SelfDistributionTalkingPoints .pdf

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SB 554 re Self-Distribution
Current Situation​. Because beer is an alcoholic beverage, it is
different than other consumer products and it is regulated as
such. To prevent vertical integration and tied houses, the
three-tier system requires alcoholic beverage manufacturers to
sell to distributors and distributors to sell to retailers.
Florida’s distributors promote and sell over 3500 brands brewed
at over one thousand breweries, large and small, import and
domestic. According to the Nielsen Company, there is more
choice for consumers in alcohol than any other consumer product.
This includes 190 breweries and brewpubs located in Florida. Of
the 190, over 130 have distribution agreements with one or more
of 15 distributors. The remaining 60 breweries and brewpubs
brew for their tasting rooms.
A major exception to the three-tier system was enacted in 2015.
It allows breweries to hold up to eight retail licenses and transfer
beer between ​affiliated breweries​. However, all other alcoholic
beverages must be purchased through a distributor. These retail
“tasting room” privileges provide powerful incubation while
maintaining the three-tier system.
Consequences of Proposal​. SB 554 would​ ​unwind the 2015
compromise by authorizing qualified breweries to sell to
unaffiliated​ breweries and to retailers.
Self-distribution would create confusion and litigation between
breweries and distributors over existing agreements.
If enacted, self-distributing breweries would have a pricing

advantage over those that have distribution agreements. The
pricing advantage is unfair to other breweries and distributors.
Except for tied house evil, the bill exempts self-distributing
breweries from important invoicing and accounting laws that
distributors must follow.
DABT inspections and enforcement of vehicles for shipments and
excise taxes is made impossible by authorizing transportation in
all manner of unmarked vehicles and no invoices.
Small breweries do not need self-distribution for incubation; the
2015 enactment granted liberal retail tasting room privileges
instead.
Opponents:
Beer Industry of Florida
Florida Beer Wholesalers Association
Anheuser-Busch InBev
MillerCoors Brewing Company


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