Florida Bill Would Force Craft Breweries To Sell Their Beer To Distributors Then Buy it Back

Categories: Politicks

via Wynwood Brewing Company's Facebook
Local craft breweries like Wynwood Brewing could be stung by the new bill.
Florida's beer laws are already about as logical as David Samson's Survivor strategy. Thanks to the oversized influence of big money distributors, antiquated laws like one banning 64-ounce growlers (which are legal in 47 other states) stay on the books.

Craft brewers have spent four years trying to change that law. But thanks to the distributors, the latest effort has been hijacked in the Senate with regulations that could put a chokehold on the nascent industry, craft brewers say, by imposing draconian new rules -- including one forcing them to sell their own beer to distributors and buying it back at a 30 percent mark-up before they could sell it in-house.

"To me, that looks like racketeering," Joshua Aubuchon, an attorney representing the Florida Brewers Guild, tells Reuters.

On its surface, Senate Bill 7120 would change the growler law that has hurt craft brewers for years, legalizing the popular 64-ounce bottle size.

But the bill also contains onerous language added by the distributors, who want to define "strict lines between manufacturers, distributors and retailers," their lobbyist tells Reuters.

One way it would do so is by making it illegal for brewers to directly sell customers the bottles and cans of beer they make at their breweries. Think about that.

The law would make it so you, a cash-paying customer, could walk into Wynwood Brewery, for example, ready to hand over money for the beverages they've produced right there on site. But no! First, Wynwood would have to sell those beverages to a distributor, who would then sell it back with a hefty markup.

Local brewers are crying foul, and have started a change.org petition against the proposal that's garnered well over the 1,500 signature goal. The largest craft brewery in the state, Tampa's Cigar City, has threatened to open its new brewery outside of Florida if the law passes.

Here's soon-to-open local brewer J. Wakefield tweeting about the threat of the bill earlier this week:

The bill passed its first committee unanimously and is awaiting another hearing.

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58 comments
frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.......................to ALL current residents and working stiffs here in FLORIDA - here is why your wages are so low here in florida - BIG business can SUCK OUT the profits to elsewhere WITH THE assistance of greedy politicians

YES a local craft brewery could also be "owned" by non-residents BUT more local J O B S would have to be generated lifting the local economy possibly with SKILLED jobs - how does ANHEUSER-BUSCH generate any J O B S other than needing a few UNSKILLED drivers to deliver their product that was made many many miles away

generally DISTILLERIES and WINERIES and BREWERIES are a great influence and positive impact on the LOCAL economy - all needing local SKILLED and unskilled labor on a continual basis (certainly much more than a distributor with a warehouse and trucks needs any skilled labor at all)

our state motto should be "stupid today, stupid tomorrow stupid forever" as in george wallace's famous "and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. ” ...

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..............this is no surprise really, we all know corruption is pervasive in the sunshine state

what is a surprise is that these legislators do not even attempt to cover-up how biased the established payola system is and how it really works nor do they give ANY obvious reason NOT to allow what 47 other states allow

at least the miami marileitos gave reasons why $562,ooo,ooo should go to building a snowbird rich guy a new baseball stadium instead of building a better school system for local kids

local craft brewers are J O B S creators HERE in south florida - so WHY would florida legislators support employment and profit elsewhere ?

AL CAPONE simply took advantage of how greedy local politicians were and was able to extract a huge fortune from florida sucking money OUT like with a straw

misterflorida2000
misterflorida2000

I cannot think of a better example of a corrupt mob-like arrangement. Paying a third party to allow you to do business with your customers at the discretion of that third party? It's a true form of a legal mob criminal raconteur system.    

Alex Coello
Alex Coello

job creation. viva el scott and his slimy homies.

Ana Campos
Ana Campos

Pure corruption. Glad they are lawyering up.

Dave Basora
Dave Basora

Leave it to Florida's corrupt "lawmakers" to waste taxpayer money screwing over TRUE small businesses who are trying to do more for their communities than those morons ever will.

Jimbo99
Jimbo99

I don't drink alcohol anyway, but I have a gut feeling they (government and breweries) will find ways to pass this on to those of us that are clean and sober 24/7. Just the way life is.

Erik Ace SobeArtist
Erik Ace SobeArtist

we do have a 3 tire system in Fl i always wondered how "craft brewers" got around that .... and it is a bad law!

Meli Elizabeth
Meli Elizabeth

And the ones effected are the local small business companies and the consumers who support them... Terrible!!!

Luis Fernando Linares
Luis Fernando Linares

I thought the crook at the Governor's mansion and his buddies in the legislature were business friendly.

Lynxx3
Lynxx3

Why don't we have a law against lobbyists???  I am old, so fading memory of this in reading American Constitution, ....

But would someone please inform me as to why we need/want these jackals who feed upon Human/Animal/Plant carcasses... in the name of their god,. and then send us the bill for the infraction?


Oops, forgot to mention the corporations they represent.....

Lynxx3
Lynxx3

This is why you need to vote democratic..or independent, what ever your flavor.

Repups, (although they are all bought and paid for) are the most infiltrated.

We. as the measley little peeps. must vote to keep them out of office

Anastasia Biltmore
Anastasia Biltmore

...so they now have to incorporate a separate distributorship business and get reamed on taxes from the transfer. This is BS>

Omar Becerra
Omar Becerra

too much control, remind me of the early years of the cuban government\ under Castro, even now, is not like that anymore, while we moving fast towards communism here

Roberto Alba-Bustamante
Roberto Alba-Bustamante

This is retarded. Talk about imposing limits and artificial restraints on business - this wins the prize for that one.

Seán Schauseil
Seán Schauseil

Fucking Republicans always like to over regulate businesses!!!

Tony Castaneira
Tony Castaneira

Wait. You guys are all for the Free market when it comes to beer but want other industries heavily regulated? Hypocrites!!!!!

Edwin Cuellar
Edwin Cuellar

They could charge admission and have the beer for free to get around this stupid law if it passes

Steve Klare
Steve Klare

Typical BS.....Legislators need to get out of the way and let them make product and sell product as they see fit. It's call the FREE market. IF the big beer companies and distributors don't like it tough...Leave the state or compete......

Palangana
Palangana topcommenter

Lobbyists are a necessary evil.  Without them, democracy would collapse.


But politicians are wrong for being beholden to lobbyists.  Certainly in the internet age, there are highly effective, inexpensive ways to reach donors and voters.

Angie Alzola
Angie Alzola

this is such horse manure. Wow... This is why we can't have nice things in Florida.

Jimbo99
Jimbo99

@Lynxx3 What this proposes is no where even close to the wealth transfer that Obamacare is going to ramp up into. Vote Democrat ? LOL, Tea Party is the only one of the bunch that really opposes increased taxation to at least some level of a retro-taxation and individual freedom era, Republicans only showed their opposition long enough to waiver & cave on any taxation issues.

ricoo9
ricoo9

Lol communism? Big companies paying off politicians to prevent small businesses from prospering? Monopolies. ..That's straight up capitalism 101

erikace
erikace

like what deregulate the banks that hold your money? smh

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