Florida anti-brewery legislation nothing more than a shakedown

April 12, 2014 

The Sunshine State has rightfully earned a national reputation for weird news and the moniker "Strange Florida."

The Legislature has jumped aboard the wacky train once again with a bill regulating craft breweries, a growing niche industry that Bradenton recently joined.

Beer distributors -- a powerful force in Tallahassee -- don't like the idea of being cut out of the deal.

Federal law requires three separate components in the beer industry -- producers, distributors and vendors. So a craft brewer selling straight to consumers skips the middle man.

So this new mind-numbing bill would force craft brewers to sell their products to distributors and buy it back at a higher price before stocking shelves with cans and bottles.

Make sense? Heck no.

It gets worse. The distributor needn't even remove the goods from the brewery. Sounds like a modern-day shakedown.

Other states have found ways to skirt the nonsensical federal law, but Florida appears poised to take this to a whole new level of absurdity.

You get what you pay for, and distributors apparently own Tallahassee.

Contact Manatee County's legislators to voice your displeasure (information below).

Another piece of legislation -- to allow these small businesses to fill 64-ounce growlers for take-home enjoyment -- remains on track.

Sen. Bill Galvano, District 26, Republican; 850-487-5026; galvano.bill.web@flsenate.gov

Sen. Arthenia Joyner, District 19, Democrat, 813-233-4277, joyner.arthenia.web@flsenate.gov

Rep. Greg Steube, District 73, Republican, 850-488-6341, greg.steube@myfloridahouse.gov

Rep. Jim Boyd, District 71, Republican, 850-488-4086, jim.boyd@myfloridahouse.gov

Rep. Darryl Rouson, District 70, Democrat, Tallahassee, 850-488-0925; St. Petersburg office, (727) 906-3200; darryl.rouson@myfloridahouse.gov

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service