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Texas Law question (beer)

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tolip_ck1

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Below is a copy past of the Texas state law regarding the production/possession of beer. My question is...

What does the word fortified mean?


The possession of wine, ale, malt liquor, or beer produced under this section is not an offense if the person making it complies with all provisions of this section and the wine, ale, malt liquor, or beer is not distilled, fortified, or otherwise altered to increase its alcohol content.
 

adrock

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+1 on what Remilard said. Adding grain alcohol or some other liquor to homebrew would be bad. It may also refer to eisbocks, whereby the beer is partially frozen and the ice is taken out. Since the alcohol doesn't freeze, you're essentially just removing water, which in turn increases the alcohol content.
 
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tolip_ck1

tolip_ck1

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OK.

So "adding" DME or sugar to increase alcohol content above what the malt would have given is ok?

Or should I say adding something (non alcohol) prior to fermentation and whatever the yeast produces is ok?
 

adrock

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Or should I say adding something (non alcohol) prior to fermentation and whatever the yeast produces is ok?
As long as I understand the law correctly, your statement above is correct. Extra DME, LME, honey, sucrose, or any other sugar is fine as long as your fermentation is what produces all the alcohol.
 

goatchze

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You can pretty much do whatever you want before fermentation. What they mean is doing anything to increase the alcohol content of whatever you brewed after the fact. This means no moonshine (distilling), eisbock, or any other means to "purify" the alcohol to higher strengths.

The grey area is fortifying...boilermakers aren't illegal in Texas, but if you bottle fortified beer...how do the authorities know where the liquor came from? (And most importantly that it was taxed!)
 

rico567

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I think you do.
I think you fall outside the intent of the law. Do you fall within its letter? I also think you do. I also think you're stark, raving mad if you fill out one of those forms. Just think about it- you fill out a form & submit it, you're going into someone's database as a "person of interest" to run a meth lab. These days, do you really want to do that?

If you just can't bear to have an "unlicensed Ehrlenmeyer flask" (I need a new keyboard after writing that one, I crack me up!), just use something else. Canning jars, 1/2 gallon growlers- get creative.

Oh, lordy, I forgot, we've got the Papa Bear of all Ehrlenmeyer flasks sitting on a kitchen cabinet serving as a terrarium....same plants, water, everything in there growin for the last 20 years. I'll write to Chuck Norris and see if he wants to come to IL and inspect that sucker.

Can't understand why the Texas Bureau of Random Enforcement can't spell "Ehrlenmeyer" properly....oh, wait, that's right. It's Texas.
 

BarleyWater

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Texas has all sorts of weird alcohol laws. Any beer over 4.5%ABW MUST be classified as an Ale, any beer under 4.5%ABW MUST be classified as a lager. So the Shiner Commemorator, a 7%ABV doppelbock, says ALE right on the label. This reason alone keeps a lot of good beer from getting sent here, because breweries don't want to change the name of a beer to send it to Texas.

There's a Texas law that prohibits breweries from selling their beer in their gift shops. The state also prohibits selling beer in 11.5 ounces. (They have to be 12 ounces, bad for metric system (import) beers that may not be 12oz). The state even regulates the number of coasters that can be given to retailers.

from the Houston Chronicle
"If the Texas beer wholesalers had their way," one craft brewer quips, "we'd all drink Bud and Miller in cans and we'd have to buy them a case at a time."
 

zman

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Texas has all sorts of weird alcohol laws. Any beer over 4.5%ABW MUST be classified as an Ale, any beer under 4.5%ABW MUST be classified as a lager. So the Shiner Commemorator, a 7%ABV doppelbock, says ALE right on the label. This reason alone keeps a lot of good beer from getting sent here, because breweries don't want to change the name of a beer to send it to Texas.

There's a Texas law that prohibits breweries from selling their beer in their gift shops. The state also prohibits selling beer in 11.5 ounces. (They have to be 12 ounces, bad for metric system (import) beers that may not be 12oz). The state even regulates the number of coasters that can be given to retailers.
Yet another reason not to live in Texas. No offense to the people. I have a few friends from TX, but this is clearly beyond retarded
 

BarleyWater

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"There are now 70 craft breweries in Michigan, and 60 in New York State. Texas, one of the biggest beer-drinking states of the union, has just six."

