Florida craft beer has been facing an uphill battle in Tallahassee over the past couple years as the market share being taken over by craft beer continues to grow. Large breweries and distributors have used longstanding political influence to do what they can to stunt the growth of this craft beer boom. Sadly, rather than evolve and grow, these dinosaurs are trying to legislate out the competition. This is about as un-American as it comes. This can not be tolerated. This must be fought.
Breweries like Cigar City, Florida's craft beer leaders, have learned very quickly that the challenge is a real one. Millions of dollars are being funneled into the attack by big beer and age-old relationships between big beer and the legislature have forced the young craft beer industry to grow up quickly. A real life David and Goliath is unfolding right before our eyes here in Florida. David, armed with integrity, innovation, and the support of a generation seems poised to ensure the outcome remains the same as it did in the age old story. Just look at the growth in the last 5 years. Look at the movement and the way our generation has embraced craft beer. It's not a coincidence and it's not a surprise.
Cigar City has been the catalyst for economic growth for the bay area and the state, has employed hundreds of local people, has increased tourism in a state that prides itself on it, and among other things, has become a source of pride for many Floridians. Through hard work and dedication, Cigar City is leading by example and paving the way for the other breweries who have opened and will open in the coming years.
The legislature needs to see what a great industry ours is and what a benefit to Florida helping craft beer along can be. I think they are. I know they will. Florida craft beer is here to stay.