Craft beer brewers came to the Capitol this session with a number of bills giving them greater latitude in getting their beers to customers. Today, the House gave an early OK to one of those bills, allowing breweries to charge admission for tours, and include up to two six-packs of beers to give to tourists at the end.
“Tours of our brewery are the single most important marketing item,” Brock Wagner, founder of Saint Arnold brewery in Houston, told the House committee that took up the bill last month. Other states have that ability, he said, and those breweries and their beers are out-competing Texas beers.
The bill was placed on the Local and Consent Calender and sailed through the House today. It now heads to the upper chamber.
Other bills that would allow brewpubs to sell their beer to distributors, and a bill that would allow breweries to sell beer on-site without tying it to a tour, have not made it out of committee.
2 responses to “Beer Bill Flies”
You’re right about the two six packs of beer, but technically, the proposed bill specifies up to 144 oz of beer per person may be given out following a tour. This is important because specifying an ounce limit rather than the bottle measure provides flexibility for breweries who may not necessarily bottle in 12oz formats.
And I don’t know what disgusts me more:
-HB660 dying a quiet death at the hands of reps who chose to do nothing just because the macros were against it, indicating that they either just listen to lobbyists, or not enough constituents showed concern over the passage of the bill.
-Or the pitiful “defense” against bringing either bill forward presented by the WBDT’s lobbyist. Yeah, really.
“Keith Strama, representing the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas, stood up and presented a semi-coherent rambling about how we should allow these kind of changes to the code because… well, just because. Seriously. Strama did present some other barely comprehensible argument, which was called onto the rug in short order by Committee Vice-chair Chente Quintanilla of El Paso”
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