All because of these antiquated laws, and some more funny/****ty ones I found...

"In Texas, it's illegal for a festival to even mention beer. And it's strictly forbidden for a beer company to donate alcohol."

"Beer many not be purchased after midnight on Sunday, but can be purchased anytime on Monday" So it's illegal to buy it when its legal to buy it?

Breweries are not allowed to talk about their beer in public, promote their beer, or let people know where they can purchase the beer, even though they can't sell it themselves.\ except for consumption on premesis (no taking you favorite beer home).
 
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tolip_ck1

tolip_ck1

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I here you about the wierd TX law.. at least we are not in Alabama.



Alabama state statue § 28-1-1 prohibits the possession of illegally manufactured alcoholic beverages.

Discussion:
The state of Alabama has both Wet and Dry counties and municipalities. The state maintains a tight control on all alcoholic beverage sale, manufacture, possession, etc. No statutory exception to § 28-1-1 exists for the home production of beer. Furthermore, no statutory exception to § 28-1-1 exists for the home production of wine and/or cider.

Alabama case law illustrates a historical trend in which the court has held homebrew to be a prohibited liquor. Up until the 1950s certain individuals have been convicted for the unlawful possession of prohibited liquor. (see enclosed cases for examples)

Alabama has recently passed the ALABAMA BREWPUB ACT which authorizes limited operation of brewpubs in the state.
 

Unfabled

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Texas has all sorts of weird alcohol laws. Any beer over 4.5%ABW MUST be classified as an Ale, any beer under 4.5%ABW MUST be classified as a lager. So the Shiner Commemorator, a 7%ABV doppelbock, says ALE right on the label. This reason alone keeps a lot of good beer from getting sent here, because breweries don't want to change the name of a beer to send it to Texas.

There's a Texas law that prohibits breweries from selling their beer in their gift shops. The state also prohibits selling beer in 11.5 ounces. (They have to be 12 ounces, bad for metric system (import) beers that may not be 12oz). The state even regulates the number of coasters that can be given to retailers.
Didn't know this. As a new brewer living in Texas working on establishing a brand and building a brewery this sucks!

I dunno about this though:

"In Texas, it's illegal for a festival to even mention beer. And it's strictly forbidden for a beer company to donate alcohol."

I've been to sxsw before and the austin city limits festival..... they don't exactly hide the fact that they have beer..
 

aubrey

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Can't understand why the Texas Bureau of Random Enforcement can't spell "Ehrlenmeyer" properly....oh, wait, that's right. It's Texas.
Where do you see it spelled incorrectly? Erlenmeyer is the correct spelling. Its named for the dude who created it, Emil Erlenmeyer.
 

rico567

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SHiPS Resource Center || Ehrlenmeyer flask

"aubrey"- the reference above implies that it was Robert Ehrlenmeyer (whoever he was) not Emil Erlenmeyer, who invented / discovered the flat-bottomed flask. Evidently flasks were round-bottomed (e.g., Florence Flask) up until then. Who knew?

{As to which of these is actually correct I find that I don't care about it enough one way or another to do the research, I just don't want to get arrested for owning an "Erlenmeyer" flask when I've actually got an "Ehrlenmeyer" flask. OK, send me up for life in Huntsville, but spell it right!}
 

aubrey

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SHiPS Resource Center || Ehrlenmeyer flask

"aubrey"- the reference above implies that it was Robert Ehrlenmeyer (whoever he was) not Emil Erlenmeyer, who invented / discovered the flat-bottomed flask. Evidently flasks were round-bottomed (e.g., Florence Flask) up until then. Who knew?

{As to which of these is actually correct I find that I don't care about it enough one way or another to do the research, I just don't want to get arrested for owning an "Erlenmeyer" flask when I've actually got an "Ehrlenmeyer" flask. OK, send me up for life in Huntsville, but spell it right!}
That site is the only place I can find that name and that spelling. It has all the info correct except for the name and the spelling. Richard August Carl Emil Erlenmeyer (went by Emil Erlenmeyer) invented the erlenmeyer flask and is also the "father" of the Erlenmeyer rule.
Emil Erlenmeyer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Erlenmeyer flask - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I now know more than I ever cared to about Emil Erlenmeyer and the Erlenmeyer flask.

