Breweries | Read Time: 4 minutes

Summary Guide to Florida Alcohol Delivery

Who can delivery beer, wine, and distilled spirits directly to the homes of Florida customers? See the following summary chart and the explanations below. Florida Breweries Cannot Deliver Alcohol to Customers’ Homes While certain breweries are allowed by Florida law to sell alcoholic beverages to customers, breweries are specifically prohibited from delivering alcohol away from their licensed taproom or brewpub. Florida breweries have two routes to selling beer to customers: a retail licensed taproom or a brewpub. Taprooms may have a retail license to sell beer, wine or distilled spirits for consumption on premises or carry-out (a 2COP or 4COP license), but the provision of Florida Statutes that makes that possibly specifically states that breweries cannot make deliveries away from the taproom. See Florida Statutes Section 561.221(2)(d). Breweries with a brewpub license (CMBP) may sell alcoholic products for consumption on premises only. Florida Wineries Can Deliver Alcohol to Customers’ Homes Like breweries, Florida wineries can have a retail license, which allows them to sell beer, wine or distilled spirits for consumption on premises or carry-out. For this purpose, wineries includes cideries and meaderies. Unlike breweries, Florida wineries are not prohibited from delivering alcoholic beverages to customers’ homes. Retail-licensed vendors in Florida are generally permitted to make deliveries away from their places of business. See Florida Statutes Section 561.57. Deliveries must be made in vehicles owned or leased by the vendor or in a third-party vehicle pursuant to a contract with the third party, such as a common carrier. A winery with a retail vendor license is not prohibited from making deliveries as provided by Section 561.57. Florida Distilleries Cannot Deliver Alcohol to Customers’ Homes Unlike Florida breweries and wineries, Florida distilleries are not permitted to hold a retail license. Because they cannot hold a retail license, distilleries cannot make deliveries to customers homes as provided Section 561.57. Certain Florida distilleries, which the statutes call “craft distilleries”, are permitted to have gift shop at which packaged products can be sold. Under current law, Florida craft distilleries are limited to selling not more than 6 individual containers of each branded product to each customer per year. See Florida Statutes Section 565.03(c). The craft distillery statute requires that sales must be in face-to-face transactions, for the customers personal use and not for resale. While craft distillery gift shops can make retail sales, the craft distillery is not granted a retail vendor license. This matters, because Section 561.57 allow pertains to deliveries made by licensed retail vendors. Florida Distributors Cannot Deliver Alcohol to Customers’ Homes Licensed Florida distributors, along with importers and broker sales agents, are only permitted to sell alcoholic beverages to licensed manufacturers and other licensed distributors. Accordingly, this group is prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages directly to customers in all circumstances. Florida Non-Manufacturing Retailers Can Deliver Alcohol to Customers’ Homes As discussed above, Florida licensed retail vendors are permitted to make deliveries to customers, as long as the vendor is not also a brewery. See Florida Statutes Section 561.57. Again, deliveries must be made in vehicles owned or leased by the vendor or in a third-party vehicle pursuant to a contract with the third party, such as a common carrier. Delivery Services Contracted by Florida Retailers Can Deliver Alcohol to Customers’ Homes Florida Statutes Section 561.57 specifically authorizes licensed retailers to engage third parties to make deliveries to customers’ homes. Companies like Drizly, Shipt, and Minibar contract with Florida retailers to deliver alcoholic products. In these cases, the retailer is treated as having sold the products directly to the customer, and the deliverer acts as an agent of the retailer. Section 561.57 requires a contract to exist between the licensed retailer and the delivery service. Personal Shopping Services Contracted by Customers Can Probably Deliver Alcohol to Customers’ Homes Personal shopping services, like Instacart, claim to operate differently than retailer delivery services. Whereas retailer delivery services operate as an agent for the retailer, personal shopping services operate as an agent for the customer. The experience of getting deliveries through a retail delivery service versus a personal shopping service may be the same, but there is a legal distinction that matters. While Florida Statutes Section 561.57 expressly permits retailers to engage third-party deliverers, it does not expressly authorize personal shopping services. It appears that nothing in the Florida Beverage Laws directly addresses personal shopping services, whether it is permitted or prohibited. The Florida Statutes do prohibit the transportation of alcoholic beverages in quantities of more than 12 bottles, and it is unclear how this might apply to personal shopping services. Florida Statutes Section 562.07 provides a short list of who may transport alcohol in quantities of more than 12 bottles, including “individuals who possess such beverages not for resale within the state.” Arguably, this should cover a personal shopper, who is not intending to resell the products, but rather deliver products that have been remotely purchased to the customer, as the customer’s agent. Still, there legal situation for personal shopping services is less clear than it is for retailer delivery services. Do you have questions about home delivery of alcohol 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 […]

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Breweries | Read Time: 4 minutes

