Following lawsuits and pushback from breweries and bars, Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears said he would set up meetings with the industry to help reopen those businesses — starting later this week.
Beshears shared in a tweet on Saturday his intent of working with breweries and bars.
“Next week starting Friday,” the Tweet reads, “I’m going to set meetings throughout Florida with breweries and bars to discuss ideas on how to reopen. We will come up with a Safe, Smart and Step-by-Step plan based on input, science and relative facts on how to reopen as soon as possible,” Beshears said.
The Twitter page for the DBPR retweeted his post. The Florida Phoenix reached out to the agency to find out how meetings will operate and which breweries and bars will participate. The department has not yet responded back.
Beshears’ tweet comes a week after the Florida Brewers Guild submitted a letter which stated that their industry is “in jeopardy” and called on Beshears and Gov. Ron DeSantis, in a letter, to consider the economic impact caused from an executive order from June.
The order suspended the sales of alcohol for consumption at the location where customers bought the alcohol — leaving most bars and breweries restricted to curb-side pick-up and to-go orders.
The order cited a rise of COVID-19 cases traced back to bars and nightclubs as justification for the mandate. Since then, a number of lawsuits across Florida have been filed against the mandate.
Rob Regan, a member of the Board of Directors for the Florida Brewers Guild, said in an earlier conversation with the Phoenix that the emergency order unfairly targets breweries.
“We hear our government say that these decisions will be made with science and data, which we applaud,” said Regan. “However, we have yet to be presented with any scientific data or contact tracing data that shows that the spread of COVID has been linked to any of our members, or any craft breweries, at all.”
A letter from the Florida Brewers Guild to state officials highlighted the significant economic impact on the hundreds of local breweries throughout Florida. It states that more than 100 breweries across Florida will fail in the next two weeks if the order stays in place.