data published by the Florida ABT, which is available online here. The ABT monthly publishes the taxpaid sales for each brewery and distributor. Unfortunately, the ABT does not publish breweries’ sales to distributors. This means that the Florida Breweries Report reflects only breweries’ taxpaid sales, which are generally made in its taproom. Each April and October, breweries with lapsed licenses and no taxpaid sales within the past 12 months are purged from the Florida Breweries Report. The New Breweries: Three new Florida breweries in May 2021: Ink Factory Brewing (Jacksonville Beach), Stormhouse Brewing (North Palm Beach), Dees Brothers Brewery (Sanford), and Civic Brewing Co. (Sopchoppy). From Brewpub to Production Brewery: No breweries upgraded from a brewpub license (CMBP) to a production brewery license (CMB) this month. Breweries with a CMB license can start fill growlers, sell bottled or canned products for consumption off premises, and sell to licensed distributors. Where a brewery upgrades its license, the tables below denote the CMBP license with * and the CMB license with ^. Total Number of Breweries: In May 2021, the total number of licensed breweries stood at 411. Of those, 386 breweries reported taxpaid sales for the month. Monthly Performance: Month-to-month taxpaid sales increased by 2.1% in May 2021. Total taxpaid sales during the rolling last-twelve-months (LTM) increased by 3.04%. Compared to May 2020, LTM taxpaid sales were up by 2.84% in May 2021. Average Monthly Production: For reporting breweries, the average taxpaid sales per brewery in April 2021 was 28.78 barrels, a monthly increase of 0.52 barrels per brewery. Distribution: In April 2021, Florida breweries’ taxpaid sales accounted for 0.87% of all beer sales in Florida (8.7 out of 1,000 beers sold). Would you like The Florida Breweries Report as an Excel spreadsheet? Reports for this month and all months back to January 2015 are available at this link: https://brwlng.co/FLBreweries. Florida Breweries Monthly Taxpaid Sales This table shows each Florida brewery’s taxpaid sales volume for the month. Not every Florida brewery makes retail sales in a taproom or brewery. Florida Breweries’ LTM Taxpaid Sales Our next table shows retail sales by each brewery for the last 12 months (LTM) ending this month. Florida Breweries’ LTM Growth in Taxpaid Sales Our next table looks at the change in each brewery’s LTM taxpaid sales from last month. This provides an estimate of a brewery’s growth rate from one month to the next, at least to the extent of retail sales. The rightmost column identifies breweries that have less than 12 months of reported taxpaid sales. Florida Breweries With NoReported Activity Each month, a number of breweries report no retail sales or other taxable activities. The next table lists the licensed breweries that reported no activity for the twelve months through this month. Because we’re attorneys: Disclaimer.

Continue Reading
Labels | Read Time: < 1 minute

Labeling for Alcoholic Products Exterior Packaging

Federal law requires that the well-recognized Government Warning: GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems. be affixed to a “conspicuous and prominent place on the container” of alcoholic beverages that are sold in the United States. But how does this work with multi-layered packaging, such as 6-packs of beer that have a carrying carton surrounding the bottles or cans? Is the “container” that must bear the Government Warning the single bottle or can, the exterior carrying carton, or both? Perhaps surprisingly, the Government Warning is only required on each bottle or can in the 6-pack scenario. Even though the carrying carton is typically the consumer’s first interaction with the product, it is not included in the definition of a “container” that must contain the Government Warning. 27 C.F.R. § 16.10 specifically defines “Container” as “the innermost sealed container” in which the alcoholic beverage is placed and offered for sale. A phone call with the TTB confirmed they consider the carrying carton to be merely advertising. Do you have any questions about labeling regulations for alcohol products? Contact us at contact@brewerlong.com to schedule a consultation. Because we’re attorneys: Disclaimer.

Continue Reading
ABT | Read Time: 5 minutes

2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law: 5 Unanswered Questions

