Texas breweries need your help!

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Well-Known Member
Jan 26, 2007
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Texas breweries need your help!

Two bills have been filed with the Texas state Senate and House, Senate Bill 754 and House Bill 1062. If these bills are passed, it will give brewers the right long enjoyed by wineries to sell directly to on-premise visitors. When wineries gained this right several years ago, it completely changed the economics for wineries, and today Texas is the nation's 5th largest grape and wine producing state, contributing $1.35 billion annually and 8,000 jobs to Texans. SB 754 and HB 1062 have the potential to be the same kind of game changer for Texas brewers. Please show your support for these bills by sending a letter or email to your representative asking them to support these bills.

For more information on the Bills visit the following websites.

Senate Bill 754
Texas Legislature Online - 81(R) History for SB 754

House Bill 1062
Texas Legislature Online - 81(R) History for HB 1062

To find out who represents you.
Who Represents Me--Home

All it takes is a short letter like this one.

Greetings Sen. ___,
I am writing to ask your help in endorsing SB 754, "Relating to the sale of ale and malt liquor by brewer's permit holders".
This bill makes breweries the same as wineries in their ability to sell small samples at their production site.
The current inequity in the law between breweries and wineries favors larger breweries and distributors and I would expect them to oppose this bill.
Small breweries are small businesses, which create jobs and in many cases create tourism. They are also very difficult to start and grow. Allowing them to simply sell small amounts of their beer to visitors can make the difference between growth and closure.
Thank you for your service to Texas,
It will certainly open a new revenue stream for breweries, but I don't know if will make all that much of a difference. Winos tend to buy in quantity after the tastings, but beer drinkers generally just buy what they can drink at that moment.

But, it certainly should be an option.
Yeah I understand Parker36. I like this idea. I think it would be neat to swing by the brewery and pickup a keg instead of having to search around to find a store selling it.
Make sure you read all you can about this, not just the headlines. Dig into the dirt.

Sometimes you need to be careful what you ask for...you just might get it...(and it won't be what you expected)...;)

You ought to be old and smart enough to know that the Gov't NEVER does anything FOR you, but it'll do something TO you all day long...
Its a shame that is not a law yet in Texas, and there is also very few breweries here as well...which may be the reason.

I hope it does pass....
It'd be nice to be able to pick up a case at a local brewery you enjoy. Even if they charge "retail" (which will probably be part of the law) at least you know all the money is going to the brewery, not a distributer and retailer.
So I spoke with a local brewery today and they explained it to me a little better. They view it as allowing them to sell direct. Here's what the Head Brewer/Owner says:

"This bill would give us the liberty of dock sales. Our tours would still be free, but this law would make it legal for someone to buy a fourpack (or case) to take with them. This would also allow us to fill customers kegs and sell them here for a much reduced rate than what you would get at the store."

Sounds good to me!~
Sounds good, but beware the great stapler of the state government. Sometimes there's more attached than you bargain for.
Hold on. Of course it's good to know what you are voting for, but who says this is a "government" action? Suppose it got started due to breweries and their friends as a way to increase sales. Maybe the Government doesn't even make much on the deal (although one could argue the liquor tax might provide more income from more sales, or a special, somewhat more expensive license would be required to sell..)

We sell like this in Michigan and I personally think it's a great way to do business. I can go to the brewery and take a tour, sample the beer, and then take some home with me. It's awesum!

We have several different classes of licenses AFAIK, depending on how the brewery wants to sell their wares and how much they want to pay in licensing fees. Some only sell on premises, no containers, and some sell bottles and kegs. Some serve food, and some do not (only packaged foods anyway, not prepared foods).

I'm betting that this would be a good deal for the consumers and the breweries.
I know some of the Texas breweries were behind this last time the legislature met. In Texas they only meet every other year, given the government slightly less chances to screw us.

I'll write to my representatives though.
Oh yes. I might be living and working in South Dakota, but my wife and I are still Texas residents as far as the law is concerned. I will be writing a few letters, and getting friends and family to do the same.

Thanks, ChillyP, for pointing this out. I haven't lived in Texas for over 6 years now, so I don't pay much attention to the politics.
I am a volunteer and part time employee at Rahr and Sons brewery in Fort Worth. This bill has been proposed in the past and has been shotdown. In the past this bill was proposed and sponsered by Sam Wright of Saint Arnolds brewery, the bill basically got swept under the rug. This time around the bill was proposed and is being sponsered by State Rep. Lon Burnam. We stand a great chance of this bill getting passed this time around and can use all the support we can get. Please like chillyp has said if you live and vote in Texas contact you Representive and ask for them to support this bill. It will allow all breweries in Texas to sell on-site.
actually in michigan its a pretty easy system

on site consumption only=brewpub $250/yr but only with a serving license
or out the door and retail distribution=brewery
the major difference is in how many 'bars' or serving areas you have and in how much you brew, $50/1000bbl with a max of $1000/yr
Anything to help out the local brewers and maybe provide a few extra jobs sounds like a great idea to me. If you have a license to brew, you should have a license to sell, sounds like common sense.
it looks like the Senator for my district was the author of the senate version of the bill, but I went ahead and wrote my Representative.
it looks like the Senator for my district was the author of the senate version of the bill, but I went ahead and wrote my Representative.

