TAMPA, Florida (WFLA) – A recent Florida law will change the rules for craft distilleries and make new requirements for distilleries to operate.
The new law, SB 46, review the requirements for licensed Florida craft distilleries, and limit how many bottles can be sold at gift shops and flavor rooms. SB 46 also makes it so distilleries cannot ship products to customers and adds limits to how many craft distilleries can share common ground.
Going forward, SB 46 does it so that distilleries can produce more bottles each year, goes from 75,000 gallons to 250,000, but will only be able to sell 75,000 gallons in gift shops or flavor rooms.
A maximum of 10 craft distilleries may share common ownership under the new law, but also require a minimum of 60% of finished labeled products to be distilled in Florida by July 1, 2026, and must have at least one Florida crop.
Under the new law, distilleries will have to keep records of all alcoholic beverages received inside or outside Florida for three years.
In addition, the law restricts the type of manufactured manufacturing venues they may serve. Artisanal distilleries will also be allowed to qualify for permits for tasting at Florida fairs, trade shows, farmers markets, exhibitions, and festivals, and the law is now in effect.
In terms of permits, craft distilleries can apply for vendor licenses at “destination entertainment venues” as long as they are located in a designated redevelopment community area authorized by a plan to support urban redevelopment and economic development.
The venue must be owned by a person licensed as a craft distillery at the venue, and adjacent to “multimodal transportation options, including, at a minimum, bike and footpaths included on an adopted city or a map map and transit routes established by a city, county, or regional transportation authority. “
Venues must also be in a set of “neighboring areas” of at least 15 acres, and include parking and rainwater requirements set forth in local laws, regulations or ordinances. There is also at least one indoor event venue with a capacity for at least 150 people, fully serviced by an on-site connected kitchen.
Qualified event spaces also have at least one outdoor venue with a minimum capacity for 1,000 people, which regularly holds live entertainment on a stage at least 12 feet deep and 16 feet wide.
Once the appropriate fees are paid, the law says a distillery can be licensed only as a vendor for the consumption of local alcoholic beverages manufactured by other manufacturers and acquired through a distributor.
Licenses issued are not subject to quotas or limits, but the distillery must be located on property at a destination entertainment venue, by law, and must be open for tours during normal business hours for at least fvie days of a week.
Among other rules imposed by the new law, “No more than three craft distilleries may be licensed as a vendor in a community redevelopment area,” and must all be located in the same venue and share identical ownership.
Each craft distillery must distill, blend or correct at least 50,000 gallons of branded product, “spirit distillate manufactured by distilling, rectifying, or blending by the craft distillery at its licensed premises” each calendar year.