Florida legislature debating craft beer bill that would lift ban on growlers sold at breweries

The bill would allow half-gallon growlers

TEQUESTA, Fla. -- - Banned from selling their beer in certain sized containers, craft brewers in South Florida are speaking out against an old state law that they feel is hurting the growth of their business.

Tequesta Brewery owner Fran Andrewlevich said he and other brewers are banned from selling their beers in the industry standard half-gallon growler.

"Just to not have the free market access to sell it in 2 ounces, 10 ounces or 100 ounces, it's idiotic," said Andrewlevich.

The law dates back to the prohibition era in the Sunshine State.

Brewers right now can sell a quart-sized growler and a gallon-sized growler. They cannot sell the half-gallon growler.

"A gallon is obviously eight pints a quart is two. It's kind of that perfect median in the middle. And it's the same liquid on either side," said Andrewlevich.

Florida House lawmakers are debating a bill that would legalize those half-gallon growlers.

Butt Andrewlevich worries the bill has other restriction that would still squeeze small brewers. Some of the restrictions could include banning gallon-sized growlers and limiting taproom sales.
"(HB) 1329 is a little scary," said Andewlevich.

On Friday, Anheuser Busch released a statement in support of the current bill.

Andrewlevich said he and other small brewers feel overwhelmed.
"95 percent of the brewers I know in the state, we just want to make good beer. Have a good time, have a laugh, have a couple fresh pints. That's all we're trying to do," said Andrewlevich.

Florida legislators will take up the beer growler bill on Monday in a house subcommittee.

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