Sorry to hijack the thread.
 

SumnerH

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There's a Texas law that prohibits breweries from selling their beer in their gift shops. The state also prohibits selling beer in 11.5 ounces. (They have to be 12 ounces, bad for metric system (import) beers that may not be 12oz)
The ATF does this for liquor on a national level. It's illegal to sell anything other than a handful of specified sizes (50/100/200/375/750/1000/1750 ml, and that's it*). They're all metric, too. It's a little weird because people still use the old American-system terminology for the closest approximation, so a 1.75 liter bottle gets called a "half-gallon" (or a "handle") when it's really 0.46 gallons, and a 750ml gets called a "fifth" when it's actually a little less than a fifth of a gallon.

The reason for this was to stop producers from ripping off consumers by gradually shrinking bottle sizes (they'd have 1 gallon containers, then shave costs by putting in those cupped bottoms and things to make them hold less than a gallon, then subtly move to a smaller bottle, etc). It's probable that this part of the Texas law actually had its roots in a legitimate consumer protection concern. It's still stupid, but possibly not malicious.

*Well, aside from a totally separate set of legal sizes for non-resealable metal containers.
 

TexasSpartan

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I dunno about this though:

"In Texas, it's illegal for a festival to even mention beer. And it's strictly forbidden for a beer company to donate alcohol."

I've been to sxsw before and the austin city limits festival..... they don't exactly hide the fact that they have beer..
That's what I was thinking. I've been hearing ads on the radio for Chilifest, which is sponsored by Miller Lite.

Well, maybe it's because Miller Lite is barely beer...
 

Lonnie Mac

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Ha! I think I posted this somewhere here before, but did you know that it is illegal to take a drink while standing up here in TX?

Ha!
 

TexLaw

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"Beer many not be purchased after midnight on Sunday, but can be purchased anytime on Monday" So it's illegal to buy it when its legal to buy it?

Breweries are not allowed to talk about their beer in public, promote their beer, or let people know where they can purchase the beer, even though they can't sell it themselves.\ except for consumption on premesis (no taking you favorite beer home).
On that first note, midnight begins the day. You go from 11:59 PM Saturday night to midnight Sunday. Also, that restriction only applies to grocery stores and the like. Bars, clubs, and the like can sell until 2:00 AM. However, after their respective "shutdown" time, I always understood that no one could sell alcohol until noon on Sunday. There must be some sort of exception to that, though, since I see so many brunch places pouring mimosas, bloody maries, and who knows what all else well before noon.

The second part is LARGELY overstated to the point where there is less true than false. Breweries in Texas can promote their products and do all the time. There are ads all over the place. They are limited in what they can say, but they can promote. There is some restriction on telling customers where to buy their products, though that has been pulled back recently, and I do not know all the details on that (and don't care to look up the code section :) ).

It is absolutely correct that Texas breweries cannot sell their products on premises (even for consumption there - though they can give it away). Texas wineries have that right, but not Texas breweries. However, there is a bill in the Texas House of Representatives right now to allow breweries to sell up to 5000 barrels per year on premises. It is set for public hearing on March 18. Write your legislators! Hell, show up at the hearing (but don't act like drunks).


TL
 

goatchze

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TexLaw, that bill has unfortunately been up for consideration several times and is consistently shot down by the distribution lobby, so I wouldn't hold my breath this time.

In fact, think about most of the hand-tieing of brewers in Texas; whom does it benefit? The consumer? The brewer? Or the middle-man?
 

BarleyWater

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Wendy Davis has also introduced similar legislation in the State Senate. But the distributors here do seem to have a ridiculous stronghold, so we shall see, but I've got my fingers crossed. I wrote my legislators a few weeks back when this was getting introduced, and I actually voted for Wendy Davis when she ran in November.

I didn't pull all those laws from the law books, a lot from the Houston Chronicle and other news articles, and a lot of it pertained to specific wordings on promotions at festivals, like Oktoberfest in Fredricksburg can't be sponsored by a brewery, and brewers bitching about it, so overstated is likely, but the bases for it is still there.
 
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