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Bottoms up: Beer, booze bills clear Senate committee

in Statewide/Top Headlines by
beer booze cheers

Let freedom pour: Bills aimed at changing beer and booze regulations in Florida have cleared their latest review panel. The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee OK’d measures that would allow beer distributors to give free branded beer glasses to bars and restaurants, authorize beer companies to advertise in theme parks and let craft distillers sell more bottles directly to consumers. Sen. Frank Artiles, the Miami-Dade Republican sponsoring the glass bill (SB 1040), told committee members the measure would benefit small businesses…

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Beer glass bills coming to a head

in Statewide/Top Headlines by
beer glasses

Free stuff is good, right? Surprisingly, not everyone agrees when it comes to beer glasses. Bills are moving in the Legislature to allow beer distributors to give away glasses from brewers imprinted with product names and logos to bars and restaurants. Now, they have to be sold. The House bill (HB 853) was first OK’d by the Careers & Competition Subcommittee last week on a 10-4 vote. Three Democrats and Republican Julio Gonzalez voted against it. The Senate version (SB…

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2017 Legislative Session preview: Oscar Braynon on juvenile justice, incentives and Chance the Rapper

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

This is the first legislative session that South Florida’s Oscar Braynon II will be the Senate’s Democratic Leader. The 40-year-old, who succeeded term-limited former Leader Arthenia Joyner, was first elected in 2011 after serving in the House and on the Miami Gardens City Council before that. Though he’s in the minority, Braynon has high hopes for legislative breakthroughs with the GOP majority under President Joe Negron. “We have a good personal relationship and we’ve helped each other before we were…

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Craft beer debate includes … Chance the Rapper?

in Statewide/Top Headlines by
chance the rapper

Craft brewers can thank Chance the Rapper for getting this year’s beer bill over its first legislative hurdle. The Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Wednesday cleared the measure (SB 554) on a 6-3 vote. Democrats Perry Thurston and Randolph Bracy joined Republican Lizbeth Benacquisto in opposing the bill.   But Oscar Braynon, the chamber’s Democratic Leader, said he would support the legislation because of the example of the 23-year-old Chicago-based rap star. The measure would allow smaller craft brewers to…

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3 Daughters Brewing announce plans for fivefold production growth

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

St. Petersburg-based 3 Daughters Brewing plans to more than quintuple its production capacity over the coming months. “Capacity tends to be a big issue for craft breweries and we wanted to ensure we wouldn’t face the challenges in filling our rapidly growing demand,” 3 Daughters Brewing owner Mike Harting said Monday. “This expansion will allow us to increase our capacity by more than five times what we have today and max out our 30 BBL brewhouse at 60,000 barrels per…

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Rays fans can eat their way to free baseball while at Tropicana

in Sports/Top Headlines by

Fans of the Tampa Bay Rays no longer have to sit and watch. These days, they can compete. Among the new concessions announced at Tropicana Field this year is a Fan vs. Food Challenge at the Everglades Brewhouse. Fans can win two Rays tickets by finishing a meal of 1 pound of brisket, 1 pound of pulled pork, barbecue chicken wings, macaroni and cheese and French fries with 1 pound of garlic toast. Other concessions include a craft beer sold…

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With session over, Jeff Brandes plans ‘Brews with Brandes’ event

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Now that the 2016 Legislative Session has concluded, state Sen. Jeff Brandes is once again hosting his popular craft beer event in St. Petersburg’s up-and-coming Edge District. The St. Petersburg Republican invites friends and supporters to enjoy his latest “Brews with Brandes” on Wednesday, March 30, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Green Bench Brewing Company, 1133 Baum Avenue. Billed as a relaxing evening with the senator, the fundraising reception will feature food and discounts on several Green Bench craft beers. Green…

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