Common Zoning Challenges for Florida Beverage Manufacturers

One of the greatest challenges to opening or expanding an alcoholic manufacturing plant–whether brewery, winery, or distillery–is complying with local zoning ordinances. While many Florida communities have enacted specific craft beverage ordinances, most have not. As a result, getting that all-important zoning approval for a new or amended alcohol manufacturing or retail license can pose a time and cost burden, or worse, stop an applicant dead in its tracks. We’ve discussed zoning before: Brewers’ Law 101: Local Zoning Approval and Before Choosing a Beverage Manufacturing Location: 5 Questions. In this post, we focus on common zoning challenges faced by Florida beverage manufacturers. Manufacturing in a Commercial Zone; Retail in an Industrial Zone The business model for a Florida craft beverage manufacturer typically involves two “uses” sitting side-by-side: a manufacturing plant and a retail store. The combination of product manufacturing and on-premises sales to retail customers is unique in the commercial products industry. This uniqueness is often reflected in municipal zoning codes. The zoning codes of many Florida communities (whether towns, cities, or counties) have distinct zones for “industrial uses” and “commercial uses.” Heavy Industry and Light Industry zones are designated for manufacturing. In some cases, retail store fronts are prohibited in Industrial zones (or if not prohibited outright, subject to conditional use, as discussed below). Likewise, Commercial ones are often designated for retail stores, restaurants and bars. Zoning ordinances also prohibit “manufacturing” activities from taking place in a Commercial zone. While alcoholic beverage “manufacturing” can look like very different things–a small, neighborhood brewpub with a 1 barrel brewhouse versus a large, industrial manufacturing and canning production plant–some zoning ordinances do not recognize the difference. Unless a community’s zoning process allows some flexibility, a typical manufacturing and retail model might not work in these communities. Schools and Churches Separation Requirements Florida law and many local zoning ordinances prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages within a certain distance of churches and schools. At a minimum, Florida law requires that alcoholic beverage retailers (including taprooms, tasting rooms, and distillery gift shops) cannot be located within 500 feet of a public or private elementary school, middle school, or secondary school, unless local ordinances provide otherwise. The zoning ordinances of many Florida communities are often more restrictive than Florida law. It is typical for local ordinances to require at least 1,000 feet of separation between a alcoholic beverage retailer and a school, as well as churches and other places of public worship. Some communities also put restrictions on how close an alcoholic beverage retailer can locate near to residential areas generally. What makes compliance with schools and churches separation requirements more difficult is that fact that ordinances often define “schools”, “churches” and “separation” differently. For some communities, “schools” includes not only public and private schools, but also daycares, after-school care, and other educational facilities. “Churches” may or may not include storefront churches located in commercial centers not designated as religious use. The manner of measuring the separation between the retailer and the school or church differs among communities. For some, separation is measured from property-edge to property-edge in a straight line. For others, the distance of separation is measured from doorstep to doorstep as a pedestrian would travel while obeying roadway laws. Time-Consuming and Costly Conditional Use Procedures Many Florida communities provide some level of flexibility in compliance with otherwise rigid zoning ordinance in the form of a conditional use procedure. Generally, conditional use procedures allow an applicant to request that the local government grant an exception to allow an activity in a zone that would not otherwise be permitted (such as, retail in an Industrial zone or manufacturing in a Commercial zone) or to allow retail alcohol sales to be closer to a school, church, or neighborhood than would be allowed. Condition use procedures, however, can be costly and time consuming. In many cases, the applicant is required to pay a government fee and pay for a professionally prepared land survey. Conditional use procedures often require the application to be consider at one or more community board hearings, which are usually schedule several months in advance. It is often a requirement that the applicant, at its own expense, mail notices to residents and property owners within the area that is to be affected by the non-conforming use. Conditional use is not guaranteed. After months of time and the expenses of complying with the conditional use procedures, the applicant’s request to use a certain location for a beverage manufacturing and retail space might be denied. In cases where the applicant’s request is granted, there might be conditions or limitations imposed that impact the applicant’s business expectations, such as limits on hours of operation, limits on production capacity, or prohibitions against distribution (all are common). Do you have questions about complying with local zoning requirements in Florida? Contact us at contact@brewerlong.com to schedule a 15-minute introductory call at no charge. 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.

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Breweries | Read Time: 4 minutes

COVID-19 is a Force Majeure Event – What Does That Mean?

