Florida Considering On-Site Alcohol Sales

The Florida legislature is considering a bill that would allow craft distillers to sell their product directly to consumers on-site, allowing them to avoid retailers and distributors.
Current Florida law is a holdover from post-Prohibition. With alcohol legalized again, Florida sought to tightly regulate its sale and consumption, requiring all sales to go through individually licensed manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
The bill being considered by the legislature would extend current exemptions to these regulations. At the present, wineries and brew pubs are allowed to sell directly to consumers. The proposed bill would extend this exemption to distilleries making 75,000 gallons or less a year of rum, gin, whiskey, or other liquors.
Supporters of the bill have argued that it will benefit both the distillers and the retailers. While consumers may buy their first bottle directly from the distillery, they will likely buy future bottles from retailers.
The Retail Beverage Council, however, maintains that this legislation will hurt retailers and distributors and that the current exemption from brew pubs and wineries has already put a major dent in retailer sales.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer