Currently in Florida, statute 564.05 sets limits regarding the size of individual wine containers that can be sold in the state. The statute limits individual wine containers to holding no more than one gallon of wine, unless the wine is in a reusable container – in which it can hold 5.16 gallons. The wine must also be sold in its original unopened container only. The only exception to this rule is that distributors and manufacturers can sell to other distributors and manufacturers in a container of any size.
Current problems this poses for the craft beverage industry
While this statute may seem relatively straightforward, it has resulted in big problems for many in the craft beverage industry. Under both federal and state law, many ciders and perrys (pear ciders) are technically considered to be wine. Limiting the size of the containers that these beverages can be sold in has had negative effects on how businesses are able to sell their ciders and perrys. Additionally, businesses are restricted to selling these beverages in their original containers only.
The state previously revised a statute to allow growlers
Growlers have become a huge selling point for breweries and craft beverage businesses across the state. But, these weren’t always allowed. The state previously revised its beer statute to allow growlers – or a container that is typically different from the “original container” of the beverage.
Since the revision to allow growlers for craft beer, many business owners and agribusinesses throughout the state have pushed for lawmakers to make similar changes for wines, including ciders and perrys.
HB 523 would repeal statute 564.05
Florida is notorious for its fruits but notably not for its grapes, grains or hops. House Bill (HB) 523 would be a positive change for craft brewers and agribusinesses throughout the state. The bill would repeal the existing statute, allowing businesses to sell their ciders and perrys on a larger scale, including in both restaurants and package stores. This would take effect on July 1, 2023.
The alcoholic beverage industry is always changing, and it can be difficult for brewers and others in the craft beverage industry to keep up. An experienced alcoholic beverage law attorney can help keep you informed of changes that may affect your business.