The 64-Ounce Growler Debate in Florida Is Brewing Again
If you don't succeed at first, try and try again. This seems to be the saying for Florida's growler dilemma as state Rep. Frank Artiles (R-Miami) wants to reintroduce a bill that would make 64-ounce growlers legal.
Artiles cosponsored legislation last year that tried to do the same thing, but the bill failed to receive a hearing in the House Business and Professional Regulation Subcommittee chaired by Rep. Debbie Mayfield (R-Vero Beach).
The bill might get a little pushback from the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association, which wants to protect the three-tier distribution system in the state. Because Florida breweries can sell their products directly from their tap rooms (thanks, Anheuser-Busch!), some seem to think that growlers will somehow ruin the sanctity of this model. The three-tier system was originally put in place to prevent gangsters like Al Capone from rising up and completely taking over the alcohol industry.
"What exactly is the difference between buying a gallon of beer, 128 ounces, compared to a 40-, or a 32-, or a 64-ounce growler? It doesn't make any sense," said Artiles in an interview with WFSU.
Growlers are intrinsic to the beer industry. What beer lovers cannot find on store shelves, they can take home their favorite brews from the tap in a growler instead. Many breweries sell branded growlers for this reason. In Florida, growlers can exist only in sizes of 32 and 128 ounces; for the rest of America (minus Mississippi and Utah), the industry standard is 64 ounces.
With local craft breweries selling only a few of their flagship brews in stores, special releases can be had directly from the tap only.
But it's not just breweries that are seeing all of the growler action. Growler stations are being installed in retail locations such as ABC Fine Wine and Spirits stores across the state.