Texas Beer Laws Need to Change

I went to a meeting last night with brewpub owners to discuss ways to try and get HB 660 passed (its described below).  The general consensus is that they need grass roots support from beer lovers like us, and they also need to find inroads with distributors who are key to this bill having any chance at all. If you read it over HB 660 would seems to be in the interest of distributors eager to add to their craft beer portfolio, but there will be pressure from large breweries that think their market share might be impacted (it would be, but to a very small degree). So if you want to see brewpubs in this state on equal footing with those in Colorado, Oregon and other more progressive beer friendly states please send this around, go to the HB 660 Facebook page http://brewednotbattered.wordpress.com/ and support this legislation by sending a note to your representative. And if you know any Texas legislators put in a good word and ask them what they think about the bill and if you think it’s a good idea plead your case. A few people have been confused by the fact there are two pieces of legislation regarding beer in the works, the second HB 602 applies to microbreweries and is the latest version of a bill Brock was instrumental in submitting. That is a separate initiative also deserving of our support in the overriding struggle to get the archaic Texas beer laws changed so that we the consumer have the same sort of options consumers in other states have.

Pilfered summaries of the two bills:

Here are the descriptions of the brewery-related bills in the Texas Legislature right now. You can call, email, or snail mail your representatives about these. You can find your reps contact info here:
http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/

HB 660 would:

a.. allow Texas brewpubs to sell to distributors and wholesalers
b.. allow Texas brewpubs to sell up to 5,000 barrels per year at the pub, directly to consumers
c.. allow Texas brewpubs to self-distribute their product to retailers so long as they are under 10,000 barrels per year
d.. allow Texas brewpubs to have total production of up to 75,000 barrels per year
e.. allow Texas microbreweries to change their license to a brewpub so long they meet the qualifications above

HB 602 would:

a.. allow Texas breweries (excluding brewpubs, but including breweries like the A-B plant in Houston) to charge admission for a tour
b.. allow Texas breweries to give tour participants up to 48 12-ounce bottles to take for off-premise consumption, without charge
c.. not allow Texas breweries to sell beer to the ultimate consumer

About Brother Spargealot

Cloistered with a bubbly personality.
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