We reviewed the 2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law in two prior blog posts–2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law: General Overview and 2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law: Destination Entertainment Venues–but questions remain. Following are just five questions we have about the new law. Question #1: Can new Florida craft distillery apply directly for the DD(CD) license? It is unclear whether a new craft distillery must first obtain a Florida distillery (DD) license and only then can request designation as a craft distillery (DD(CD)). Concerning licensing of a craft distillery, the 2021 Florida Distilleries Law added the following statutory provision: A distillery may not operate as a craft distillery until the distillery has provided to the [Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco] written notification that it meets the criteria specified in paragraph (1)(b). Upon the division’s receipt of the notification and its verification that the distillery meets all such criteria, the division shall add the designation of craft distiller on the distillery’s license. Fla. Stat. S. 565.03(2)(a) (2021) The answer to this question is worth $3,000. That is, the annual license fee for a DD license is $4,000, whereas the annual license fee for a DD(CD) license is $1,000. Will the ABT require a new applicant to first pay $4,000 to obtain a DD license before requesting the “craft distillery” designation, or will the ABT allow an applicant to provide the craft distillery written notification at the time of application and pay only $1,000? Question #2: Can Florida breweries with a craft distillery license sell distilled products from their taproom? The 2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law has already generated strong interest among licensed breweries and wineries wanting to also manufacture and sell distilled products. Nearly all Florida breweries and wineries have an adjoining taproom or tasting room with a vendor license–most often, a 2COP (beer and wine, consumption on premises or carryout) license. Now that Florida craft distilleries are authorized to sell their own distilled products, for consumption on premises, from a “gift shop or tasting room” attached to the distillery, can that be the same space as the brewery taproom or winery tasting room? Where the brewery taproom or winery tasting room has the 2COP license, the answer is probably no–at least until the ABT says otherwise. The premises of a license–the physical space covered by a license–is significant under the Florida Beverage Law. It is unlawful to sell particular alcoholic beverages–whether beer, wine, or distilled spirits– except on the premises covered by the license. See Fla. Stat. S. 562.02. Generally, one licensed premises cannot overlap another licensed premises. The 2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law authorizes retail sales of distilled spirits as part of the DD(CD) manufacturing license itself, meaning that the distillery’s gift shop/tasting room must be part of the licensed distillery itself. That is, a craft distillery that is attached to a Florida brewery should be permitted to make sales from its owned tasting room that is covered by the craft distillery license, but probably not from a 2COP licensed taproom attached to the brewery. However, the Florida Beverage Law supports at least two exceptions. First, a brewery or winery with a craft distillery, that also has a 4COP (beer, wine, and liquor) licensed taproom or tasting room, should be able to transfer its own distilled products to the 4COP licensed premises for sale under that license. Nothing prohibits a brewery’s taproom having a 4COP quota license or a 4COP-SFS restaurant license. Second, Florida law does allow “special low proof products”, however derived, distilled, mixed, or fermented and which contain less than 6 percent alcohol by volume, to be sold by 2COP licensed vendors. See Fla. Stat. S. 564.06(5)(b). However, the ABT’s existing rule concerning these special low proof products is much more restrictive, limiting the definition of special low proof products to “products sealed by the manufacturer and offered for sale to vendors through licensed distributors in the originally sealed containers.” FAC Rule 61A-3.050. Particularly in light of the 2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law, this rule may require modification. Question #3: How does a craft distillery obtain a permit to regularly participate in farmers markets? Under the 2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law, craft distilleries may providing tastings and sales at organized, including farmers markets. The entire statutory provision is here: Craft distilleries may conduct tastings and sales of distilled spirits produced by the craft distilleries at Florida fairs, trade shows, farmers markets, expositions, and festivals. The division shall issue permits to craft distilleries for such tastings and sales. A craft distillery must pay all entry fees and must have a distillery representative present during the event. The permit is limited to the duration and physical location of the event Fla. Stat. 565.17(2) (2021). How will craft distilleries apply for the required permit? Will one permit allow a craft distillery to participate in the same farmers market every week, or will separate permits be required? What will be the cost of each permit? The ABT will have to provide answers to these questions. Question #4: How will Florida craft distilleries comply with the Florida agricultural products requirement? Effective July 1, 2026, Florida craft distilleries will be required to ensure that a minimum of 60 percent of their total finished branded products are distilled in Florida and contain one or more Florida agricultural products. Our sister website and blog, Groves Law, which focuses on the law of Florida agribusiness, already did a deep-dive into what might constitute “Florida agricultural products” for this purpose, but hopefully additional guidance will be provided by the ABT. In addition to what constitutes “Florida agricultural products”, how will the ABT verify that this requirement is met? What records will the distillery be required to keep? Are “total finished branded products” counted by volume or by package? There are a lot of practical questions that must be answered before this requirement becomes effective? Question #5: How many destination entertainment venues (DEVs) will we see? A large part of the 2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law is focused on […]

Continue Reading
Beverage Legislation | Read Time: 3 minutes

2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law: Destination Entertainment Venues

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. 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.

Continue Reading
Beverage Legislation | Read Time: 3 minutes

2021 Florida Craft Distilleries Law: General Overview

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.

