Florida | Read Time: 3 minutes

Mobile Alcohol Sales Are (Mostly) Not Permitted in Florida

Imagine a business–call it Mobile Bar–that brings the bar to you. You hire Mobile Bar for a reception, party or other event held at your home, office, or other private property. Mobile Bar has a cool, old trailer, truck, or standing bar that it brings to your location. Mobile Bar handles buying all the beer, wine and liquor and bringing it to your event. Mobile Bar provides the bartender, who hands out beer, pours wine, and mixes cocktails. This is a cash bar, so Mobile Bar handles the sales too. Mobile Bar sounds great, right? You might have even seen Florida businesses that provide this exact same service. Here’s the problem: Mobile Bar, and mobile alcohol vendor services like it, are not legal in the State of Florida. The Florida Beverage Laws do not support independent, mobile alcohol sales. In other words, there is no license available in Florida that allows the licenseholder to sell to the general public primarily beer, wine or liquor, whether in sealed containers or by the drink, from non-fixed locations, whether on public or private property. And selling alcoholic beverages without a license is a crime in Florida (See Florida Statutes Section 562.12). Mobile Alcohol Sales Have a Place Problem The Florida Beverage Laws (Florida Statutes Chapters 561-565) make it clear that no person or company can sell alcoholic beverages without a license. Two criteria are primarily important to getting a license: the licensed individuals and the licensed premises. First, all of the individuals who will be involved in owning or managing an alcoholic beverage business must be identified an provide information about themselves (see Identifying the Interested Parties of a Florida License Applicant). Second, the location where alcohol will be sold and consumed–the licensed premises–must be identified and described in detail. The Florida Beverage Laws and regulations require that the premises be suitable for selling alcohol, including compliance with local zoning ordinances. Also, the licenseholder must show that it has legal control over the licensed premises, at least while alcohol is being sold and consumed. This means that the licenseholder must own the premises, have a lease to the premises, or have some other contract giving the licenseholder control over all sales and consumption of alcohol on the premises. The Florida Beverage Laws will only grant the right to sell alcohol to the individuals who can control its consumption in a specific place and only if local laws allow alcohol to be sold in that place. These location-specific licensing requirements are in most cases at odds with the purpose of a mobile bar service–to provide limited alcohol sales, on private property, for events organized by someone else. To be clear: the Florida Beverage Laws do not prohibit renting a cool old truck, trailer, or standing bar for use by a private party giving away alcohol at a hosted event. But that’s a much different business model than mobile alcohol sales. When it comes to selling alcohol in Florida, the location matters a lot. If Mobile Bar’s business is centered on selling alcohol at places that are not approved for alcohol sales, then it’s a business that does not work under the Florida Beverage Laws. Some Limited Exceptions Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, including the Florida Beverage Laws’ prohibition on mobile alcohol sales. There are some licenses available that do allow services mobile alcohol sales, for instance alcohol catering by a quota licenseholder (see Alcohol Catering with Florida Quota License) or licensed alcohol caterer (see Working with Beverage Caterers). But the limitations on these exceptions are significant and put them in a much different business model than our fictional Mobile Bar describe above. The following table briefly describes the most relevant “exceptions” to the Florida Beverage Laws’ prohibition on mobile alcohol sales and the limitations on those exceptions. See the Florida ABT’s Licenses and Permits for Alcoholic Beverages for a complete list of available licenses. Exception (License Class) Limitations Food Caterers (13CT) Only available to licensed food caterers; must derive at least 51% of food and beverage revenue from sales of food and non-alcoholic beverages; sales of alcohol only permitted at events the same caterer is providing food catering Quota License Holders (QUOTA) Only limited number of quota licenses are available per county Temporary Permit (ODP) Only available to bona fide non-profit organizations or municipalities; limited to 12 permits per year for events not exceeding 3 days at a time Public Fair (FEX) Only available to organized public fairs and expositions in connection with events held on the fairgrounds Mobile Vehicles (X) Sales permitted only to passengers; vehicle must be engaged in interstate commerce or travel between fixed terminals and on a fixed schedule Do you have any questions about mobile alcohol sales in Florida? Contact us at contact@brewerlong.com to schedule a consultation with a beverage attorney. Because we’re attorneys: Disclaimer.

