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Independent Brewers face problems with new legislation
Independent breweries are facing new problems in the Florida legislature.
Craft beer has become a craze.
And small breweries are popping up all over Northwest Florida.
The Florida Brewer's Guild wants more for the local companies and has been pushing to make it legal to fill beer containers or growlers of all sizes.
As it stands now, you can fill a growler with beer that's a gallon or more or 32-ounces or less.
While making legislation to change the growler standards, new legislation problems arose for independent brewers.
"Hop Jacks has 112 beers on tap and they say over the years the popularity of beer has been growing. And people have been looking for local craft beers like Pensacola Bay Brewery."
The brewery opened 4-years ago and now has a large following.
Many local bars in town offer the beer to their patrons .
The brand is one of biggest sellers at Hop Jacks.
Tim Dohns Beer Director "To have something that's made in our back yard it's always nice to see especially when it's made right."
Many local independent brewers in our area are concerned about the new proposed legislation.
If passed, independent brewers could be forced to sell their specialty beer to a distributor and then have to wait for the distributor to sell the craft beer back to the brewery.
Only then would they be able to sell to customers.
The breweries run the risk of the distributor not wanting to sell it back or completely taking it off the market.
Joe Nalbone "They would only be able to sell what they have, they wouldn't be able to sell kegs out of here. They would have to go out from the distributor and it just takes away a lot of their freedoms."
"That just seems like an unnecessary measure. It's made here we should be able to sell it here why go through the extra steps of putting it out there and then bringing it back in."
Joe Nalbone visits the brewery once a week and says he's upset changing growler rules has lead to bringing the local businesses down.
"It's written for and by distributors and big breweries. It's promoted as for the small brewer, but it's not."
"I called the local Anheuser Busch distributor left a message and still have not heard back."