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TBO - Bill Introduced to Legalize Craft Beer Growlers

TAMPA — Calling the restriction “an insult to the idea of a free market,” freshman state Rep. Chris Sprowls joined Sen. Jack Latvala in introducing legislation Tuesday that would allow the state’s exploding craft beer industry to sell its products in 64-ounce “growlers.”

Florida is one of just two states -- Utah being the other -- that doesn’t allow patrons to take beer home from a craft brewery in the half-gallon refillable jugs.

“It’s nothing new or revolutionary,” Latvala said at an event at Dunedin Brewery attended by dozens of craft brewers and their backers. “We’re just announcing we’re going to file the same bill we’ve filed the last two years. I don’t think there’s a reason in the world why Florida should be one of only two states in this entire country that doesn’t allow 64-ounce growlers.”

The state does allow sales in 32-ounce and 128-ounce jugs.

While craft brewers have fought to lift the ban on the 64-ouncers -- Mike Halker of Due South Brewing in Boynton Beach called that size the “sweetheart spot,” enough for two people to sit at home and have two pints of beer each -- the Legislature has failed to pass a bill. Lobbyists for big brewers and distributors over the last few legislative sessions have tied the growler issue to others such as the beer distribution system and allowing breweries to operate on-site tasting more

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