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Gov. Scott signs legislation legalizing the 64-ounce growler in Florida

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After years of advocacy, the ban on the 64-ounce growler in Florida will soon be a thing of the past, as Rick Scott on Thursday signed SB 186, repealing the ban on that sized container of craft beer.

“I am proud to stand with Governor Scott today as he signs SB 186 making the growler legal in Florida,” said Clearwater-based GOP state Sen. Jack Latvala, who has been trying for the past three years to get the repeal lifted. “Florida brewers should have every tool at their disposal to succeed, and this bill is a huge step in that direction. I am proud of our work, and we will continue to work with the Governor to make sure every Florida business is thriving.”

The legislation was sponsored by Latvala in the Senate and fellow Pinellas County Republican Chris Sprowls in the House. Sprowls called it a great day for Florida craft brewers. “Growlers will create growth and expansion for the breweries in our state and give Floridians more choices at them.”

The bill allows people to buy 64-ounce growlers from breweries. That container must include a label indicating the name of the brewery, name of the type of beer, and its alcohol volume. It must also have a sealed cap that prevents it from being consumed immediately.

The Sunshine State had been one of just three states where it’s been illegal to sell beer in a 64-ounce growler (a half-gallon). However, 32-ounce growlers (a quart) and 128-ounce growlers (a gallon) have been legal, as was the idea of purchasing two 32-ounce growlers concurrently.

Attempts to pass a straightforward repeal had been hijacked the previous two legislative sessions in the Legislature, with officials with the “Big Beer” establishment attaching various amendments to the bill that would penalize craft breweries.

Latvala said before the session started that he was hopeful that he would be able to pass a straight repeal bill this year, and said his bill was just a page and half long when he introduced it at the Dunedin Brewery last December.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at [email protected]

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