Beer Wars in Tallahassee

04/23/14 Warren Elly with Joey Redner and Tom Scherberger
Last Call Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:
Tags: Cigar City Brewing, Joey Redner, Tom Scherberger, Warren Elly, craft beer

Today on Last Call Warren Elly speaks to Joey Redner, owner of Cigar City Brewing Tom Scherberger the Bay area’s Beerologist about Craft Beer. It's the fastest growing small businesses segment in the Florida economy – hundreds of jobs, scores of new, small businesses across the state - threatened tonight say critics by Pay to Play Politics in Tallahassee.

Here, by state law that goes back to the end of prohibition, beer distributors enjoy a middlemen’s monopoly; the beer bought by consumers is not supposed to be sold directly by the manufacturer. Instead the law says a distributor is the middleman between the brewer and his customer. No surprise then that the big bucks beer men have had enough of the upstart Florida craft beer industry that they say is using a loophole to sell its beers first in tasting rooms, and then direct to consumers and retail stores without the distributors.

If big beer gets its way in the legislature, and they’ve given tens of thousands in contributions to legislators so far to make it so, craft brewers won’t be able to sell their fresh pints, growlers and six packs directly to consumers -if they make more than 2-thousand kegs of beer a year. It’s a David and goliath battle, big beer - foreign owned Anheiser Busch makes 100-million kegs a year and Tampa’s Cigar City Craft brewery makes 100-thousand.

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