Florida lawmakers have proposed a new bill that would allow local craft breweries to distribute the beer themselves rather than having to go through a third-party company.
Senate Bill 554, which if passed could take effect as soon as July 1, would allow breweries to deliver their kegs to bars and restaurants through the use of company or personal cars, something currently forbidden under state law.
For now, they’re instead required to go through third-party distributors if they want their products to reach the general public. This process makes it difficult for local breweries to gain prominence in the community, said Chris Hart, owner of Blackadder Brewing Company in Gainesville.
“We’d be able to have people that are in different locations … know that we exist, drink our beer and then be encouraged to come in and visit us,” he said.
Gainesville resident and beer enthusiast Sean Kitts said he is pleased with the bill because it could allow him to get more local beers at his favorite restaurants.
“Sometimes you get tired of the same old, main-produced beers,” he said, “so the local breweries would be something that would change it up and make things a lot more interesting.”