Attorney and lobbyist for the Florida Brewers Guild Josh Aubuchon, was quoted in a Tampa Bay Times article about the financial impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on craft breweries and what the industry will look like when it returns. In March all breweries were abruptly forced to close their taprooms, their draught distribution lines wiped out as the restaurants and bars they supplied were forced to shutter, too. Part of the guild’s work right now includes lobbying for additional federal relief for brewery owners, a possible deferment or suspension of some excise taxes, and a temporary relaxing of some state alcohol regulations that could help breweries weather the current slump.
“Closing the tap rooms has been a punch in the gut,” Mr. Aubuchon said. “If you’re a brewery right now who doesn’t have a distributor, no one is going to pick you up. You can’t get it out there, anywhere. It just seems like it might make sense to re-evaluate that and say, if you’re in a situation where you don’t have a distributor — what’s the harm in allowing you to self distribute your product in these types of events?”
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