Updated: Festival Participation for Florida Craft Distilleries
Florida distilleries must be careful about how they participate in festivals. It’s not as easy as just showing up with the booze.
Participating in festivals and sampling events can be a great opportunity for Florida distilleries to showcase their craft and engage with potential customers. However, navigating the regulations outlined by the Florida Beverage Law when it comes to festival participation can be challenging due to their inadequacy and inconsistencies. In this post, we will explore what the Florida Beverage Law says about festival participation for distilleries.
Craft Distilleries and Event Participation
According to Florida Statutes Section 565.17(2), craft distilleries are permitted to conduct tastings and sales of their distilled spirits at various events, including fairs, trade shows, farmers markets, expositions, and festivals. This authorization is similar to that provided to Florida wineries. The Florida Beverage Law mandates the ABT to issue permits to craft distilleries for conducting tastings and sales at events. However, it is worth noting that the ABT has not yet established regulations outlining the specifics of this permit or an approved application form.
It is crucial to note that this participation is limited to “craft distilleries,” which are defined as distilleries producing 250,000 gallons or less of distilled spirits per calendar year. Craft distilleries must elect to be classified as such and undergo verification by the Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco (ABT) authorities.
Key Considerations for Festival Participation
When participating in festivals, craft distilleries must adhere to certain guidelines as outlined by the Florida Beverage Law. Some important considerations include:
- Event Permit: Craft distilleries are required to obtain an event permit, which is limited to the duration and physical location of the specific event they wish to participate in.
- Entry Fees: Craft distilleries must bear the cost of all entry fees associated with the event they are participating in.
- Distillery Representative: It is mandatory for a craft distillery to have a representative from their distillery present during the event.
Local Ordinances and Tastings
In addition to the general regulations, local ordinances may have an impact on a craft distillery’s ability to participate in festivals or other events. It is advisable to be aware of any specific local regulations that might affect participation.
Craft distilleries are also allowed to participate in tastings, but not sales, at licensed premises authorized to sell spiritous beverages for consumption on or off premises. These tastings must be directed toward the general public who are of legal drinking age.
The Florida Beverage Law and its regulations concerning festival participation for distilleries may be inadequate and inconsistent. However, it is important for Florida craft distilleries to familiarize themselves with the regulations governing their participation. By understanding the guidelines and seeking expert advice, distilleries can navigate the complexities and make the most of their opportunities to showcase their craft at festivals and other sampling events.
Do you have questions about how your distillery can participate in festivals or questions about how to organizer a compliant festival? We’d love to discuss it with you. Contact us to schedule a consultation with a beverage attorney.
Because we’re attorneys: Disclaimer. Post updated June 12, 2023.