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Craft Distilling Bill One Committee Away From House, Senate Floor

Barrel Room at the St. Augustine Distillery
Nick Evans

A Senate panel has approved a measure allowing craft distillers to sell more spirits directly.  The idea is garnering support from unlikely sources.

While state lawmakers spar over major policy disagreements, a craft distilling measure is one of a handful of narrower issues trudging through the committee process.  Normally an opponent of reducing restrictions on alcohol, Sen. Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg) is adding his support the bill.

“I have generally opposed expansion of alcohol,” he explains.  “I have generally opposed erosion of the three tier system, but I understand that some of these distilleries are doing good things in communities such as mine.”

The measure will allow craft distillers to sell six bottles of each of their spirits—the current limit is two.  The bill is now waiting for a hearing at its final committee stop in both chambers.