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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

More than 100 Florida breweries are in danger of closing in the next two weeks

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 3:06 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA ADOBE STOCK
  • Photo via Adobe Stock
In a recent letter, the Florida Brewers Guild asked Gov. Ron DeSantis to decrease restrictions on breweries, which are currently operating with to-go service only.

The letter stated that an internal poll found 100 of the over-300 breweries in the guild are likely to close if all current restrictions remain for the next two weeks. This figure encapsulates over 30 percent of the 10,000 jobs supplied by Florida breweries, according to the letter.

“The vast majority of over 320 small businesses, representing over 10,000 jobs, are existing solely on a 'to-go' model for our products — this constitutes less than 10 percent of our collective sales and is an untenable model for our industry,” reads the open letter.

It goes on to describe why breweries are different from nightclubs and bars, arguing that Florida’s brewery industry is a “manufacturing industry first and a retail second,” it read. “The Florida craft brewery industry primarily serves our fans between noon and 8 p.m. — our core is serving families and small gatherings.”

The letter doesn’t specifically say which breweries will close, but the Florida Brewers Guild includes quite a few Orlando businesses.

Florida bars and breweries were permitted to reopen with limited capacity on June 5, but on June 26, businesses with more than 50 percent of sales deriving from alcohol were forced to stop selling drinks on-site because of rising coronavirus cases.

All Florida breweries, especially those that do not have a food license, are included in the restricted businesses. On Friday, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation renewed its late June decision.

This story originally appeared in our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
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