Beer distributors, brewers snarl over growlers - FOX 13 News

Beer distributors, brewers snarl over growlers

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Craft beer brewers like Justin Clark from Cigar City are fed up with the state.

Brewers are allowed to sell unlimited amounts of gallon- and quart-sized beer jugs. But they can't sell popular 64-ounce growlers.

"It is such a silly law. It seems like a no-brainer that could almost be checked off like it was an oversight," Clark said.

The Florida State Senate President Don Gaetz said he'd support a bill to legalize them. But first, he wants his friend, a political donor and Anheuser Busch distributor, to approve his decision.

"It is definitely the big guy vs. little guy right now. It's David versus Goliath for sure," Clark offered.

Upstart brewers say the way the bill is written can hurt them because it includes other restrictions.

"The same people who are opposing us, we have to work with day in and day out to get our beer to market," Clark said.

Florida is only one of three states that considers the 64-ounce growlers to be illegal and nobody seems to know why.

"I'm sure at some point there was a reason why that law was put into place. Does it make sense today? No," said David Doble.

Doble, with Tampa Bay Brewing, said the big brewers are using their clout in the capital to put the smaller brewers in a bind.

"I think a lot of these guys use that the fact that it is important to us to actually stifle us," Doble continued.

But at the same time, the craft brewers do not want to oppose something they and their customers really want.

"It doesn't make any sense to them and we look dumb a lot of times. We will lose the sale," he added.

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