Musing About Texas Brewery Tours

There is so much going on these days and so many new breweries popping up. One thing I noted is that many are quickly starting to charge for tours whereas in the past many waited until they reached a critical mass before doing so. Some I suppose are reaching that critical mass early, although others still get relatively small groups yet still charge. I can see a need to do so given the number of freeloaders out there, besides it definitely keeps crowds under control. Still, it is annoying to people that don’t want yet another piece of glass to have to buy it in order to sample beers. I can remember the days when a Saturday tour at St Arnolds was comprised of six to ten people drinking as much as they wanted to with Brock and Kevin until the last person left. Of course several years later the tours brought in hundreds of people along with their picnic baskets and contingents of frat boys puking in garbage cans and St Arnolds started charging. While that limited the crowds for a while the numbers were soon up once again..and generating significant income. Other micros took note and started charging as well. Some like Southern Star continued to offer free samples and tours, although most now “require” the buying of a glass to take the tour and sample beers. One thing most probably won’t tell you is that due to TABC regulations they cannot legally charge for a free sampling, after all they are prohibited from selling alcohol. A free sample  might take the form of a small dental office spit cup, but an argument could be made that serving others in greater quantities might be tantamount to “selling”  and it’s certainly a grey area some are pushing these days. I remember when another small micro in Brenham pushed similar boundaries and the TABC pushed back causing them all sorts of headaches, although that was a different time and place.

About Brother Spargealot

Cloistered with a bubbly personality.
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