This week, Florida’s Senate Regulated Industries Committee approved a bill sponsored by Sen. Frank Artiles that would change the existing state laws currently restricting beer wholesalers from giving away free glassware to on-premise retailers such as bars, restaurants and other establishments that sell beer.
The bill will set limits on the amount of glassware that may be given to five cases of 24 glasses per brand per year. Should a company have multiple brands, such as the larger national brewers, they can potentially give away thousands of glasses annually.
Joshua Aubuchon, a lobbyist for the Florida Brewers Guild, spoke with CBS Miami and said the small craft breweries that his organization represents cannot compete with that cost. Even if a brewer offered five cases to each bar, at a cost of $1 per glass, it could add up to $42,000, assuming the brewery had 350 customers. “We simply can’t afford it,”said Aubuchon.
The bill moves on next to the Commerce and Tourism Committee and we will provide updates as they become available.
By Oren Cytrynbaum