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Blog | Read Time: 6 minutes

FL Breweries & Distilleries: Be Wary of Home Delivery Service Apps

The terms and conditions for popular food and alcohol delivery service apps may be incompatible with the Florida Beverage Law’s prohibition on alcohol home delivery by breweries and craft distilleries. Florida Breweries and Craft Distilleries are Prohibited from Making Deliveries to Customers The Florida Beverage Law (specifically Florida Statutes Section 561.57(1)) generally allows licensed alcohol vendors to accept remote orders from retail customers and deliver the ordered products to the customers. These permitted deliveries can be made either in vehicles owned or leased by the vendor or by third party delivery providers under contract with the vendor. This is what allows customers in Florida to order beer, wine, or liquor from a grocery store, alcohol package store, or most other licensed vendors and get delivery at home. Not so for Florida breweries and craft distilleries, however. The Florida Beverage Law specifically prohibits brewery taprooms and craft distilleries to make deliveries away from their taprooms or gift shops. Regarding craft breweries, the Florida Beverage Law provides: A manufacturer possessing a vendor’s license under this subsection is not permitted to make deliveries under s. 561.57(1). Florida Statutes Section 561.221(2)(d) (2021). Florida Statutes Section 561.221(2) specifically authorizes breweries to have licensed taprooms, but subsection (d) provides that these taprooms are not allowed to make deliveries according Section 561.57(1). Craft distilleries are also specifically prohibited from making deliveries away from their gift shops: A craft distillery may not ship or arrange to ship any of its branded products or any other alcoholic beverages to consumers and may sell and deliver only to consumers within the state in a face-to-face transaction at the distillery property. Florida Statutes Section 565.03(2)(f)3. (2021). When it comes to delivery services, here is the key question: Does the delivery service app rely on delivery providers that are the agent of the seller or the customer? If the app relies on delivery providers that are the agents of the seller, then the Florida Beverage Laws clearly prohibit breweries and craft distilleries to make sales through those services. On the other hand, if the app’s delivery providers are the agents of the the customer or the app itself, then breweries and craft distilleries can make sale through those services. The big problem? Delivery service apps don’t always make clear the role of the delivery provider–as agent of the seller or the customer. Following is a brief review of the terms and conditions (as of November 2021) of 6 popular food and alcohol delivery service apps, to get at this question of agency. Grubhub – Probably Agent of the Seller Grubhub’s terms of service do not clearly define the role of the delivery provider. However, the terms suggest that it is more likely the case that the delivery provider is the seller’s agent. Grubhub is a virtual marketplace Platform that connects hungry diners with third-party service providers, including local restaurants and independent delivery service providers. You may order food through the Platform to be delivered from particular restaurants, including their