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Brewer Vs Distributer

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  • Brewer Vs Distributer

    Hi, I am counting the costs of getting into (1) Beer Distributership (2) Contract Brewing. The fact is I am not only passionate about beer, but you might say I religiously beleave in craft brewing. Therefore, i am counting the costs of getting into either a beer distributorship or manufacturing one of my own recipes with the help of a brewer willing to contract my beer. I personally would like to do both but there may be a snag in the Florida laws. Here is a code snippet that seems to me to indicate that i may not be able to do both, is that how you on the forum read it:


    (a) This subsection applies to:

    1. A manufacturer;

    2. Any officer, director, agent, or employee of a manufacturer; or

    3. An affiliate of any manufacturer, regardless of whether the affiliation is corporate or by management, direction, or control.

    (b) Except as provided in paragraph (c), no entity or person specified in paragraph (a) may have an interest in the license, business, assets, or corporate stock of a licensed distributor nor shall such entity sell directly to any vendor in this state other than to vendors who are licensed pursuant to s. 561.221(2).

    (c) Any entity described in paragraph (a) may financially assist a proposed distributor in acquiring ownership of the distributorship through participation in a limited partnership arrangement in which the entity described in paragraph (a) is a limited partner and the proposed distributor seeking to acquire ownership of the distributorship is the general partner. Such limited partnership arrangements may exist for no longer than 8 years from their creation and shall not be extended or renewed by means of a transfer of full ownership to an entity described in paragraph (a) followed by the creation of a new limited partnership or by any other means. In any such arrangement for financial assistance, the federal basic permit and distributor's license issued by the division shall be issued in the name of the distributor and not in the name of an entity described in paragraph (a). If, after the creation of a limited partnership pursuant to this paragraph, an entity described in paragraph (a) acquires title to the distributorship which was the subject of the limited partnership, the entity described in paragraph (a) shall divest itself of the distributorship within 180 days, and the distributorship shall be ineligible for limited partnership financing for 20 years thereafter. No entity described in paragraph (a) shall enter into a limited partnership arrangement with a licensed distributor whose distributorship existed and was operated prior to the creation of such limited partnership arrangement.

    (d) Nothing in the Beverage Law shall be construed to prohibit a manufacturer from shipping products to or between its breweries without a distributor's license.

    (e) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (b), any entity named in paragraph (a) may have an interest in the license, business, assets, or corporate stock of a licensed distributor for a maximum of 180 consecutive days as the result of a judgment of foreclosure against the distributor or for 180 consecutive days after acquiring title pursuant to the written request of the licensed distributor. Under either of these circumstances, manufacturer ownership of an interest in the license, business, assets, or corporate stock of a licensed distributor shall only be for 180 days and only for the purpose of facilitating an orderly transfer of the distributorship to an owner not affiliated with a manufacturer. "

    Ancient City Beer, LLC

  • #2

    I'm not a lawyer and I heartily suggest talking to one before proceeding here, but I'm not sure that in the circumstance that you describe that you would in any way be considered the "manufacturer" or the affiliate of a manufacturer.

    I don't think that having someone else brewing a beer for you legally qualifies you as being the manufacturer and if I understand your concerns correctly, I think you're fine under this statute to be a distributor and still purchase a contract brew from an existing brewer.

    My take on this is that the "manufacturer" would be the entity (brewery) that the state of Florida licenses. I don't think that you'd need a license to purchase a contract brewed beer from an existing, licensed brewer.

    If you are not a manufacturer, then you are not subject to the restrictions of this statute. I don't see either that you would be an "affiliate" of a manufacturer simply by purchasing a product from the manufacturer (i.e. a contract brew).