FL Franchise Exemptions Continue to Advance

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Moving through a series of House committees, House Bill 903 provides for limited exemptions to the current regulations regarding distribution agreements between beer distributors and manufacturers, as follows: 1) exempts small breweries (i.e. total production volume does not exceed 150,000 gallons of malt beverages a year) from the beer franchise relations law; 2) allows any brewer to provide 120 days written notice and terminate their distributor franchise agreement, but only if the beer manufacturer accounts for 10% or less of the distributors total sales. The bill further authorizes limited self-distribution for certain brewers, as follows: 1) allows a craft brewery whose annual total production volume is less than 7,000 kegs (~108,500 gallons) per year to sell, transport, and deliver (distribute) its own beer from its licensed premises to vendors in a standard keg or similar container (a craft brewery with an existing franchise agreement with a distributor is not eligible for this exemption); 2) requires that the craft brewer comply with certain distribution-specific laws when acting as a distributor, and exempts the craft brewer from the “come-to-rest requirement.” 3) allows brew pubs to transfer beer to a restaurant, of common owner affiliation, which is a part of a restaurant group of not more than 15 restaurants.