For the past two years, efforts to legalize beer growlers, the 64-oz. jugs that are container of choice for the craft beer movement, have faltered in Florida's legislature. One problem is that the change has often been tied up in bills that concern other beer distribution proposals.
This year, supporters hope everyone can get on the same page and pass a simple bill that only legalizes beer growlers and does nothing else.
Florida has somewhat odd size restrictions on the beer containers. That's why you can't buy a 40 oz. in this state and have to settle on a 32 oz. instead.
Sixty-four-ounce growlers are the size of choice in the craft beer industry, with customers buying them from their favorite brewery and bringing them back to be refilled. Oddly, much larger and harder to transport 128-oz. growlers are legal in Florida.
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Just about everyone thinks this is silly, and craft breweries and politicians have been trying to change it for years. The problem is that the issue always gets tied to more controversial laws affecting the craft beer industry. Florida also has laws dating back to prohibition that mandate a three-tier alcohol distribution system. Meaning that in most cases breweries must sell beer to distributors who in turn sell beer to retailers and restaurants.
The distributors trade group, Florida Beer Wholesalers Association, have always opposed changing those distribution requirements. Today, however, Scripps reports that the group has come out in favor of a simple bill that would legalize growlers and nothing else.
It seems just about everyone may be on board. Though, larger issues surrounding the craft beer industry seem like they'll remain unresolved. Meaning, you may be able to buy a beer growler in Florida soon, but it likely won't be directly from the brewer.