A pair of bills introduced this week aim to make it legal for Texas craft breweries to sell cans, bottles and growlers of their beer to go directly from their taprooms.
Senate Bill 1386 was introduced by Texas State Senator Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler), while its companion House Bill 1386 was introduced in the Texas State House of Representatives by Rep. Jim Keffer (R- Eastland).
“This gives Texas breweries the same rights already enjoyed by wineries, distilleries and many of their out of state competitors. Most important, it gives consumers greater access to Texas-made beer,” Representative Keffer said, in a press release issued yesterday by the Texas Craft Brewers Guild.
According to the press release, “As beer tourism grows, the ability for brewery visitors to purchase souvenir beers enhances the experience for these customers. This modernization of the Texas alcoholic beverage code is seen as a great step toward making Texas a leading craft beer state.”
Currently only breweries operating with a brewpub license in Texas are allowed to sell beer to go out of their taprooms. Last session’s legislative victories made it legal for production breweries to conduct on-premise beer sales out of their taprooms. Prior to that, most Texas breweries employed a “pay for a tour and a glass, get the beer for free” strategy.
“Texas craft brewers continue to bring economic growth, jobs, and national recognition to the state,” Senator Eltife said, “This legislation is designed to finish what we started last session and bring people from around the country to this state which is rapidly becoming the epicenter of craft brewing quality.”
These bills come three months after Texas breweries Live Oak, Peticolas and Revolver filed a lawsuit over compensation for distribution rights, another issue on the minds of the craft brewing industry this session.
We’ll continue to follow these legislative developments in future articles.