Retail Federation says it has convinced state to initiate rule-making process for craft breweries’ tasting rooms

green bench tasting room 2

Two weeks after they applied to have the “tourist exemption” that has allowed craft brewery tasting rooms to thrive in Florida in recent years reviewed, the Florida Retail Federation says that the Department of Business and Professional Regulation will indeed initiate reviewing that exemption later this year.

Craft brewery officials fear that the move could put tasting rooms that currently exist in peril, though officials with the Big Beer establishment say that is not the case. Mitch Rubin with the Florida Beer Wholesaler Association told Florida Politics that it’s all about “clarification” about when there should be exceptions applied for applications to open a tasting room.

In a statement, the Retail Federation says the same thing, writing that “we filed the administrative petition in order to seek clarity on the tourism exception to the beverage license law. The rule-making process gives us this opportunity; it is an affirmative step towards clarification how this statute is being applied.”

State lawmakers who have been attempting to pass a clean bill on repealing the ban on 64-ounce growlers in recent years have said they thought that would finally happen this year. But Tampa Republican House member Dana Young says that this action could threaten new craft breweries hoping to open up tasting rooms, and considers it another move to harm the breweries.

Last updated on January 26, 2015

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


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