Veterans United Craft Brewery

Support Florida Taprooms!

January 14, 2015 | Posted in Beer Politics, News

The news is out that some retailers and wholesalers have filed a petition against the State of Florida with the aim to challenge the existence of brewery tasting rooms, alleging that they have been improperly issued licenses to sell pints, growlers, and kegs under a "tourism exception".

Pending breweries-in-planning may remain unable to open their doors and even current breweries like us may face license revocation as a result of this insane legal action.

We ask our craft beer lovers to continue visiting your local Florida taprooms, share this news with fellow small business supporters, and help us loudly proclaim that the Florida brewery's taprooms do indeed contribute and promote all aspects of tourism here in the state.

Even before the formation of our awesome Jax Ale Trail, the beer community in Jacksonville has fostered an amazing culture that draws folks from all over. We are so proud to be a part of a statewide industry that is creating jobs, getting involved in various charitable efforts, and generally creating great products and providing fantastic events for everyone's enjoyment.

It is frustrating and disappointing to have our livelihoods threatened and we will be keeping a close eye on this development.

Thank you for already being a fan. Please share this with your friends and keep supporting your local breweries!

More news and information on the issue:

Associated Press article

The Florida Times-Union article

Q & A from Brewers' Law

ABC Action News Tampa Video

Text of one of the suits

Florida Independent Spirits Association: (850) 421-9100
Retail Beverage Council of Florida Retail Federation, Inc. (850) 222-4082

And, as noted by Komlossy Law, P.A. in their blog post this week:

"After a number of folks had an opportunity to review the filing, there was an assumption that there was more to this than just one group seeking clarification and nothing more. Today, the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Industry of Florida filed motions to intervene. They are seeking to become parties to the proceeding and to support the position of the petitioner.

Essentially, an all out attack on the tourism exception and a roundabout way of attacking craft beer taprooms. One would expect that this was all orchestrated in advance. It’s pretty unlikely that these parties wrote their motions over the weekend and filed them at about the same time on the next business day."

The motions are available at the following links:

FBWA

BIF

Florida Beer Wholesalers Association (850) 224-2337
Beer Industry of Florida, Inc. (850) 222-8960

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Many folks have asked how to help and we are very grateful for our passionate patrons.

Simply: visit your local taprooms and share your experiences with your friends, with family, with out-of-towners. Hop on the Jax Ale Trail and send in your completed passports. Voice your opinions on social media. All of this participation demonstrates the current vitality and draw of Florida breweries.

If you want to do even more –

The Florida Brewers Guild will need your support in the fight to protect the rights of local craft breweries. We are members of this nonprofit trade association that serves as an advocate for all Florida craft brewers. They have set up a legal campaign fund to defend against the latest incursions against Florida taprooms and you can safely donate through Indiegogo.

You may also mail a donation. Please make any checks payable to 'Florida Brewers Guild' and mail to: c/o Florida Brewers Guild, Post Office Box 523, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920.

There is also an active Change.org petition which will help raise awareness of what's going on, and give another voice to everyone who supports keeping Florida craft breweries alive.

You are the cornerstone of our taproom's existence and we can't win this battle without you. Thank you so much for your continued support!