Posted by: Nov 17, 2019

CC Licensed; Ted Eytan

Florida craft distilleries are allowed to sell their own distilled products in their gift shops. However, this does not include the products a craft distillery makes by blending and bottling spirits distilled by another distillery.

Florida Beverage Law Only Authorizes Gift Shop Sales of Spirits Distilled on Premises

Florida craft distilleries–like Florida breweries and wineries–are limited by the Florida Beverage Law in how they can sell products directly to the public. In addition to selling spirit appreciating events and tasting experiences, a Florida craft distillery can sell bottled products to customers (six bottles per person per year) in a gift shop attached to the distillery. See Florida Statutes Section 565.03. But not all of a distillery’s products can be sold this way.

According to the specific language of the statute, a Florida craft distillery can only sell in its gift shop products that have been “distilled” on premises. Here’s the relevant excerpt from Florida Statutes Section 565.03(2)(c) (highlight added):

c) A craft distillery licensed under this section may sell to consumers, at its souvenir gift shop, branded products distilled on its premises in this state in factory-sealed containers that are filled at the distillery for off-premises consumption.

This statutory language does not recognize the fact that most distilleries–especially craft distilleries that are just getting their start–incorporate at some level spirits that have been purchased from another distillery. The process of purchasing distilled spirits in bulk is called “transfer in bond”, and it is permitted by both federal beverage law and the Florida Beverage Law. Still, just because the law allows Florida craft distilleries to blend and bottle transfer-in-bond spirits, it does not allow those products to be sold in the gift shop.

2020 Florida Legislative Bill Would Allow Sales of Transfer-in-Bond Spirits

There is some possible good news: House Bill 583, which has been introduced for consideration in Florida’s 2020 legislative session (commencing in January 2020), would remove the “distilled on its premises in this state” limitation. If the bill becomes a new Florida law, it would become effective July 1, 2020. Florida craft distilleries would then be authorized by Florida law to sell a larger variety of products in their gift shops.

Do you have questions about what can and cannot be sold in a Florida craft distillery’s gift shop. We’d love to discuss it with you. Contact us at contact@brewerlong.com to schedule a 15-minute introductory call at no charge.

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