What Would Happen if the Proposed Beer Legislation Becomes Law?

Categories: Brews News

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Three bills bouncing around the Texas Legislature are being trumpeted as game-changers for the state's beer industry. In quick review: HB 660 would permit brewpubs to sell directly to wholesalers and distributors; HB 2436 would allow small breweries to sell their product for on- or off-site consumption; and HB 602 would permit breweries to provide sample bottles of beer at the end of brewery tours. The House has already approved the latter bill, authored by Jessica Farrar of Houston. Houston is home to Saint Arnold Brewing Company, a big shot in the world of Texas beer and like many craft breweries, a popular tourist destination.

City of Ate asked one Dallas-Fort Worth craft brewery how it would change its operations if the bills become law.

Fritz Rahr, owner of Rahr & Sons Brewing Company in Fort Worth, has modest aspirations if that occurs. "We're, of course, looking to get the word out; we're not looking to open a retail location. If we can sell a few bottles to people who visit the brewery and they take those bottles home to share with their friends, hopefully we can create new customers," he said with all the humility and earnestness of a man who, with the help of his loyal staff and customers, brought back a brewery from the edge of extinction after damage from a snow storm last year. "We'd like them to then walk into a store and buy our beer."

Those for and against the bills have made much ado about what at least one area brewer sees as a simple matter. If only our lawmakers could see that he represents all that is good about Texas -- a hardworking, self-starting contributor to the state economy...who MAKES BEER.

Then again, we may be a wee bit biased.


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7 comments
LennieAmbrose
LennieAmbrose

Paulmcandew - It is actually currently illegal for packaging breweries like Rhar and Saint Arnold to sell beer at all, be it in growlers or otherwise. Brew pubs like Uncle Billy's and NXNW in Austin can sell growlers to go though, no problem. If it passes the Senate, HB602 would allow packaging breweries to offer up to 144 ounces of beer, whether that be in growlers or in bottles. It's not quite selling beer at the brewery like most normal state allow, but it is an important first step.

Robert
Robert

Growlers and open container laws don't go well together. Or do they?

Paulmcandew
Paulmcandew

So Fritz Rahr has never heard of a growler? I mainly buy beer in stores but when I tour a brewery it is always nice to be able to bring some fresh beer home. Or perhaps a limited/special release. It doesn't mean I'm wanting to exclusively beer shop at the brewery but come on! Go to just about any other brewery in this country and you can take home FRESH souvenir beer.

Paulmcandew
Paulmcandew

Lennie, I understand the current laws and situations. You're right, it is a step in the right direction. Maybe I am misinterpreting Fritz's words? It just seems as if he is overall "meh" about HB602 and that his brewery would rather see sales at the store level than be hassled with the "after tour take home beer". My point is that I just want growlers as part of the take home package from both N. TX breweries. I'll leave it at that.

Paulmcandew
Paulmcandew

Most every brewery who can legally sell them have growlers. Often times the brewery will opt to put a piece of plastic over the cap and heat shrink it. I've never experienced any issues with transporting a growler. So I'm not sure how to address your comment.

Infact, several bars in Austin offer growled fills. It is one of the things keeping DFW's beer culture light years behind not only the rest of the country, but also our own state. Growlers are also great for the environment as they are reusable and do not create waste.

Brew1ForMe
Brew1ForMe

Of course Fritz would love to sell directly to his customers! He's acting nonchalant because he doesn't want make any comments that would upset or tarnish his rapport with distributors.

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