Every state has weird alcohol and beer laws, a lot of them pushed and supported by big brewers and other large alcohol concerns as a way to get the government on their side: squashing the little guy. In some states 22oz bottles aren’t allowed. Other states a brewpub must be in a historic building: often in a poorly kept downtown with horrible parking/access. Beer styles are limited because only lower abv beer is allowed: despite the fact that hard liquor is readily available. In Florida you can’t sell and fill growlers. The object of a growler is get it filled and take it home: cutting down on drinking and driving; something you would think a state would like to promote.
The following letter is all too real. It is part of a campaign to allow growlers in Florida. We can only hope that change really is coming.
“To the Honorable Mike Horner:”
“Thank you for your consideration of sponsoring a companion bill to Senate Bill 2062. I am a retired police officer and small business owner. Your support of this legislation, including allowing my brewpub to sell for off-premise consumption is crucial to helping my business survive the ongoing economic down turn, and continuing to support my family and community.”
“Cocoa Beach Brewing Company is literally a ‘Mom and Pop’ small town business. I am both the brewer and bartender. My wife and children are also involved in helping run the pub. Cocoa Beach is heavily dependent on tourism dollars. More than once a day I have customers from other states come into my pub and ask if I can fill a ‘growler’ bottle to go. Also as often, I have potential customers who do not drink beer, but would like to bring something unique from Florida home when they leave the state. They are often bewildered that I cannot provide my product to them, as it is commonplace in most other states to be able to do so.”
“Perhaps more importantly, Senate Bill 2062 would allow me to immediately triple my sales. This would allow me to hire additional, skilled employees, which would be particularly beneficial to the area as we brace for the upcoming layoffs at Kennedy Space Center. A typical brewery employee has a college degree in the sciences and is paid in the comparable range to the NASA employees who will be looking for work shortly.”
“These increased sales will also generate much needed tax revenue for the state. As you are aware, my business pays both a state excise tax when I brew the beer, and sales tax when the beer is sold. By tripling my sales I will be contributing significantly more in tax revenue that a comparable sized retail business would.”
“This legislation is a win-win proposition for small business and the State of Florida. Thank you once again for your consideration of this important legislation.”
President / Brewer”
“Cocoa Beach Brewing Company
150 N Atlantic Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931”