Apr 5

Fighting About Free Beer Glasses in the Florida Legislature

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beer glasses fight in Florida legislatureA law regarding what free beer glasses can be given away in bars? Really? We need our legislators to be debating about this? That’s what they are doing . . .

According to NewsTalkFlorida.com, a battle over beer glasses is going on in the Florida Legislature. Last week, the Senate Regulated Industries Committee unanimously approved a bill (SB 1040), sponsored by Sen. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, that would allow beer distributors to give away free glassware to bars, restaurants and other establishments that sell beer. Meanwhile, The House bill (HB 853) was passed by the Careers & Competition Subcommittee last week on a 10-4 vote.

The bill would limit the free glassware to five cases of 24 glasses “per brand, per year.” This could mean that Anheuser-Busch with approximately 60 brands could potentially give away of 7,200 glasses annually for each bar.

What is there to fight about? Miller-Coors thinks the proposed law is wrong because it would allow the largest brewing companies with “deep pockets” to give away glassware which could influence what types of beers are being offered at the establishments. During debate, Eric Criss, president of the Beer Industry of Florida, the association of Florida’s Miller-Coors distributors, says that Anheuser-Busch is like a “the python in the Everglades, eating everything around it.”

Also opposing the proposed law are small craft breweries that cannot compete with that cost.

So, forget the budget, education and healthcare, let’s fight who can give away beer glasses. This is why I could never be a part of politics!

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