I wrote to my Rep and never received a reply, it's not election time.
My next step is a call to his office.

Thanks for the heads up, ChillyP. I'm a Texan and I'll be showing my support.
I wrote my rep. a couple of weeks ago regarding this. I received a reple a couple of days later. It was a typical politician reply, acknowledge the positive aspects of my email but throw in a couple of negatives too. So, I guess I did what I could.

This bill would also allow the micros to give a complimentary sixer from my understanding.
Wish we had this kind of law in Florida. But I recall being in South Padre Island at the Padre Island Brewing Company last June and patrons were buying growlers to go. Is this because it's a brew-pub and not just a brewery? I got back to Florida and sampled some good beer at a local brew pub and asked to have a growler to go. The bartender just laughed.
Yeah, you can do that at a "brew pub" but, if you're a licensed brew pub you cannot hold either a brewer's or distributors license and are limited to 5,000 barrles per annum. Also, if I'm not mistaken, you cannot "distribute" you beer either, ie you can only sell it on your premises.

It goes back to how silly the laws are (if you're a microbrewer you can't sell on your premises, but if you're a brewpub you can, but you can't be both) and how they are all tailored around benefiting the distributors.
Texas laws regarding breweries are wildly in favor of big business. I just sent letters to both Sen and Rep asking them to support this.

However, last I read it does not put breweries on equal footing with wineries. It would allow micro-brewers to include beer with the sale of a tour (with limits on qty, like a 6'r). So you still couldn't walk in an buy a keg.

And as goat stated, the brewpub vs brewery is whole 'nother issue. You can either become a brewpub and limit yourself to 5000bbl/yr and have the ability to sell/distribute from you brewery, or become get a brewers permit but not be able to sell onsite.

And then there's the issue of a brewers permit only allowing you to make/sell ale and malt liquor (not beer!!! or lager!!). All recipes have to be over 5% abv

whatta crock o @#$@:mad:

We can fly our flag over the stars and stripes, but heaven forbid we sell beer without paying the man!

/end rant
I got this from St. Arnolds here in Houston:

Dear Saint Arnold's Army:

The good news: our bill before the Texas Legislature was successfully voted out of its committee! Yes, HB 2094 which would allow you to leave a Saint Arnold tour with a six pack or case of our beer has advanced to the Calendars Committee now. (It wasn't easy achieving this!)

The bad news: time is running out. We need your help, and quickly!! If you haven't already, please contact your state representative and ask them to support HB 2094. Also, we need people to contact the Calendars Committee. Below are the committee members:

Brian McCall, Chair - Plano
Eddie Lucio, Vice Chair - Brownsville
Norma Chávez - El Paso
Garnet Coleman - Houston
Byron Cook - Corsicana
Brandon Creighton - Conroe
Charlie Geren - Fort Worth
Jim Keffer - Eastland
Lois Kolkhorst - Brenham
Edmund Kuempel - Seguin
Jim McReynolds - Lufkin
Alan Ritter - Nederland
Burt Solomons - Carrollton

We appreciate your help on this! For more information on why this bill is important, follow this link: Saint Arnold: House Bill 2094 and you!
To find your representative: Who Represents Me--Home
To contact a representative: Texas Legislature Online - House Members
Well, my Senator Dan Patrick had a live web chat. Well I ambushed him. Check it out.

From web chat:
"[Comment From LR ]
Who is asking these brewery questions? There are thousands of illegals crossing over the border and someone is concerned about their beer. Only in Texas I guess..."

Well done, ChillyP. Well done. I, personally, am much more concerned about my beer than illegals.
Sen. Dan Patrick: "The business community is made up of a lot of industries that have their own unique demands. I will take a look at this legislation that will help the breweries."

Again... Well done.
From web chat:
"[Comment From LR ]
Who is asking these brewery questions? There are thousands of illegals crossing over the border and someone is concerned about their beer. Only in Texas I guess..."

Well done, ChillyP. Well done. I, personally, am much more concerned about my beer than illegals.

Well the sad part is, it's more realistic for them to do something minor as changing the brewery law than to do something that could amount to political suicide, like address the open border. :drunk:;)

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