VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — A new Florida law has changed the way distilleries in the state can sell their liquor.
What You Need To Know
- New Florida law changes way distilleries can sell liquor
- Distilleries can now operate like many wineries and breweries and serve their products in-house
- Distilleries can also sell their products at festivals and events
They are now able to operate like many other wineries and breweries across the state, by serving their products in-house.
At Copper Bottom Craft Distillery in Holly Hill, Jeremy Craig is pouring up new business.
“We’ve been trying for years and years to get this changed,” he said.
For the first time, he can serve drinks with the liquor he makes thanks to SB 46, which was recently signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The law went into effect July 1.
“Before this, we were limited to having somebody taste the product which is great but the problem is that is not normally the way they are going to drink it, so now it gives them the perspective in a way that they normally would,” Craig said. "If you are going to a brewery or a winery, you are drinking the product in the way it is meant to be drank. If somebody wants to try our silver rum or vodka mixed in a drink, now they can do that and get a real idea of what its gonna taste like when they get it home.”
On top of allowing distilleries to serve cocktails, the law allows them to sell off-site at festivals and events. They can also sell more than six bottles of their liquor per person per year, which was the law before.
“We’ve been getting a lot of tourists in town that come in and take a tour and buy some bottles, but I think this will actually help our local business from people in the community that just want to come by and have a cocktail,” Craig said.
Now, Craig’s wife Jenni is working on expanding their tasting room to take advantage of this new revenue stream. They also plan to add an outdoor space.
“It is going to make it more of a cocktail, craft cocktail kind of lounge," Craig said. "We are going to be adding some high top tables, some bar space so when folks come in they just feel excited to try new craft cocktails and our spirits showcased in some really good looking drinks."
The Craigs believe this new law will be the start of a big boom in craft distilleries like theirs.
“Before the law passed, there was somewhere around 400 breweries in the state of Florida and there is probably only active, I’d say probably 50 craft distilleries in the state, and I think you are going to start to see those numbers come up because now the business model makes more sense,” Craig said.
This change gives them the chance to grow the business in a way they’ve wanted to for years.
“I think it will significantly impact our bottom line,” Craig said. “How much? I am not sure yet, but I have a feeling it will be quite a bit and we are excited about that.”
The Craigs said that while it has only been a few days since they started serving drinks, the positive feedback from the community has been huge.