Force Majeure: It’s Out of Control “Force majeure” is one of those legal terms that might be hard to explain (and spell), but you know it when you see it. The term literally means “superior force,” but it has come to mean any extraordinary event that is beyond the control of contracting parties. Force majeure events might include acts of God (like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions) as well as man-made circumstances (like war, riots, strikes, or government action). Many commercial contracts have a force majeure clause. The force majeure clause usually appears towards the end of the contract, with other miscellaneous or boilerplate terms. The purpose of a force majeure clause is to relieve one or both parties from performing certain duties during circumstances outside their control. A typical force majeure clause is: Force Majeure. A party shall not be liable for any failure of or delay in the performance of its obligations hereunder for the period that such failure or delay is due to causes beyond its reasonable control, including but not limited to transportation or carrier delays, shortage of materials, shortage of labor, labor dispute, picketing, strike, unavailability of utility services, acts of God, acts of a public enemy, storm, flood, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, tsunami, other act of nature, fire, explosion, riot, protest, sabotage, pandemic outbreak, war, civil disturbance, political unrest, terrorist or other criminal act, embargo, judicial, executive, or other government order. If a delay continues for a period of more than sixty (60) days, either party may terminate the Agreement upon written notice to the other party, with all payments and liabilities accruing through the date of termination. COVID-19 Creates Multiple Force Majeure Events The worldwide spread of coronavirus, outbreaks of the COVID-19 disease, and government and industry measures to control the pandemic all create immediate force majeure events and the potential for future events. As of this writing (March 22, 2020), several state governments have imposed lockdowns on most face-to-face business and recreational activities, and all states have taken some measures to limit transmission of the coronavirus. In Florida, Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order No. 20-71 closes all restaurants and bars to on premises service. Restaurants and bars are prevented by government action from carrying out their normal business. However, many lease agreements require restaurants and bars to be open during certain hours and to continue business without interruption. The governor’s order creates a force majeure event that should relieve restaurants and bars from their lease obligation to stay open while the order remains effective. As more and more workers (or their family members) come down with COVID-19, labor shortages might follow. This could make it difficult for contractors to fulfill their contracted delivery schedules. For instance, if a contract brewer is required by contract to finish an order for contracted beer within a 45-day period, that might become difficult if all the brewers call in sick, are quarantined, or are required by a government order to stay home. Even if things are not so bad in Florida, for instance, the impacts of the disease in Washington could make it difficult for breweries to get hops for several months. These might create additional force majeure events. Read Your Force Majeure Clauses All business owners should pull out their contracts and look for the force majeure clauses. This is especially true for beverage industry members–breweries, wineries, distributors, and retailers–who are likely to be especially hard hit by COVID-19 and government intervention to control the pandemic. In reviewing a force majeure clause, focus on these questions: What circumstances or events are covered? Which party is relieved from liability because of a force majeure event? Is there a time limit on how long relief from liability continues? Is the party affected by the force majeure event required to notify the other party or take other steps? Does the continuation of a force majeure event give either or both parties the right to terminate the agreement or take other actions? A word of caution: While most commercial lease agreements do include a force majeure clause, in most cases they do not relieve a tenant from its obligation to pay rent during a force majeure event. However, every tenant should review the force majeure clause in its own lease agreement. Do you have questions about a force majeure clause in your contract? Contact us at contact@brewerlong.com to schedule a 15-minute introductory call at no charge. 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.

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ABT | Read Time: 6 minutes

The Compliant Florida Beer Festival

Craft beer festivals are tremendously popular in Florida. The multiplication of beer festivals throughout the state has caused the state’s principal regulator of alcoholic beverages–the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (the ABT)–to take a closer look at how beer festivals are operated. Like all activities involving alcohol beverages, Florida beer festivals are subject to a confusing web of state and local laws and ordinances. The following tips are intended to help organizers of Florida paid-admission beer festivals understand how state and local laws and ordinance may impact their festivals.

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Breweries | Read Time: 3 minutes

Perfect Pairing: 5 Myths About Florida Breweries and Restaurants

Nothing goes better with fresh brewed beer than a fresh cooked bratwurst–or pizza, or a burger, or a million other foods. So why don’t more Florida breweries have restaurants attached? For some breweries, it could be because of one of the several myths that persist about that perfect pairing: brewery and restaurant.

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Breweries | Read Time: 10 minutes

The Florida Breweries Report – April 2014

Brewpubs are breweries too, right? We think so. Even though the Floria ABT separates its reporting on the retail sales by Florida production breweries (CMB license) and Florida brewpubs (CMBP license), we don’t have to. For the first time, Florida breweries and brewpubs are all together in The Florida Breweries Report.

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ABT | Read Time: 5 minutes

The Florida Brewpubs Report – March 2014

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 Brewpub Report reflects information about each brewpub’s reported sales as reflected on the ABT’s monthly wholesale reports for March 2014, the most recent information available. 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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ABT | Read Time: 4 minutes

What to Expect When You’re Expanding

As Florida-made craft beer, spirits, and wine continue to grow in popularity, Florida beverage manufacturers may find it hard to keep up with demand. Every growing manufacturer must ask: Should we expand? Deciding to expand involves answering a slew of questions, all while keeping existing production on track. This article reviews four primary questions a manufacturer must answer when thinking about an expansion.

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