FL - Beer battle over 64-ounce growler brews
Tampa, Florida -- Craft brewers say they can sell a 4-pack, a 32-ounce, a gallon, even a keg. But they say when it comes to the 64-ounce growler -- that's a different story.
Tampa Bay Brewing Company GM Todd Dziubek says, "I think it is a real old law that needs to be revisited."
It's a statewide, depression-era law -- a three-tier system that separated manufacturing, distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages.
"They can't do a 64-ounce, which is kind of crazy because in 47 other states in the country you can," Creative Loafing Political Editor Mitch Perry says. He has been following this beer war since the battled started brewing.
"When they got the ability to sell on their own premises -- that cracked that three-tier system a little bit."
He says now with these hops becoming very hip, distributors are looking to give but also take, "I think their concerned as craft beer gets more popular they'll loose control."
That may soon change. A Senate committee is advancing legislation that would allow the sale of beer in a growler. It would give distributors a cut -- even if the beer never leaves the brewery before it is sold.
"The distributors want to maintain the strangle-hold they have on the industry," Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, says.
He doesn't think this will pass this session.
Some craft brewers say the change would be convenient for customers, but isn't worth the hassle of an overall distribution tariff on all beer sold.