authorized licensees and franchisees, or other purveyors of food in cities throughout the United States and other territories where Grubhub provides such Services (collectively, the “Restaurants”). Grubhub is not a delivery company or a common carrier. Some deliveries are provided by Grubhub’s network of independent delivery service providers (“Delivery Partners”). Delivery Partners have entered into agreements with Grubhub which require them to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules and regulations, including, without limitation, traffic laws, requirements of the applicable motor vehicle agency, and applicable insurance requirements. By accessing the Platform, you agree and acknowledge that Delivery Partners are solely responsible for, and Grubhub shall not be liable or responsible for, the delivery services provided to you by any Delivery Partner or any subcontractors of Delivery Partners, or any acts, omissions, errors or misrepresentations made by any Delivery Partner. https://www.grubhub.com/legal/terms-of-use (emphasis added) While it’s clear that the Delivery Partners are not Grubhub’s agent, it is not clear whether they are the agents of the sellers or the customers. However, the terms indicate that the orders are “delivered from particular restaurants,” suggesting that the delivery process starts with the seller nor the customer. This leans in favor of concluding that the Delivery Partner is the seller’s agent, in which case Florida breweries and craft distilleries may be prohibited from using them. Uber Eats – Agent of the Seller Things are a bit clearer for Uber Eats, but not in a manner that favors their use by breweries and craft distilleries. For the avoidance of doubt, (i) [Uber] is an unlicensed entity that facilitates the promotion, marketing, and/or sale of Alcohol Items by third parties via the App(s); and (ii) Merchant is a licensed seller of alcoholic beverages that wishes to sell Alcohol Items via the App(s). Orders for Alcohol Items solicited via the App(s) will be transmitted to Merchant. Merchant is responsible for, will be clearly identified during, and shall control the sale of any orders for Alcohol Items, including any decisions regarding accepting, fulfilling, and rejecting orders for Alcohol Items. Each Delivery Person shall deliver Alcohol Items under and pursuant to Merchant’s Required Licenses and, as necessary, as Merchant’s third-party beneficiary. https://www.uber.com/legal/en/document/?name=uber-eats-merchant-alcohol-terms-of-use&country=united-states&lang=en (emphasis added) In this case, it’s more clear that (a) the Uber Eat app is a tool for sales by the seller, and (b) the Delivery Person is acting for an on behalf of the seller. That means that the Florida Beverage Laws most likely prohibit breweries’ and craft distilleries’ sales through Uber Eats. Instacart – Agent of the Customer Unlike Grubhub and Uber Eats, Instacart’s terms point toward the conclusion that the delivery provider is the agent of the customer, not the seller. When you use the Services to place an order for goods, you authorize the purchase of those goods from the Retailers you select and, if you have selected delivery services, the delivery of those goods by Third Party Providers. Unless otherwise specified, you acknowledge and agree that Instacart and the Third Party Provider are collectively acting […]