Continue Reading
FAQs | Read Time: 3 minutes

Florida Farm-to-Flask: SB 46 “Craft” Distilleries Bill – Get to Know Your Local Farmer, Fast

Hi Brewers’ Law distillers, vintners, brewers, distributors, industry followers! Kara Ann Groves here of Groves Law, the ag-focused branch of BrewerLong, subbing in to bring you the crossover you didn’t know you needed. I’ve been around since the start of Brewers’ Law, and we now collectively service and connect producers and wholesalers across these industries. And SB 46, or the Craft Distilleries Act, presents just the opportunity for me to drop by and talk through the big agricultural changes key to maintaining this new “craft” distillery license. Brewers’ Law already broke down how significant this is for the craft liquor and bar industry generally here. And while there are several other hurdles to jump before qualifying as a “craft” distillery, I’m here to talk about arguably one of the biggest. Because if you want to become licensed under the Act (qualifying for in-house consumption and producing three times more than you could previously!), it’s time to start buying local. Like Florida’s Farm Winery Act and many “farm” or “craft” bills around the country, SB 46 aims to facilitate partnerships between established craft beverage and ag producers. Specifically, by July 1, 2026, 60% of the total product of a craft distillery licensed under the Act must be distilled in Florida and contain at least one Florida “agricultural product.” So what exactly is an “agricultural product” and how can these industries make this work? After all, Florida’s infertile soil and harsh weather don’t always mix well with a variety of crops. Unfortunately, “agricultural product” is not defined under the Act, but there are a few definitions elsewhere in the Florida Statutes and other states that may shed some light on what will qualify. Licensing provisions of Chapter 604 Florida Statutes provides its definition as any “natural products” of a variety of agribusinesses. However, citrus (except limes), grain and sugarcane are not included. Its definition under “agricultural advertisements” (Fla. Stat. 571.03) is more expansive to include “any horticultural, aquacultural, viticultural, dairy, poultry, apicultural, or other farm or garden product.” In New York, rye, peaches, grapes, corn, oats, barley, hops, wheat, apples and cherries have come under that definition across the “farm” beverage industry. And while embracing a more expansive definition of what products qualify will likely spark diverse partnerships, Florida and its would-be craft distillers would do well to heed lessons learned around the country related to supply and demand. Namely, because these bills did exactly as intended, demand for certain new crops, like malt barley in New York, skyrocketed. But local farmers dared not produce it without insurance coverage, which hadn’t previously existed in that area because of, at least in part, the crop’s volatility. In other states, equipment and harvesting issues delayed distribution. Simply put, across the country, in some way, shape or form, supply chains had difficulty keeping up when everything took off. Leaving some established Florida distillers, and perhaps rightfully so, skeptical of whether they’ll be able to meet those ag requirements. But this is just the state to make it work. Florida’s tourism-centric economy invites something different. South Florida’s extensive sugarcane industry could mean vodka or rum, and perhaps its citrus groves for gin. We here at Groves law, as big fans of bourbon and rye-based drinks (Manhattan, anyone?), are most looking forward to North and Central Florida distillers doing something special with the established corn and grain producers in those areas. For those new to the industry, whether distiller or farmer, FDACP’s Farm to You portal may be just the place to start connecting. SB 46 goes into effect this July, so we mean it when we say get to know your local agribusinesses sooner than later. Here’s hoping the more the merrier. Questions about Craft Distilleries? Let’s chat. Contact us at contact@groveslaw.ag to schedule a consultation. Because we’re attorneys: This blog post is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis as of the date of publication. We disclaim any duty to update or correct any information contained in this blog post, including errors, even if we are notified about them. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we disclaim all representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied with respect to the information contained in this blog post, including, but not limited to, warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, non-infringement, accuracy, completeness, and timeliness. We will not be liable for damages of any kind arising from or in connection with your use of or reliance on this blog post, including, but not limited to, direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, and punitive damages. You agree to use this blog post at your own risk. Regarding your particular circumstances, we recommend that you consult your own legal counsel (hopefully Groves Law). All Rights Reserved. All Puns Intended.

