Craft liquor sales heading to the House floor

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The next round for small craft distillers in their quest to offer on-site sales will be served on the House floor.

The proposal (HB 347), which would apply to about 20 distillers in Florida that annually produce less than 75,000 gallons of spirits, was quickly and unanimously backed Tuesday by the House Regulatory Affairs Committee. The approval came with support from lobbyists for the Florida Retail Federation and distributors.

“Many of these craft distillers dream of making it big someday with their brands, yet it’s very difficult for them to get their name out there,” said bill sponsor Rep. Ronald “Doc” Renuart.

An annual cap of two-bottles-per-customer appears to be a proper mix for small craft liquor distillers to sell their product directly from the businesses. The maximum sales limit was a compromise after distributors objected earlier in the session as the proposal initially would have allowed up to 24 bottles per customer.

While the proposal is being touted as giving the distillers a chance to sell their product similar to small wineries and microbreweries, an amendment was added that requires the liquor to be sold from souvenir shops so the contents can’t be consumed on site. The amendment mirrors a provision already added to the Senate companion (SB 642), which has one more committee stop.

Via The News Service of Florida.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.