Do Florida Brewery Taprooms Hurt Retailers?
That’s the claim made by some distributors, as reported in Craft Business Daily. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Alan Shaw (@AlanCShaw) has been at the center of the conversation with his web article and the comments to it. Alan writes:
I understand why retailers and distributors are complaining about tasting rooms selling their packaged beer right to consumers, because the brewery has cut out the distributor and retailer in that transaction.
A number of retailers commented to Alan that they have no problem with brewery taprooms. However, that distributors and retailers might push back against taprooms is an expected consequence of the three-tier system. The three-tier system intentionally keeps the roles of brewers, distributors, and retailers separate, meaning that tension among them is inevitable.
The three-tier system has evolved separately in each state. In Florida, the system embraces brewery taprooms to “promote the brewery and the tourist industry of the state,” according to Section 561.221 of the Florida Statutes.