Beer enthusiasts can add one more independence day to their week.
Breweries are calling July 1 Growler Independence day. This past May the Florida Legislature repealed a 50-year ban on 64-oz. refillable bottles called growlers.
Until recently, Florida only allowed beer breweries to fill any bottles up to 32 oz. and one gallon – nothing in between. Sixty-four ounces is the industry-standard size for growlers across the country.
Mike Halker, president of the Florida Brewers Guild, says the overturned ban is a symbolic victory for the brewing industry in South Florida.
“Because of the fact we were able to get this passed, our industry is coming into its own and that in Tallahassee we are formidable now and we can start moving forward,” he says.
— BC Tacos® (@BCTaco) June 28, 2015
Halker founded the Due South Brewing Company in Delray Beach. He doesn't think the growler's return will have a noticeable economic impact.
“Honestly, it won’t have much impact on our business,” he says. “It’s a convenience for the consumer. It’s something that the breweries wanted in order to have flexibility.”
Halker says this flexibility is important considering craft beer businesses were "almost nonexistent" about three or four years ago.
To mark the occasion, Due South will sell stainless steel growlers with the company’s logo starting Wednesday. Halker adds that Due South will fill any 64-ounce growler from a Florida brewery for the day.
A statewide growler toast will be held at 6:40 p.m. Wednesday in participating breweries. See the full list of Florida breweries celebrating Growler Independence Day at DrinkLikeALocal.com.
Join us today as we celebrate the first day of legal 64 oz. growler fills in the state of Florida. And don't... http://t.co/EvtOj4h3nV
— Due South Brewing (@DueSouthBrewing) July 1, 2015