Continue Reading
The Florida Breweries Report | Read Time: 3 minutes

The Florida Breweries Report – April 2021

Florida breweries’ taxpaid sales for April 2021 up over 80% of sales for April 2020. Monthly Highlights The Data: The Florida Breweries Report reflects data published by the Florida ABT, which is available online here. The ABT monthly publishes the taxpaid sales for each brewery and distributor. Unfortunately, the ABT does not publish breweries’ sales to distributors. This means that the Florida Breweries Report reflects only breweries’ taxpaid sales, which are generally made in its taproom. Each April and October, breweries with lapsed licenses and no taxpaid sales within the past 12 months are purged from the Florida Breweries Report. The New Breweries: Three new Florida breweries in April 2021: Prision Pals Brewing Co. (Doral), Gatlin Hall Brewing (Orlando), and World’s Most Famous Brewery (Daytona Beach). From Brewpub to Production Brewery: No breweries upgraded from a brewpub license (CMBP) to a production brewery license (CMB) this month. Breweries with a CMB license can start fill growlers, sell bottled or canned products for consumption off premises, and sell to licensed distributors. Where a brewery upgrades its license, the tables below denote the CMBP license with * and the CMB license with ^. Total Number of Breweries: In April 2021, the total number of licensed breweries stood at 406 (after breweries that no longer have active licenses). Of those, 385 breweries reported taxpaid sales for the month. Monthly Performance: Month-to-month taxpaid sales fell by 0.66% in April 2021. Total taxpaid sales during the rolling last-twelve-months (LTM) increased by 4.78%. Compared to April 2020, LTM taxpaid sales were down by 1.54% in April 2021. Average Monthly Production: For reporting breweries, the average taxpaid sales per brewery in April 2021 was 28.26 barrels, a monthly decrease of 0.64 barrels per brewery. Distribution: In April 2021, Florida breweries’ taxpaid sales accounted for 0.84% of all beer sales in Florida (8.4 out of 1,000 beers sold). Would you like The Florida Breweries Report as an Excel spreadsheet? Reports for this month and all months back to January 2015 are available at this link: https://brwlng.co/FLBreweries. Florida Breweries Monthly Taxpaid Sales This table shows each Florida brewery’s taxpaid sales volume for the month. Not every Florida brewery makes retail sales in a taproom or brewery. Florida Breweries’ LTM Taxpaid Sales Our next table shows retail sales by each brewery for the last 12 months (LTM) ending this month. Florida Breweries’ LTM Growth in Taxpaid Sales Our next table looks at the change in each brewery’s LTM taxpaid sales from last month. This provides an estimate of a brewery’s growth rate from one month to the next, at least to the extent of retail sales. The rightmost column identifies breweries that have less than 12 months of reported taxpaid sales. Florida Breweries With NoReported Activity Each month, a number of breweries report no retail sales or other taxable activities. The next table lists the licensed breweries that reported no activity for the twelve months through this month. Because we’re attorneys: This blog post is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis as of the date of publication. We disclaim any duty to update or correct any information contained in this blog post, including errors, even if we are notified about them. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we disclaim all representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied with respect to the information contained in this blog post, including, but not limited to, warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, non-infringement, accuracy, completeness, and timeliness. We will not be liable for damages of any kind arising from or in connection with your use of or reliance on this blog post, including, but not limited to, direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, and punitive damages. You agree to use this blog post at your own risk. Regarding your particular circumstances, we recommend that you consult your own legal counsel–hopefully BrewerLong.

