Today was a historic day in Texas. A brewpub loaded some of its beer onto a truck and delivered it to another bar.
That beer delivery might not seem like a big deal to those of y'all reading this from a state like California or Oregon, but it's a new thing for us Texans. Brewpubs were legalized in Texas in 1993, but they were forbidden from selling their products anywhere but the brewpub itself.
This created a really maddening situation where we Texas craft beer lovers would walk into our local stores and see brewpub beers from other states — like, say, California's Bear Republic — but not from the brewpub that was mere blocks away. It almost felt insulting.
Multiple attempts to change this law met failure until last year, during the 83rd Texas Legislature. I'm very proud that my boss, state Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, was one of the key players in getting this law changed. (She's running for Lieutenant Governor this year — if you're a Texas beer lover, she's definitely the candidate for whom you should vote. Also deserving a huge tip of the hat is Senator Kevin Eltife, the lead author on the bill.)
The Texas Tribunehas an article about today's historic beer delivery, and of the great economic boon that the package of brewery laws passed last session could bring to our state. Give it a read here.
Jeff Young, head brewer at Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery ever since it transformed from crazy idea to brick-and-mortar reality, will be stepping down. And if you've had his beer, you know his departure certainly is not due to failure to create a quality product — he does fantastic work, and Black Star's Recalcitrant Dockhand (and its many variations, such as Cantankerous Dockhand) is absolutely one of my favorite beers, local or otherwise. Indeed, in his farewell letter to the membership of America's only cooperatively run brewpub (I think that's still true), he says he'll be moving on to start a new brewery. I'm gonna trust him when he says his successors will do a great job. They have big shoes to fill. The day Black Star announced it was setting up shop in my neighborhood was one of the better days of my life. It's been a fantastic asset to my part of town, and I've really enjoyed having such fine food and drink walking ... er, stumbling distance from my house.