Florida Beer Wholesalers Association Announces Support for Separate “Growler” Bill
Tallahassee, December 8, 2014 — Today, the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association (FBWA) formally announced its support for a stand-alone “growler” bill – a measure that would allow the state to lift the restriction on 64-ounce growlers.
The Association, long a supporter of lifting the restriction had, for years, tied its support to the larger discussion of direct brewer to consumer sales. Mitch Rubin, the Executive Director for the FBWA stated, “I want to make it clear that we have not changed our support for lifting the restriction on growlers, but we believe it is now time to separate the growler issue from the larger conversation.” He added, “Our support for growlers recognizes that allowing these new carry-out sizes offers some challenges – all of which can be easily overcome with some simple, sensible requirements.”
The FBWA also laid out a few suggestions that lawmakers should consider related to container material, seals, labels and sanitation. These suggestions are for maintaining product integrity and public safety. The Association supports the following suggestions:
✦ Creating a new section of law that expressly authorizes and governs growlers—separate from manufacturer sealed containers.
✦ Authorizing 32, 64 and 128-ounce growlers made of glass, ceramic or metal.
✦ Requiring sanitation and room for expansion to prevent explosions for product integrity and public health.
✦ Requiring proper seals and labels for local zoning, product identity, open container and public health purposes.
The Association outlined these elements with the hope that the Legislature would be careful to respect existing laws that prohibit open containers, sales to minors or that attempt to address the risks associated with unmarked alcoholic beverage containers. The FBWA recognizes that because growlers will be filled with alcohol, specifically malt beverages, the new law must ensure public safety above all else and, to that end, must provide for firm but fair enforcement that the public can both understand and support.
Rubin concluded, “In short, with these few logical suggestions for maintaining product integrity and public safety, the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association supports a stand-alone bill that would authorize a 64-ounce growler. And, of equal importance, we hope lawmakers will consider such a bill as a stand-alone product to avoid the larger, more complex issues surrounding the manufacturing, distribution and sale of beer and other malt beverages.”