Florida’s beer industry is on tap for new legislation involving the sizing of jugs of beer, commonly known as growlers, sold at breweries.
Due to an old state law, brewery patrons can legally purchase as many 32-ounce and 1-gallon growlers as they’d like, but 64-ounce growlers may not be filled, even though that’s the industry standard in most other states.
Mitch Rubin, a lobbyist for the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association, opposed both bills that would have legalized filling the 64-ounce containers.
He said he spoke against the bills to protect the three-tiered system of beer distribution.
In the system, distributors act as middlemen between retailers and brewers. They exist to stop vertical integration among the retailers, the distributors and the brewers, Rubin said.
Swamp Head Brewery, in particular, has voiced its opinion on the subject on its website, where it states that people who seek to buy beer can choose between “the giganto gallon jug or the Red Stripe on steroids 32 oz. growler.“
Swamp Head credits this policy to “an antiquated Florida law.”
“In the coming year, we plan on pushing for new legislation to legalize the 64-ounce container,” Rubin said. “Our main concern lies in closing the loopholes currently open in the system.”
Casey Davis, a 21-year-old UF accounting senior, said he thinks the system is economically inefficient.
“If the bigger one is cheaper compared to the lower size, then I’d want to buy the bigger one,” he said, “even if I wasn’t going to finish it that night.”
Both 32-ounce jugs and one-gallon jugs of beer, sold at Swamp Head Brewery, are legal container sizes in Florida. Lobbyists are trying to legalize the 64-ounce size beverages.