Taking matters into their own hands, the members of the Florida Brewers Guild have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise $100,000 to save all of the state’s breweries from a lawsuit. Sharing details about the situation, the members wrote, “Recently the very industry we work to product has come under attack. Retail and distributor groups have filed a lawsuit against the Division of Alcoholic Beverages.”
The Florida Brewers Guild is described as a nonprofit trade association committed to preserving the rights and interests of all craft brewers throughout the state. The guild encourages all sectors of the industry to come together under the common principles of advocacy, education, and good ole fashioned brewing. The organization filing a petition to intervene in the administrative action (i.e. joining the lawsuit) in order to fight alongside the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and preserve the issuance of brewery licenses.
The outcomes of this lawsuit if Florida’s breweries lose are the following:
- Loss of ability to obtain vendor licenses, which means no more tasting rooms
- All current vendor licenses issued to breweries may be revoked
- Onsite sales of pints, growler fills, or beer-to-go could be terminated.
The members then noted, “This is completely different from lobbying the legislature, this is real litigation in court. It means we need financial resources to join the lawsuit to help fight alongside the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and protect brewery rights to a tasting room.”
Also revealing the impact this could cause on Florida’s economy, the members explained, “We are shocked that retailers and distributors would try to invalidate breweries tasting rooms. Perhaps they have entered into this suit without comprehending the serious implications it could have on the Florida’s brewing industry, [which include:] damage to 100+ small, locally-owned businesses throughout the state; loss of more than $875 million in revenue; and drastic change to the tourism landscape of the state’s most popular destinations.”
Since its debut on the crowdfunding platform, the Save the Florida Breweries campaign has raised over $20,000 thanks to nearly 155 backers. It is set to close on March 16th.
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