Florida Capitol by David Wilson on Flickr.com

Florida Legislature Passed Two Bills Affecting the Beverage Laws

The 2023 session of the Florida Legislature featured 3 pairs of companion bills proposing to change Florida’s alcoholic beverage laws. Two of the pairs passed both houses of the Florida Legislature and are now on their way for signature by the governor. The other pair of bills did not get passed out of the Senate committee.


2023 Changes to Florida Beverage Laws

Assuming Governor DeSantis signs into law the two enrolled bills, the Florida alcoholic beverage laws will change in a couple of ways on July 1, 2023.

Allows Smaller Restaurants to get a Full Liquor License. House Bill 639 (matched by its companion, Senate Bill 1262). Allows “bona fide food service establishments” to get a retail license to sell beer, wine and spirits provided they have at least 2,000 square feet of service area (down from 2,500), are equipped to serve meals to 120 person at one time (down from 150 persons), have at least 120 physical seats available to patrons during operating hours (new requirement), and derive at least 51% of gross food and beverage revenue from the sale of food and nonalcoholic beverages. The bill changes the language of Florida Statutes Section 561(2)(a)4. as shown below:

Eliminates Requirement to Register Beer Brands Not in Distribution. House Bill 1459 (with Senate Bill 658) changes Florida Statutes 563.045 concerning the registration of beer brands. Annual registration, together with payment of a $30 fee, will not be required for beer brands that are only sold in breweries’ taprooms and do not enter distribution.

No Change to Wine Container Size Limits. House Bill 523 , which would have eliminated the law regulating the size of wine containers, was passed by the House of Representatives, but it did not get out of the Senate’s Commerce and Tourism Committee. As a result, the bill will die in this session.

The Florida Legislature’s 2024 session is scheduled to start January 9, 2024.

Do you have any questions about how these proposed changes to Florida Beverage Laws could affect your beverage business? Contact us to schedule a consultation with a beverage attorney.

Because we’re attorneys: Disclaimer. Originally posted 05/07/2023.

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