Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Another On-Site Sales Bill Filed in Texas Legislature

So far during the Texas legislative session, I've been following House Bills 602 and 660. The former would allow, as I've been putting it, "kinda-sorta" allow microbreweries to sell their product on-premises. (Currently, they must go through a distributor to sell to the ultimate consumer.) I say "kinda-sorta" because 602 actually explicitly bars direct sales at the brewery (as a sop to the distributors' lobby), but allows breweries to charge admission for a tour, and then give away product at the end of the tour. But on Monday, Austin Rep. Eddie Rodriguez filed a true on-site sales bill, HB 2436. The bill adds language stating that brewers may "sell beer produced under [a brewers'] license to those persons to whom the holder of a wine and beer retailer's permit may sell beer […]"

Due to Texas' goofy legal definitions of what constitutes "beer," "ale," and "malt liquor" (which have nothing to do with how brewers actually use those terms) the bill also has similar language making the same allowances for malt liquor.

Given the iffy chances of 602 passing, I'm sure 2436 has even far less of a chance, but Rodriguez has a history of filing bills that have no real chance of passing but need to be filed anyway just because they are good ideas – as he put it to me in a discussion about another, non-beer-related bill, he likes to "keep the conversation going." And let's face it, allowing businesses to sell directly to their actual customers is a good idea. Getting 602 passed would be nice, but eventually, Texas microbrewers must be allowed true on-site sales.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

2436 is leaps and bounds above what 602 could ever hope to be. We are hoping for 2346, though likely it won't pass. At least it makes the effort that 602 neglects to even try for, and includes ALL micro breweries in Texas, not just the 5 or so who bottle 12 oz bottles. It's about time someone took a stand for ALL of TX beer, not just the upper minority.