Florida law regulates the manufacturing, distribution, and retail sale of alcoholic beverages. A specific department of the state government is responsible for issuing different liquor licenses depending on the applicant’s purposes and qualifications.
What license is required to brew beer in Florida? Read on to find out.
What License Do You Need to Brew Beer in Florida? – The Essentials
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is responsible for regulating and licensing alcohol manufacturers, distributors, and sellers within state jurisdiction.
If you want to brew beer in Florida, you must apply with the Division of Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco (ABT), a branch of the DBPR. The license required to brew beer is the CMB (or CMBP) license, which stands for “Cereal Malt Beverage.”
As provided by Florida Statutes §563.02 (2), “each manufacturer engaged in the business of brewing only malt beverages shall pay an annual state license tax of $3,000 for each plant or branch he or she may operate.”
The same statute specifies that “each manufacturer engaged in the business of brewing less than 10,000 kegs of malt beverages annually for consumption on the premises pursuant to Fla. Stat. §561.221(3) shall pay an annual state license tax of $500 for each plant or branch.”
License to Brew Beer in Florida – Understanding the Application Process
The first step to obtaining a CMB license is to file a Form ABT-6001 (Application for New Alcoholic Beverage License) with the Division of Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco. The applicant must also meet all federal filing requirements. Form ABT-6001 is a document divided into 10 sections, which are:
- Section 1 – License Category
- Section 2 – License Information
- Section 3 – Related Party Personal Information (including a notarization statement)
- Section 4 – Description of Premises
- Section 5 – Application Approvals (zoning, sales tax, sanitary rules)
- Section 6 – Applicant Entity Felony Conviction
- Section 7 – Special License Requirements (not applied to beer and wine licenses)
- Section 8 – Disclosure of Interested Parties
- Section 9 – Affidavit of Applicant
- Section 10 – Current Licensee Update Data Sheet
Depending on the applicant’s goal, the sections must be filled out differently. Once the application is properly filled out, the applicant must submit it with the required fees to the local district office. The paperwork can be remitted by mail or appointment.
Currently, the annual licensing fee costs $3,000. Additionally, a Florida brewery operating with a CMB (or CMBP) license must withhold a tax bond of at least $20,000.
Does CMB License Allow Licensees to Sell Beer in Florida?
Florida Statutes §561.221(3)(a) provides that “notwithstanding other provisions of the Beverage Law, any vendor licensed in this state may be licensed as a manufacturer of malt beverages upon a finding by the division that:
The vendor will be engaged in brewing malt beverages at a single location and in an amount which will not exceed 10,000 kegs per year. For purposes of this subsection, the term “keg” means 15.5 gallons
The malt beverages so brewed will be sold to consumers for consumption on the vendor’s licensed premises or on contiguous licensed premises owned by the vendor”
To claim this exemption, the licensee must provide all “applicable reports (…) with respect to the amount of beverage manufactured each month and shall pay applicable excise taxes thereon to the division by the 10th day of each month for the previous month.”