Every beer geek’s dream or dilemma is to walk into a bar or taproom and see dozens of tap handles behind the bar. They appear in all shapes, colors and sizes, sometimes fanning out like a peacock. While the minimalist or design-conscious bar owner may wish to use their own tap handles for the sake of uniformity, Florida Statutes Title XXXIV Chapter 563 requires:
- All taps to have a tap handle
- The handle must display the name of the beer presented through the spigot
- The handle must be in plain sight of the consuming public
Why do this?
Each state has its own sometimes quite eccentric rules regarding tap handles, but the general thinking is that the brand, label and name provide a clear origin. Tap handles avoid confusion and can enable the customer to make educated decisions regarding their choice of beer. It holds the bar accountable for selling the beer advertised by the tap handle. Finally, it also holds the breweries responsible for providing accurate information regarding the type of beer, where it was brewed and other details on the tap handle. For example, German beer must be brewed in Germany, not by a contractor here in the U.S.
Bars, breweries and restaurants need to be compliant
The hospitality industry has to deal with a lot of regulations here in Florida. While proper tap handles may not seem important to some of them, small details like improper handles can lead to penalties. Moreover, the spigot’s improper location may result in the cost of redesigning the tap system or bar itself. So it often best to work with an attorney who handles alcohol beverage law here. They know and understand the complex rules that bars, taprooms and restaurants must follow.