House Bill 2094, Rep. Jessica Farrar's bill that would allow Texas microbrewers to sell their product on the premises of their breweries, received a hearing today before the Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures. I'll have a fuller report on The Austin Chronicle's news blog after I get some calls returned, but here is the short-and-sweet version:
Nearly all of Texas' microbrewery owners showed up and testified in favor of the bill, as did at least one distributor, but predictably, Mike McKinney of the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas spoke out against it, and made the really curious argument that killing this bill would actually be good for microbrewers, and that WBDT was just looking out for the brewers' best interests. No, didn't make much sense to me, either. The bill ultimately was left pending in the committee. (If you're unfamiliar with Lege processes, that means no action was taken; hopefully, it will be brought up for a vote at a later meeting.)
If you have Real Player, you can view archived video the committee meeting here. (You can download a free version of Real Player at www.real.com.) The portion of the meeting that pertains to HB 2094 begins exactly at the 54-minute mark.
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