As many of you probably know, our great state of Texas has some of the most restrictive alcohol laws in the country, and in particular as they relate to breweries. Basically, the system is set up to give out-of-state breweries a competitive advantage, since a Texas brewery essentially has to choose between on premise sales (such as a brewpub) or off premise sales (such as a packaging brewery). Brewpubs are then prohibited from selling their beer for resale (that means you only have one location customers can get the beer) and packaging breweries are prohibited from selling a drop of beer for on site consumption. In other states, both types of breweries are allowed to distribute as well as sell on site, thus adding another stream of direct revenue.
Messed up right? Now think about this: In 2009, Texans consumed approximately 1 million barrels of craft beer, yet only 7.2% of that beer was produced by breweries registered with the Texas Craft Brewers Guild. (Source)
So I wanted to share this great article about the next round of the battle for fair brewing laws in Texas. Last year, Jester King succesfully sued to strike down laws prohibiting a package brewery from disclosing to the public where they could buy their products, and it seems that they intend to keep at it.
I will do my best to post info concerning these regulations and the efforts to change them. If even 25% of craft beer enthusiasts in the state contact their state reps, last year’s proposed bills will be laws by 2014 (legislative session in 2013).