Microbrews Banned By Legislators With Microbrains

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Republicans in the Floriduh Legislature are in the process of ruining the craft brew industry in the state.

According to a commentary in The Tampa Tribune (which referred to the governing body as the Flori-duh Legislature” a bill being pushed by the Florida Beer Wholesaler’s Association — the lobbying group for beer distributors –“seek to gain from putting microbrewers out of business or gaining profits as the middle men between craft brewers and their customers.”

Not surprisingly, the sponsors and supporters of the bill have received campaign contributions from large beer distributors.

Craft brewers had succeeded in getting the Florida Legislature to consider a bill that permitted the sale of growlers (half-gallon sized containers of beer that are currently prohibited by state law. Only two other states ban growlers.) Unfortunately, the state Senate passed a bill permitting the sale of growlers, while at the same time restricting the sale of virtually all craft beer sold by microbrewers.

SB 1714 would permit the sale of growlers by microbrewers who sell fewer than 2,000 kegs of beer per year. So far so good, but not great. Brewers producing more than 2,000 kegs per year would be permitted to sell growlers, but they would also be required to distribute all of their beers, regardless of size, through an established beer distributor.

The effect of the distribution requirement would be higher costs to consumers, since the beer distributors would be due a large cut for their role as a middle man. Adding insult to injury, any microbrewery in the state producing over 2,000 kegs would have to sell its beer to the distributor and then buy it back (after a mark-up from the distributor), to sell their own beer in their own microbrewery.

Only in Floriduh would a microbrewery have to sell its own beer to a distributor and buy it back (at a mark-up) before being able to sell their own beer in their own microbrewery.

Floriduh Rating: 5

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