senate

Growler Bill Closer to Reality (with a bit of a catch)

On Wednesday, a proposed amendment to CS/SB 186 was filed that would place an artificial cap on the number of vendor licenses that a brewery in Florida may obtain.  There is currently no such limit but the amendment would set the limit at 9.  This would mean that any given brewery could open nine total breweries that have taprooms.  Any additional manufacturing location would not be allowed to sell beer on site. Breweries that are already licensed are, in effect, grandfathered in and allowed 9 additional vendor-licensed breweries.

This bill started as a simple and straightforward growler bill.  Late last year, the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association (FBWA) stated that they “believe it is now time to separate the growler from the larger conversation.”  However, soon after, two retail organizations sought to challenge Florida’s “tourism exception” and the FBWA and the Beer Industry of Florida (BIF) sought to intervene and support […]

By |April 1st, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

Florida House, Senate Committees Discuss Malt Beverage Regulations

Committees within the Florida House and Senate began discussions regarding the regulatory scheme surrounding beer in Florida on Wednesday. It was generally a day for the legislators to discuss the basics and gain some knowledge. In the Senate, the Regulated Industries Committee heard a presentation from an attorney with the Senate. The presentation was a general overview of the three tier system, tied house laws, licensing issues (including tourism exception) and growler/container size issues. The powerpoint presentation can be viewed in the meeting packet here. The Business and Professions Subcommittee in the House heard presentations from groups including the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association, Beer Industry of Florida and the Florida Brewers Guild on the three tier system, self distribution and franchise agreements (the distributor groups said you would rue the day you mess with franchise agreements).

The Regulated Industries Committee includes Senators Latvala and Stargel.  Stargel […]

By |January 22nd, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

A Letter to the Senator

I emailed Senator Stargel today after reading her opinion piece that appeared in a number of Florida publications:

Senator Stargel,

I read your opinion piece on SB 1714 this morning and wanted to reach out in response. I certainly appreciate your opinion and the fact that you took the time to attempt to clarify certain information making its way around the media and internet right now. I also appreciate that you have worked hard on this bill and have made efforts to find a compromise. I don’t believe any compromise was ever necessary because I don’t believe there ever should have been any such legislation that would add more regulations to Florida’s beer industry. I would like to go through your piece and reply to your arguments.

 

STARGEL: It’s clear the three-tier system, purposefully instituted after Prohibition, must be preserved to prevent: predatory practices that would eliminate competition, opaque or illicit distribution channels, […]

By |April 29th, 2014|Blog|2 Comments

SB 1714 Update – A Total Farce

UPDATE: I mentioned in the last update that this process should have been much easier given that Florida’s brewers are looking for simple, common sense, measures to be taken. Those would be legalization of the 64 ounce growler and malt beverage tastings conducted by brewers.  Senator Gibson filed a delete all, discussed further below, that would return any debate back to the simplicity necessary and simply allow 64 ounce containers and beer tastings. Senator Thrasher did not want Gibson bringing what was essentially old business (bills stuck in Committee). Her amendment was withdrawn. Simplicity and common sense did not rule the day.

Senator Stargel filed an amendment on Sunday night that would keep unnecessary restrictions but simply ease those restrictions. It would:

  • Allow a brewery to have one vendors license on each brewery premises.
  • Allow sales for off premises consumption in sealed containers over 2,000 kegs so long as it does not top 20% […]
By |April 28th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

Proposed Amendments to SB 1714 (updated)

Proposed Amendments

The Committee Substitute to SB 1714 in on the Rules Committee’s agenda for this Monday, April 21 at 1 p.m.  Updates on  proposed amendments to the bill will be provided here:

Senator Andy Gardiner (Brevard and Orange counties) filed a delete all on Thursday that seemed to seek a compromise on an already unnecessarily proposed restriction. It would do the following:

  • Allow breweries that brew no more than 2,000 kegs (15.5 gallons) per year to sell beer brewed on premises in bottles/cans without going through a distributor.
  • Allow a brewery that holds a quota license (if that quota license was owned on or before March 1, 2014)  to sell, for off-premises consumption, all malt beverages brewed off premises (sold in sealed containers, not growlers). The quota license would not be allowed to be moved. Beer sold under this provision that is […]
By |April 18th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

Flawed Logic

A couple more articles were published today regarding the beer legislation in Florida’s Senate. One of the articles is from Michigan. While there are people learning and writing about the ridiculous nature of the legislation in other markets, it still seems that some of those in the Senate still don’t truly understand the relevant context of the legislation.

According to one article, Senator Kelli Stargel, the sponsor of SB 1714, said the craft industry has thrived under the exception originally created to allow Busch Gardens to sell its beer directly to consumers. The thriving craft beer industry means more taxes collected by the State of Florida. More importantly, the exception was created to promote tourism, not to promote only Busch Gardens. The exception never specifies theme parks or theme parks developed by Anheuser-Busch. There is a reason for that. Tourism is good for Florida and its economy whether […]

By |April 15th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

Update on Senate Bill SPB 7120

We talked last week about SPB 7120, which received consideration from the Senate Regulated Industries Committee yesterday.

Early Wednesday morning (the day that the bill received consideration), Senator Audrey Gibson (representing a portion of Duval County) filed an amendment that would have caused 7120 to follow the amended language of HB 1329 (which essentially followed the previously filed HB 7075). Gibson seemingly filed the amendment in an attempt to create consistency with the House Bill. She spoke for a bit on Wednesday and noted the importance of the craft beer industry in Florida and noted its ability to revitalize neighborhoods. Stories of such revitalization have made news across the country (look to Oakland, portions of Kentucky and Cleveland for example). Gibson was right, but she withdrew her amendment early in the process after apparently realizing/determining that any language to be added to the bill would need work. It’s not the […]

By |March 27th, 2014|Blog|4 Comments