Florida's Brewing Blues

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Florida's Brewing Blues

Craft brewers in Florida are up in arms over a bill in the state legislature that would limit how the breweries can sell their own beer. The bill pending in the Florida Senate would force craft brewers to sell their bottled and canned beer directly to a distributor, according to Reuters. If they want to sell their own bottled or canned beer in their tap rooms, they’d have to buy that beer back from the distributor at a 30-40% markup.

A lobbyist for the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association said the bill would ensure competition in Florida’s beer market. Some craft brewers think the bill sounds a lot like racketeering, and is designed to slow the growth of craft beer in Florida. According to the Brewers Association, there are 37 states that permit beer makers to distribute their own beer.

It’s not looking good for Florida brewers. The new bill passed the first committee last week by a 10-0 vote.