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ABT | Read Time: 4 minutes

Off-Site Alcohol Service by Florida Retailers

Alcoholic beverage retailers–including bars, restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries–are often asked to provide off-site alcohol service–catering–for a range of events. In Florida, there are a limited number of ways in which an alcohol retailer can participate in providing alcohol service away from its licensed premises. Option 1: Sales to Private Party for Open Bar Alcohol retailers that have a license that permits sales for consumption off premises can supply a private party to host an open bar event. For instance a wine or beer bottle shop with a 2APS license can provide all the beer or wine to be served by the host at a wedding reception. The same is true for a bar, restaurant, brewery or winery with a 2COP license. Each of these retailers can sell wine or beer in cans, bottles, or kegs, and they can provide keg service equipment. Even a craft distillery gift shop can sell to a private party bottled liquor, now in unlimited quantities under the recently changed craft distillery law. However, this option does not permit two activities: First, the alcohol retailer cannot provide bartending service for the event. Second, the host of the event cannot resell the alcohol at the event–open bar only. Option 2: Sales to an Licensed Alcohol Caterer Alcohol retailers that have an off-premises consumption license can sell alcohol to the holder of a 13CT alcohol catering license. See Florida Statutes Section 561.20(2)(a)5. Generally, one licensed retailer is not permitted to purchase alcohol from another licensed retailer. One of the few exceptions to this rule is a licensed alcohol caterer (requirements for acting as an alcohol caterer are discussed below). Licensed alcohol caterers are permitted to purchase alcohol directly from a retailer that is licensed to sell alcohol to individuals for off-premises consumption. Licensed alcohol caterers are permitted to operate a cash bar at a private event (assuming compliance with other state laws and local ordinances). After the event, the alcohol caterer is required to leave the remaining alcohol with its private customer or return unopened alcohol to the retailer, provided the retailer will accept the return. Under this option, the alcohol retailer again is not permitted to provide bartending service for the event, but the alcohol caterer can provide this service. Option 3: Sales for a Non-Profit Event Similar to Option 2, alcohol retailers that have an off-premises license can sell alcohol to a non-profit organization or municipality for a permitted non-profit event. Non-profit organizations and municipalities are eligible to obtain a One, Two, or Three Day Permit (ODP) from the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT). See Florida Statutes Section 561.422. The ODP permit allows the organizer of a non-profit event to serve or sell beer, wine, or liquor at the event (assuming compliance with other state laws and local ordinances). Like the licensed alcohol caterer, the ODP event organizer is permitted to purchase alcohol directly from an alcohol retailer with an off-premises consumption license. The non-profit event host is permitted to reseller alcohol at the event. Presumably, the alcohol retailer is permitted to provide bartending services to the event host (no provision of the Florida Beverage Law or regulations seems to prohibit this). However, all net profits from sales of alcoholic beverages at the event  must be retained by the non-profit organization. Option 4: Alcohol Catering with a 13CT License As discussed above, the holder of a 13CT alcohol catering license is permitted to sell and serve alcohol at a catered event. A licensed alcohol retailer can hold a 13CT alcohol catering license and provide catering services directly in certain circumstances. To obtain a 13CT alcohol catering license, the retailer must first have a public food service (PFS) license issued by the Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants. That is, the retailer must be licensed as a restaurant, mobile food vehicle, or food caterer. A retailer with a 13CT alcohol catering license may sell alcohol (beer, wine, or liquor) at events for which it also provides the food catering. Moreover, the retailer must derive at least 51% of its gross food and beverage revenue from the sale of food and nonalcoholic beverages at each catered event. A 13CT licensed alcohol caterer cannot sell only alcohol at the event. See also Working with Beverage Caterers. Option 5: Alcohol Catering with a Quota License A retailer with a 4COP or 3PS quota license is also permitted to sell and serve alcohol at a catered event. Importantly, this does not include a restaurant that holds a 4COP-SFS license, which prohibits sales for consumption off-premises (although such a restaurant could hold a separate 13CT license). Unlike a 13CT licensed alcohol caterer, a quota licensed retailer is not required to derive at least 51% of its revenue from the sale of food and nonalcoholic beverages at each event. However, each catered event must have  prepared food is provided by a caterer by the Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants. See also Alcohol Catering with Florida Quota License. Do you have any questions about off-site alcohol service by Florida retailers? Contact us at contact@brewerlong.com to schedule a consultation with a beverage attorney. Because we’re attorneys: Disclaimer.

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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.

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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.

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Beverage Legislation | Read Time: 3 minutes

