Sampling Your Favorite Drink

Beer was on the agenda at the state capitol today. State law prohibits beer consumers from trying the beverage before buying. A proposal may allow people to taste before they buy, just like they can with liquor and wine.

Before you crack open a cold one, some lawmakers think consumers should know what the product tastes like. Beer distributors, like Mitch Rubin, support the measure and say it’s a great way to promote a product. “Tasting is a great way for consumers to know the different products in the marketplace.”

A State Senate Committee has approved a bill removing prohibitions on beer samplings at vendors in Florida. Susan Pitman with Drug Free Duval is against the idea. She hopes the proposal never makes it to the governor’s desk. ”You can conceivably see a mom at Publix do a beer tasting get in her car with her three kids and have some kind of serious accident on the way home.”

Concerns were raised over whether tastings could occur in convenience stores…something that will be worked out later. Another proposal was temporarily postponed Thursday. The bill would allow malt beverages to be sold in 64 ounce growlers at craft breweries…consumers are already able to purchase 32 ounce or 128 ounce containers.

Senator Jack Latvala is behind the growler bill. “I don’t see how we can in good conscious say now we’re for less regulation and then tell people down to the ounce what sizes they have to pour in their craft brewery.”

Those in support and against the bills both agree on one thing. “We just want to make sure that it’s done responsibly in terms of beer tasting.”

Similar proposals have been introduced in the Florida House.

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