July 1, 2015 was a day that will forever be remembered by craft beer lovers and connoisseurs, not just here in “Bruval,” but across the entire state of Florida.
Craft breweries and their loyal customers across the Sunshine State had been crying foul for the longest time as beer growlers were not legally available for purchase here in Florida, despite being available in all 49 other states.
The “growler bill,” as it was infamously named, was something in the works for quite awhile, according to Ben Davis, owner of Intuition Ale Works in Riverside. It was four sluggish years before anything came to fruition.
“I’m very happy to join the other 49 states in country where they are legal,” Davis said.
So, what exactly is a beer growler? I’m glad you asked.
A beer growler is a re-sealable container that customers can take to their favorite pub, brewery or watering hole and fill them up with draft beer to take home. What makes a growler different from bottles or cans, is that it can be filled right from the tap. This is important for several reasons, as it not only reduces waste, but also lowers the cost of product packaging, which saves breweries money and keeps costs low for customers. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
The bizarre twist to it all was that it was only the half-gallon growler that was illegal; 32-ounce and 1-gallon growlers were legal. And, this didn’t sit quite right with Institute for Justice. Sometimes, as peaceful protest or way to show how silly the law was, breweries would sell two, 32-ounce growlers tied together to reach the 64-ounce size.
The Institute for Justice declared Florida’s Half-Gallon Growler ban as a regulation that “arbitrarily and senselessly violated Florida entrepreneurs’ right to earn an honest living.”
Why all the ruckus?
According to the Brewers Association, craft brewers accounted for one-fifth of the Industry’s Market Share in 2014. That’s quite a bit of beer.
When you think about it, what could possibly be better than a growler of your favorite Intuition Ale, Bold City Brew or a local craft brew as we soak up the Florida sun?
By: Grant Gunderson | Contributor