SB 1714 gets a Sunday amendment

Last night, while the world was watching Mad Men or the equivalent show, those who are tracking SB 1714 through the Florida Senate’s website received an alert. Our legal friends Brewers’ Law and Komlossy Law quickly took to Twitter to alert their followers.

Senator Kelli Stargel of Lakeland filed an eleventh-hour amendment to change some of the language in SB 1714. The changes are as follows, according to Brewers’ Law:

On the eve of Senate Bill 1714′s second reading on the Senate floor (and possible full vote of the Senate), bill sponsor Senator Kelli Stargel filed a proposed strike-all amendment that would drastically change some of the most criticized aspects of SB 1714. Those changes are reflected in the summary below by struck-through and [bold] text.

Brewery Taprooms: Florida breweries could continue to have taprooms that sell their own beer and guest beer for consumption on premises. Guest beers would have to be purchased from a licensed distributor, including collaborative beers not brewed on a brewery’s premises.

Growlers: Breweries could fill growlers with their own beer. Full liquor bars could fill growlers with anyone’s beer. Brewpubs couldn’t fill growlers with anyone’s beer. Growlers would be limited to 32 oz, 64 oz, or 128 oz. The bill provides for regulations for filing and sealing growlers.

Cans and Bottles: Breweries that product no more than 2,000 kegs (31,000 gallons) of beer per year could sell All breweries could sell up to 2,000 kegs (31,000 gallons) of their own beer in pre-packaged containers from their own taprooms without involving a distributor. Breweries with production over 2,000 kegs would have to “go through” a distributor to purchase and resell cans and bottles of their own beer, but the distributor would not be required to move the beer of the brewery’s premise (without including production for consumption in the taproom) could continue to sell in their taprooms, without involving a distributor, up to 20% of their beer produced for consumption off premises. Limit one keg per consumer per day.

Multiple Brewery Locations: A brewery could not have more than one taproom. Beer A manufacturer’s own beer could not be transported between two brewery premises under common ownership without it coming to rest with a distributor, up to 2,000 kegs (31,000 gallons) per year.

Food Service: Breweries could be licensed as restaurants. Brewpubs would not be required to be licensed as restaurants.

Licensing Bond: The minimum bond required for a brewing license would be reduced from $20,000 to $5,000.

The bill in its original legalese is here.

Now, the question is why would Stargel do this? That answer is a bit telling. While Stargel did tone down some of the more criticized parts of the bill, Brewers’ Law posits that this might have been done to make the bill more palatable for the Florida House of Representatives, who have been more favorable towards local craft breweries. Either way, time is of the essence if this bill is to be voted on. Eyes will be peeled and updates will be coming quickly on this bill.

If you have not yet contacted your local senator, now would be the time to do so.