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Bill that will hurt small breweries moves forward

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's craft breweries lost a battle with Budweiser distributors as a bill that would hurt the growing Florida beer industry cleared its final senate stop before a full chamber vote.

The bill approved by the senate rules committee on Monday would force all but the smallest of breweries to buy their own cans and bottles of beer from distributors before they can sell it to brewery visitors.

Right now, breweries don't have that restriction and use the profits from on-site sales to help grow their businesses.

Breweries are pushing for the legalization of half-gallon refillable beer containers, called growlers, which are the industry standard in 47 states. Florida breweries now can sell gallon and quart growlers.

Anheuser-Busch Inbev distributors are trying to tie the growler issue to other regulatory issues.

Photo Credit 970 WFLA/K. Norman

 

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