Continue Reading
Retail | Read Time: 3 minutes

Florida’s Alcohol Pool Buying Groups

How do small Florida alcoholic beverage vendors take advantage of Florida distributors’ volume discounts (See Alcohol Distributors’ Discounts Under Florida Law)? The answer is a pool buying group. (Disclaimer: it works for large vendors too.) How to Jump Into a Florida Pool Buying Group To form a pool buying group, a pool buying agreement must be approved by the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT), according to Florida Administrative Code Section 61A-40.0501. The pool buying agreement must include the following information: Name and address of the pool buying group Name of the buying agent Name, DBA, license number and date of membership for each member of the group An executed copy of the pool buying agreement should be sent to the ABT’s Pool Buying Section in Tallahassee. After a pool buying the agreement has been approved, changes to the pool membership, the buying agent, or the agreement must be submitted to the ABT’s Pool Buying Section along with Form ABT-6010. The Pool Buying Agent Places Orders for the Group The key to a pool buying group is the pool buying agent (the “Agent”). Distributors are authorized to accept pool orders and payment only from the Agent. Members of the pool buying group must place their orders with the Agent, and they must pay to the Agent the cost of their order. The Agent’s orders must be placed under the name of the pool buying group and include each pool member’s part of the order. Both the Agent and the distributor are required to keep invoices that reflect each pool member’s portion of a pool buying as well as a master invoice that includes all of the members’ orders. The invoices must include the following information: The date of the order. The name of the distributor with whom it was placed. The names and license numbers of each pool member participating in the pool order. The brand, size and quantity of alcoholic beverages ordered by each pool member. The cost to each member for its share of the pool order and any vinous and spirituous beverage discount given on the pool order. Important Note: If payment is not timely made for a pool buying order, the entire pool buying group and all of its members will be considered delinquent accounts and included on the ABT’s “No Sale” List. See Florida’s “No Sale” List and How to Get Off It. Alcohol Can Be Transferred Between Group Members One member of a pool buying group is permitted to transfer alcoholic products to another member of the group. Any such transfer must be treated as a sale of products from one vendor to the other. This is an exception to the general rule that prohibits one licensed vendor from purchasing alcohol from another licensed vendor. See Florida Statutes Section 561.14. Where one group member sells alcohol to another member, it must be reflected on an invoice or other written record that includes the following information: The name and license number of each vendor. The name, sizes, and quantities of the products transferred. The date of original delivery of products from the pool order. The date physical transfer of products was made from one group member to the other A unique identifier that links the record with the pool order. Do you have questions about Florida pool buying groups? Contact us at contact@brewerlong.com to schedule a consultation. Because we’re attorneys: This blog post is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis as of the date of publication. We disclaim any duty to update or correct any information contained in this blog post, including errors, even if we are notified about them. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we disclaim all representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied with respect to the information contained in this blog post, including, but not limited to, warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, non-infringement, accuracy, completeness, and timeliness. We will not be liable for damages of any kind arising from or in connection with your use of or reliance on this blog post, including, but not limited to, direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, and punitive damages. You agree to use this blog post at your own risk. Regarding your particular circumstances, we recommend that you consult your own legal counsel–hopefully BrewerLong.

Continue Reading
Distribution | Read Time: 3 minutes

Alcohol Distributors’ Discounts Under Florida Law

Florida’s “Tied House Evil” Law—Florida Statutes Section 561.42—generally prohibits alcoholic beverage distributors from having any financial interest, directly or indirectly, in the business of an alcoholic beverage vendor. It also prohibits distributors from assisting any vendor by gifts or loans of money or property “or by giving of any rebates of any kind whatsoever.” However, an exception is made in the Florida Beverage Laws so that distributors are allows to give price discounts to the vendors to which they sell. As is so often the case, though, Florida’s rules around distributors’ discounts are different for wine and spirits, on the one hand, and beer on the other. For Wine and Liquor, Broad Freedom on Trade Discounts When it comes to the distribution of wine and spirits, distributors have greater freedom to provide discounts to vendors. Subsection 6 of the Tied House Evil Law (Florida Statutes Section 561.42(6)) provides: “Nothing herein shall be taken to forbid the giving of trade discounts in the usual course of business upon wine and liquor sales.” “Trade discounts” are defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as “a discount from list price offered to all customers of a given type; e.g. discount offered by lumber dealer to building contractor.” Accordingly, distributors may offer vendors trade discounts for any purpose or with any criteria, provided they are offered on the usual course of business. In addition, distributors are not required to publicly disclose the trade discounts they offer on wine and liquor, unlike discounts on beer. For Beer, Trade Discounts are Limited and Public The story is different for distributors’ sales discounts on beer. Chapter 563 of the Florida Statutes, which specifically addresses beer and malt beverages, limits discounts–also referred to as price differentials–to certain criteria. Florida Statutes Section 563.065 provides that distributors may offer discounts on the sale of beer to vendors only on the basis of one or more of the following four criteria: The vendor’s county. The location of the distributor’s warehouse supplying the vendor. Whether the vendor sells beer for on premises consumption or off premises consumption. The quantity of beer sold to the vendor. In addition, all discounts on beer must be reported in advance to the Florida Division of Alcohol and Tobacco (ABT). These reports of discounts are publicly available on the ABT’s Beer Price Notices web page. Do you have questions about alcoholic beverage distributors’ price discounts in Florida? Contact us at contact@brewerlong.com to schedule a consultation. Because we’re attorneys: This blog post is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis as of the date of publication. We disclaim any duty to update or correct any information contained in this blog post, including errors, even if we are notified about them. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we disclaim all representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied with respect to the information contained in this blog post, including, but not limited to, warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, non-infringement, accuracy, completeness, and timeliness. We will not be liable for damages of any kind arising from or in connection with your use of or reliance on this blog post, including, but not limited to, direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, and punitive damages. You agree to use this blog post at your own risk. Regarding your particular circumstances, we recommend that you consult your own legal counsel–hopefully BrewerLong.

Continue Reading