Florida’s attempt at continual crystallization of the past should easily be undone as beer enthusiasts push to allow the legal sale of 64oz beer growlers. Currently, Florida allows the sale of both 32oz and 128oz growlers, even allowing consumers to buy multiples of each. 64oz growlers, though, are the undisputed perfect size for beer enthusiasts. However, the state prohibits the sale of 64oz growlers. It’s one of three states in which the 64oz growler is illegal. Why the disparity?
It really comes down to beer enthusiasts and small breweries wanting to buy/sell the 64oz growlers against beer distributors who want to protect larger beer producers like Anheuser-Busch from losing customers. There are currently two bills filed which push to allow the legal sale of the half-gallon, but can they get past the resistance?
Proponents of the bills are finding ample amounts of support, as common sense seems to say it should be so. “It’s really silly. I have in my office a 32-ounce, a gallon and a 64 to show people. And I ask them, ‘Which one do you think is currently illegal?’” said Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, whose lobbying for the law to be passed. “They all think the gallon is illegal. They say, ‘Oh, you’re trying to legalize the big one!’ and I say, ‘No, it’s the one in the middle,’ and it’s like, ‘Why is it not legal?’ They don’t get it.”
However, lobbyists for beer distributors have the law and history on their side. One of the lobbyists fighting against the bill cited the rationale for the law as a protection of the three-tier alcohol distribution system, aka a method that requires customers to first go through distributors when obtaining alcohol, a system that has been in place since the end of the Prohibition Era. Oh, but consumers can still buy the other sizes without going through a distributor first. There are obvious other exceptions as with wine bottles being sold directly at a winery, and of course, 32oz and 128oz beer growlers from breweries.
Another reason is that smaller breweries shirking the three-tier system means less people buying from larger beer producers — a classic example of David vs. Goliath. The smaller craft breweries want to be allowed to sell what their customers want, but are finding it difficult because of laws which protect and ensure that the larger companies remain the cash cows they have been for years.