Florida | Read Time: 3 minutes

Brewers’ Law 101: Florida Brewery Licenses & Florida Beer Laws

Brewers and breweries in Florida are regulated on both the state and federal levels. In this post, we will discuss the regulation at the state level. Are you interested in opening a winery instead? Florida Brewery Licenses To brew, you need a Florida CMB or CMPB License Brewers in Florida who want to make beer and sell it must have a CMB license or CMBP license. CMB stands for “Cereal Malt Beverage”. The CMB license or CMBP is issued by the Florida Division of Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco (ABT), a division of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The CMB license is authorized by Florida Statutes Section 563.02(2). The brewpub exception is authorized by Florida Statutes Section 561.221(3), which contains numerous restrictions. Fill out the DBPR ABT 6001 form To get a CMB license or CMBP license, a Florida brewer must file the Application for New Alcoholic Beverage License (DBPR Form ABT-6001) with the ABT (in addition to federal filing requirements). The ABT application requires detailed information about the brewery premises and everyone having a financial interest in the brewery. The annual fee for a CMB license is currently $3,000, and for a CMBP license the annual fee is $500. In additional to the annual licensing fee, a brewery with a CMB or CMBP license must maintain a tax bond of at least $20,000. Florida Beer Laws How to serve beer at your brewery For brewers wanting to sell beer directly to the public, having only a CMB license isn’t enough. Florida has a relatively strict three-tier system for alcoholic beverages, the goal of which is to keep manufacturers, distributors, and retailers separate. Florida’s Tied House Evil Statute generally prohibits a brewer from having any financial interest in a retail operation. However, two exceptions to the three-tier system allow Florida brewers to be licensed to sell their beer (and the beer of others’) directly to the public. Open a taproom First, a Florida brewer can apply for a license to operate a taproom as part of the brewery. This exception makes possible taprooms according to Florida Statutes Section 561.221(2). In addition to the CMB license, a Florida brewer operating a taproom must obtain a vendor license which permits the sale of beer for consumption on the premises or in sealed containers for take-away (common licenses for this purpose are the 2COP beer-and-wine only license and the 4COP quota license). A brewer must file a separate ABT application for a 2COP or 4COP license. The filing fee currently ranges from $168 to $1,820 depending on the license and the county size. Get licensed as a brewpub Second, a retailer licensed to sell beer on its premises can be licensed as a brewpub, in which case it can make its own beer.  Despite the similarity in the name of the license to a CMB, the CMBP license is obtained by filing a retailer’s application for a brewpub special qualification for the consumption on premise (2COP or 4COP in most cases) license. It comes with specific restrictions. The brewpub cannot make more than 10,000 kegs (5,000 barrels) of beer each year, and the beer can only be served on the brewpub’s premises. None of the beer can be sold to a distributor. Questions? If you are a brewer and have any questions with this process or any other legal question with your start-up or existing brewery, email us at beer@brewerlong.com and we will be happy to assist you.

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Contracts | Read Time: 3 minutes

Save Money on Contracting with These Two Words

Reading, writing, and revising complicated business contracts: the central parts of my practice. I am often asked to prepare a written contract my client wants to send to a contract partner or to revise a contract they received from their contract partner. For these situations – there are two words that will help save my clients save money: Term Sheet. Term Sheet (it may also be called a Letter of Intent, Memorandum of Understanding, or other names) contains the essence of the agreement between the involved parties. The term sheet is written in basic language that emphasizes important points of the agreement to all parties involved. The idea is that the decisions-makers will work out the key points of their agreement and write them down on a Term Sheet. This is the agreement without all the legal provisos, conditions, and boilerplates. A term sheet is a page (or two) in length, and is the most efficient way for contract partners to highlight the points that are significant to include within the agreement.  Along with the terms, the contract partners should include specific directions for the attorney who is tasked with preparing the formal written contract (often, myself). Best of all, a Term Sheet will help you save money and time:  You can prepare a Term Sheet on your own without calling the attorney.

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