Craft beers from microbreweries are steadily increasing their share of the alcohol market throughout the U.S. But, one lawmaker says the Sunshine State’s archaic beer regulations are holding Florida’s burgeoning craft beer industry back.
Florida is only one of three states, along with Mississippi and Utah, that bans the sale of specific sizes of beer containers. Florida law bans containers larger than 32 ounces but smaller than a gallon. State Rep. Frank Artiles (R-Miami) tried to change that last year by cosponsoring legislation that would’ve lifted those limits but the bill never passed. Now Artiles is at it again because he believes the state’s arbitrary regulations are hurting business.
“What exactly is the difference between buying a gallon of beer, 128 ounces, compared to a 40-, or a 32-, or a 64-ounce growler? It doesn’t make any sense,” Artiles said in a phone interview Friday.
Artiles thinks the current regulations are hurting small breweries whose common container size is 64 ounces.
“If I was a small craft brewery in Florida I would like to have a level playing field with everyone else in the nation and I think that a 64-ounce growler size is A: commonplace and B: more importantly, it will allow for these small businesses to thrive and grow,” Artiles argues.
Artiles’s bill would also loosen restrictions on beer tastings. Currently most retailers are able to hold only wine tastings. The bill has not yet been assigned to a committee.