Here's some good news beer geeks. The Tampa Bay Tribune reported that Mitch Rubin, head of the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association, announced on Monday that he supports a repeal of the state's ban on 64-ounce growlers, or take-home jugs of beer.
This means that the organization representing Florida's Anheuser-Busch distributors, which has been supportive of the ban in the past, will find something better to do rather than try to keep in place a trivial ban on what is considered the standard size for growlers in 47 other states (with Idaho and Mississippi being the other two exceptions).
In Florida, only growlers in 32- or 128-ounces are legal, but nothing in between. The growler ban has been a long ordeal for craft breweries, which opposed to it because they said it stifled business and created confusion from tourists visiting from out-of-state.
In October the Palm Beach Gardens office of Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida over the ban, saying that the law was bad for business.
Attempts have been made to repeal the ban on growlers with legislation in the past couple of years, particularly with Florida bill SB 1714 earlier this year. The rejection of that bill was a mixed blessing as it would have also put other controversial restrictions on craft breweries.
The real issue for the association has to do with how craft breweries are able to circumvent Prohibition-era distribution laws by selling their beer directly to consumers through tap rooms.
The growler ban could be struck down as early as next year. The state legislature would still have to pass a bill repealing the growler ban, and then have it signed into law by governor Rick Scott, an idea that Scott has supported in the past.
Only time will tell.
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