There was little debate on the Florida Senate floor this afternoon as Clearwater Republican Jack Latvala’s bill (SB 186) that would legalize 64-ounce growlers passed the entire body without opposition.
The issue has become a cause celebre amongst millenials and other causual observers of the political process in Florida the past few years, flummoxed about why the state is the only one in the nation that bans that size container to be poured at a craft brewery.
In addition to repealing the ban on 64-ounce growlers, the bill would also limit the number of vendors’ licenses that the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco of the Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation may issue to a manufacturer of malt beverages; it also requires that the brewery in a taproom must be in a single complex; that any alcoholic beverage not made by the brewer must go through the traditional three-tier system; it limits the amount of beer that can be transferred from one brewer to another to 100 percent of the amount brewed at the receiving brewery; it provides that all malt beverages that are not manufactured at the brewery owned by that brewer must be obtained through a distributor (as is the case currently); and it prohibits deliveries by the brewer directly to the consumer (again protecting the distributors who have been the main obstacle from the ban being repealed in recent years); it also limits each malt beverage manufacturer from having no more than nine alcoholic beverage retail licenses; authorizes malt beverage tastings limited to establishments that are at least 10,000 square feet in size.
“This will put Florida on par with 49 other states,” said Latvala, adding that he believes that it will help a relatively growing industry continue to prosper.
The bill will return to the Senate one more time before final passage, and is moving along in the House. One of those bills is sponsored by Pinellas County Republican Chris Sprowls.