Compliance with Florida’s Cocktails-to-Go Law

A Short History Cocktails-to-Go in Florida Sale and delivery of vendor-prepared alcoholic beverage drinks–Cocktails-to-Go–will be permanent authorized under the Florida Beverage Law beginning July 1, 2021. Cocktails-to-Go were first introduced in March 2020 as part of Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-71 limiting restaurants’ dine-in service, in response to the COVID pandemic. Introduced as Senate Bill 148 and House Bill 329 during the 2021 Florida Legislative Session, the bills were passed by both houses and signed by the governor on May 13, 2021, becoming Florida Law Chapter 2021-30. Strict Rules for Selling Cocktails-to-Go Subject to a number of conditions, certain restaurants and bars are authorized to sell and deliver alcoholic beverage drinks prepared and sealed by the vendor, as well as manufacture-sealed beer, wine, and liquor, for off-premises consumption (referred to here and elsewhere as “Cocktails-to-Go”). Following is a discussion of those conditions. 1. Only Restaurants are authorized to sell Cocktails-to-Go. Cocktails-to-Go can only be sold restaurants (that is, public food service establishments licensed by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants) that hold either a 4COP quota license or a 4COP-SFS license (also known as an “SRX” license). 2. Cocktails-to-Go must be sealed by the manufacturer or by the restaurant. Authorized restaurants are permitted to sell and deliver both manufacture-sealed beer, wine, and liquor beverages and alcoholic beverage drinks prepared and sealed by the restaurant. Only restaurants with a 4COP quota license are permitted to sell bottles of distilled spirits sealed by a manufacturer. 3. Cocktails-to-Go must be accompanied by the sale of food within the same order. For restaurants with a 4COP quota license, the charge for the sale of food and nonalcoholic beverages must be at least 40% of the total charge for hte order. 4. Cocktails-to-Go cannot be sold after the restaurant ceases preparing food for the day or after midnight, whichever is earlier. 5. There are strict requirements for packaging Cocktails-to-Go. Alcoholic beverages, other than manufacturer-sealed containers, must must be placed in a container securely sealed by the restaurant with an unbroken seal that prevents the beverage from being immediately consumed before removal from the premises. The beverage container must also be placed in a bag or other container and secured in a manner that it is visibly apparent if the container has been subsequently opened, and a dated receipt for the alcoholic beverage and food must be attached to the bag or container. As an example of this packaging requirement, imagine that a restaurant employee pours a margarita into a plastic container with a tight fitting lid, then uses electrical tape around the entire lid. The employee then puts the plastic container into a paper bag and staples the top of the bag closed. The employee then staples a copy of the receipt to the bag. 6. Beer that is filled in a container by the restaurant must comply with the size, labeling, and filling requirements that apply to growlers and similar containers. 7. Cocktails-to-Go, other than manufacturer-sealed containers, must be placed in a locked compartment, a locked trunk, or behind the last upright seat when transported by motor vehicle. 8. It is illegal to allow any person under the age of 21 to deliver alcoholic beverages. An agent or employee of the restaurant is required to verify the age of the delivery person before allowing him or her to take possession of an alcoholic beverage. In other words, check each delivery person’s driver license. Do you have questions about compliance with Florida’s Cocktails-to-Go Law? 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.

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Beverage Legislation | Read Time: 2 minutes

Florida Beverage Legislation: 2021 Post-Session Review of Beverage Bills

The 2021 Session of the Florida Legislature will result in major changes to the Florida Beverage Laws affecting how craft distilleries and restaurants sell alcoholic products. Both houses of the Florida Legislature passed two major bills related to alcoholic beverage sales: SB 46 and SB 148. As of this writing, neither bill has been sent to the Governor, but expectations are that the Governor will sign both bills into law. More complete evaluations of both bills will be coming in the following weeks, but here are brief descriptions. SB 46: Craft Distilleries Finally Get to Sell Drinks Senate Bill 46 (along with its companion, House Bill 737) gives several boosts to Florida’s craft distillery industry, starting with an increase in the production limits required to qualify as a craft distillery, from 75,000 gallons to 250,000 gallons. Effective July 1, 2021, SB 46 would allow each craft distillery to sell up to 75,000 gallons per year of its branded products (whether distilled, rectified or blended) to adult customers at its distillery, in bottles for consumption off premises or in drinks on premises. The “six bottles per person per brand per year” requirement is eliminated. Senate Bill 46 also authorizes certain craft distilleries, located within authorized “destination entertainment venues”, to hold vendor quota licenses that would allow them to sell not only their own branded products but also alcoholic beverage products acquired from distributions. SB 148: Restaurants Can Keep Selling Cocktails to Go Senate Bill 148 (along with its companion, House Bill 329) makes permanent the Governor’s COVID-19 “cocktails-to-go” executive order allowing restaurants to deliver mixed drinks together with food orders. The bill provides directions about how these alcoholic beverage products must be packaged and stored during transportation to customers. The following chart provides a summary of this session’s beverage-focused bills and where they ended at the conclusion of the session. Do you have questions about how these changes to Florida Beverage Law could affect our business or your plans for a new beverage business? 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.

