Tampa beer brewers push for change in container law - FOX 13 News

Tampa beer brewers push for change in container law

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

In the world of craft beer, size does matter.  But sometimes old habits -- or in this case, laws -- are hard to change, explained Justin Clark with Cigar City Brewing,

"It's frustrating, because it's such a simple idea. What we are talking about is authorizing or legalizing a container size," Clark said.

In most states you have choices: You can get a 32-ounce, 64-ounce, or 128-ounce growler filled up at your local craft brewery to take home.

But in Florida, one choice disappears.

The 64-ounce beer container is banned in the state, and has been for years. But now there's a big push by Cigar City Brewing and others in Tampa to change the law.

"It's not going to change us from being about to fill up growlers or not. We just want to use the industry standard, and stupidity becomes extremely frustrating," Clark said.

But the proposed bill is losing steam in the Legislature.

For years, powerful lobbyists for Anheuser-Busch distributors have fought to keep the law just the way it is -- protecting, they say, an alcohol distribution law that was put in place after prohibition.

It essentially says all beer must pass through a distributor before it gets to your grocery store. Wineries are the exception.

But some believe the beer giant is simply trying to use their muscle to squeeze their competition, as microbreweries across the country get more and more popular.

Customer Kyle Leonard has been a craft beer enthusiast for eight years. He says he will toast the day Florida catches up with the rest of the country.

"It's a silly law that needs to be lifted. The day that I can go in and fill that is going to be a good time and celebrate when it happens," Leonard said.

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