Rules for Alcohol Sample Tastings in Florida

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

When it comes to alcohol beverage tastings in Florida, the rules are different for beer, wine, and liquor.

For this purpose, a “tasting” is an even at which a sample of the alcoholic product is given directly to an individual customer for free. Generally, customers cannot be charged for the sample (but exceptions for Florida Farm Wineries and craft distilleries are discussed below). In all cases, tastings can only be offered to individuals who are 21 years or older.

Rules for Beer Tastings

According to Florida Statutes Section 563.09, beer tastings can be done by the manufacturer, distributor, importer, or one of their contracted third-party agents. These tastings need to happen at specific places:

  • A location licensed for consumption on premises, like a bar or restaurant.
  • A location licensed to sell beer or wine in packages with at least 10,000 square feet of interior public floor space, like a big grocery store.
  • A package store licensed to sell beer, wine, or liquor.

Beer served for tasting must be in a small tasting cup of 3.5 ounces or less. It cannot be in a sealed package.

Only one manufacturer, distributor, importer or contracted third party agent can conduct a beer tasting at a location at any given time. Vendors may conduct beer tastings from their own inventories (otherwise known as giving away free beer).

The manufacturer, distributor, importer, or contracted third party agent conducting the beer tasting cannot pay the vendor for allowing it to conduct the tasting, except that it can purchase the beer from the vendor at the retail price.

Rules for Wine Tastings

Wine tastings can be done by licensed distributors and vendors on any premises that is licensed to sell wine for consumption on premises or carry out, according to Florida Statutes Section 564.08.

In addition, certified Florida Farm Wineries are authorized to provide samples, and sales, at Florida fairs, trade shows, farmers markets, expositions, and festivals. A special permit from the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT) is needed to participate in these festivals. A Florida Farm Winery must have a winery representative present during the event.

There are no limitations on the size or format for serving wine tasting samples.

Rules for Liquor Tastings

Licensed distributors, craft distilleries, and vendors are authorized to conduct liquor tastings in any location that is licensed to sell liquor in packages or for consumption on premises. See Florida Statutes Section 565.17. There are no limitations on the size or format for serving liquor samples.

Like Florida Farm Wineries, licensed craft distilleries are authorized to provide tasting samples and sales at Florida fairs, trade shows, farmers markets, expositions, and festivals with a permit issued by the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT). A craft distillery must have a distillery representative present during the event.

Do you have any questions about Florida’s rules concerning alcoholic beverage product samples? Contact us to schedule a consultation with a beverage attorney.

Because we’re attorneys: Disclaimer. Updated February 10, 2024.

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