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Florida | Read Time: 3 minutes

Making & Selling Ready-to-Drink Cocktails in Florida

Ready-to-drink (RTD) or canned cocktails are growing in popularity. According to Grand View Research, the global RTD cocktails market is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.1% from 2020 through 2027. Kevin Roberts, the executive vice president of supplier engagement for the alcohol distributor Breakthru Beverage Group, said “You have a convenience trend happening, you have a lifestyle thing happening, and then you have this can phenomenon.” (The Rise of Ready-to-Drink Cocktails) RTD Cocktails Can be Made by Licensed Florida Manufacturers Alcoholic beverage manufacturers in Florida can make RTD cocktails, provided they have the right manufacturing license for the type of alcohol. The key is the type (or types) of alcohol that are included in the products. Florida wineries (holding the federal winery permit and state AMW license) can make and package RTD cocktails in which the alcoholic content is only from fruit wine or mead. Other than standard orange wine (OTSOW) is a versatile ingredient that is often used in the “mocktini” variety of RTD cocktails. Florida breweries (holding the federal Brewer’s Notice permit and state CMB license) can make and package RTD cocktails in the category of malt beverages. This includes hard seltzers, which use sugar as a permissible substitute to malt. RTD cocktails that include distilled spirits or any other alcoholic ingredient that is not wine or malt beverage can only be manufactured and packaged in Florida by a licensed distillery (holding the federal DSP permit and state DD or DD(CD) license). Florida Distributes Must Have the Right Type of License for the RTD Cocktails’ Alcohol Class Florida distributors that hold a federal wholesaler permit and a state JDBW (beer and wine only) distribution license are limited to handling RTD cocktails that are classified as wine or malt beverage, depending on their ingredients. For RTD cocktails that contain distilled spirits or any other alcoholic ingredient, a Florida distributor must hold a state KLD (beer, wine, and spirits) distribution license. Low-Proof RTD Cocktails Can be Sold by a Large Number of Florida Licensed Retailers When it comes to retail sales of RTD cocktails, the amount of alcohol matters. Special low-proof products—including distilled, mixed, or fermented products which contain less than 6% alcohol by volume (ABV)–may be purchased by licensed vendors holding a 2COP or 2APS license (that is, a beer or wine license). This means that a KLD licensed distributor can sell the products to beer-and-wine vendors. See Florida Statutes Section 564.06(5)(b) and Florida Administrative Code Rule 61A-3.050. This is what allows spirits-based RTD cocktails to be sold in convenience stores and grocery stores. For RTD cocktails that contain 6% ABV or greater, the type of alcohol is controlling. Retailers with a 2COP or 2APS license can only selling high-proof RTD cocktails if the are in the category of wine or malt beverage. Any other type of high-proof RTD cocktails, including those containing distilled spirits, can only be sold by retailers that hold a 4COP or 4APS quote license. Do you have questions about making or selling RTD cocktails in Florida? We’d love to discuss it with you. 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.

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Beverage Legislation | Read Time: 2 minutes

Florida Beverage Legislation: 2021 Pre-Session Review of Beverage Bills

The 2021 Session of the Florida Legislature will include consideration of a number of bills affecting breweries, wineries, distilleries, retailers and consumers. The 2021 regular session of the Florida Legislature kicks off Tuesday, March 2, 2021. This 2-month session will see the consideration of a number of bills (though not as many as in prior years) that could affect the Florida beverage industry as soon as July. For a refresher on how a bill goes from being introduced to becoming law in Florida, check out the Florida Senate’s Idea-to-Law Flowchart and the Florida League of City’s short video: Florida’s Legislative Process 101. The following chart provides a summary of this session’s beverage-focused bills. We’ll check back in on the status of these bills at end of the session. Do you have questions about how these proposed changes to Florida Beverage Law could affect our business or your plans for a new beverage business? 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.

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