Deep Ellum Brewing Co. Is Fighting Big Beer, Hosting Fundraiser for John Carona's Opponent

Categories: Brews News

JohnReardonDEBCSign.jpg
DEBC
If you dabble in craft beer legislative issues, it might not surprise you that Deep Ellum Brewing Company is mixing beer and politics. And if you just enjoy craft beer, now might be a good time to start dabbling.

Texas craft beer and lawmakers have a complicated relationship. To explain it all we'd need a large dry erase board with timelines, Venn diagrams, most definitely a three-tiered chart. Splash a little beer on it, throw a bunch of money at it, put a photo of state Senator John Carona in the middle and squint real hard, and maybe it'd start to make sense.

We reported on several bills that were introduced during the last legislative session, tweaked and eventually passed. Some in the industry called the new laws a win for craft brewers. Some said "meh." The takeaway: Brewpubs can now package and sell at the retail level, and breweries can pour pints for on-site consumption.

But at the eleventh hour of what had been two-year long negotiations by a "working group" spearheaded by Carona, he introduced a new bill that contradicted the bills from the working groups he created, stripping craft brewers' ability to sell their distribution rights, which had historically been a nice chunk of change for start-ups.


See also: Sen. John Carona Responds to Backlash; Didn't Bring Up Craft Beer Issue to Craft Beer Group.

All of which explains why John Reardon of Deep Ellum Brewing Co. is hosting a campaign party at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 19, for Don Huffines, Carona's primary opponent in the upcoming senate election for a District 16, which covers a large swath of northern Dallas county.

"I'm choosing Don for the simple fact that it's time for a change," explains John Reardon, co-founder of DEBC. "Twenty-three years is too long for any politician to be in office."

Reardon takes issue with Carona's coddling of big beer distributors, namely Barry Andrews of Andrews Distributing, which is based in Carona's district. A lobby watch group, Texans for Public Justice, released the numbers on the money behind craft beer legislation in this report titled "Big Beer Drowns Small Competitors," which explicitly spells out the case.

Reardon sees beyond just one piece of legislation, however, and takes issue with the term.

"Don has signed a term commitment where he vows to serve no more than three terms," Reardon says. "He believes in putting an end to career politicians and that's something I strongly support."

The craft beer community still has some issues they'd like to work on in upcoming years. They remain the only segment in the state not allowed to sell their product for off-site consumption, as wine and spirit producers often do at the end of tours.

"As Chairman of the Business and Commerce Committee, Senator Carona will oversee every piece of craft beer legislation that makes its way to the capitol," Reardon says. "If he likes it, and if his big distributor buddies approve, it'll pass. If he doesn't, well, we've all seen what can happen here. He's a snake in the grass. He'll say one thing and do another."


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24 comments
everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

There are two things that tell you everything you need to know about a politician -- guns and beer.  If they want to restrict guns, they think that you are a barely restrained animal who will go killing everything in sight as soon as you get angry.  If they want to restrict beer, they think that you are a childish glutton who will spend all day every day drunk... and then go on a killing spree.


Politicians that want to restrict guns or beer don't trust you.  

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Not voting for any Republican or Democrat until they can explain to me why health insurance companies can not compete across state lines and why health insurance companies are allowed state wide monopolies.


I happily steal from Mavdog:

     Then I'll get on my knees and pray
     We don't get fooled again

     Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHhrZgojY1Q

RobTentoy
RobTentoy

I like how they are trying to play it off like it's a one issue election.
Deep Ellum Brewing Company: Wait, this guy is for mandatory puppy kicking, Soylent Green, and declaring nuclear war on Switzerland? That's awf- oh hey, he's not openly hostile to craft brewers. Let's have a fundraiser to get this guy elected!

karlwilliams
karlwilliams

John Reardon a great american idiot. keep deleting the comment, Dallas Observer, your 'paper' and 'writers' are a joke too.  

xdarkridex
xdarkridex

I just can't believe we're having this conversation in 2014.  Why does government have so much power over where and how private companies sell their products?  It's absurd.  Advocating candidates who will vote on your side is pointless.  Find candidates who will work to end the oversight entirely and let people live their lives.

ahimsan
ahimsan

This makes no sense to me.  It's as if Adolph Hitler were running for office, and the only thing you might agree with the guy on is microbrewery rights, so you hold a fundraiser for him. 


It is also extremely short-sighted.  Not only is it a lot like the time CEO John Mackie from Whole Foods wrote that strange op-ed piece about health care that managed to piss off 95% of the people that shop at Whole Foods -- it is not going to result in much of a payback.  Or maybe it's because all the pissed off people didn't effectively boycott Whole Foods after that, that DEBC knows they can get away with pissing off their customer core without going out of business.


The Beer Distributor Lobby in Austin is as powerful as any.  If it wasn't Corona that got down on his knees for them, it would have been someone else.  And at least Corona didn't give the lobbyists everything they wanted, only most of what they wanted.


Jim & Scott -- if you're out there reading this, what the hell are you guys thinking?

zerromi
zerromi

Pity, always did like their beer. But, much like Chik-Fil-A, not letting my money knowingly go to companies that directly support sociopaths.


At least there's other local craft breweries to try.

MikeD
MikeD

Corona also owns one of the largest HOA companies in the country and crafts legislation to benefit HOAs over homeowners.  Huffines is our best opportunity in years to get rid of him.

ksteubin
ksteubin

The further to the right, the better.  Go Huffines!

ChrisYu
ChrisYu topcommenter

my dollar will not support any brewery with a political agenda! my vote, however, could be influenced by free beer.

JohnJay24
JohnJay24

Huffines has gone way out of his way through out the last few years to support Republican candidates that fought "the Republican" system. In other words, candidates who believe in ending wars, and fighting for freedoms (like small brewing companies against major corporations). 
Whether you like it or not, the Senator in Carona's seat next year will be a Republican. 
And the best one running is Don Huffines. 


Dub919
Dub919

First Peticolas, now Deep Ellum.  As long as my I know my beer dollar is going to a Tea Party Wingnut like Don Huffines, I cannot send that dollar toward either brewery.

josephwyly1
josephwyly1

I just realized that Deep Ellum's owner's name is Reardon. And he's supporting a liberty candidate. Who is John Galt?

Travis_Rex
Travis_Rex

maybe the lesser of two evils, but not by much

G_David
G_David

Hearing one of my childhood heroes, Roger Staubach, shill for John Carona on the radio kills a small piece of my soul every time I hear it.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

---------------------------

If you have a problem with John Carona, Huffines is a Xerox copy.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

We have all heard the rhetoric before from Politico's........blah blah blah blah.  But Mr. Huffines is the real deal!  


#sayNOtoCarona

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

I love craft beer a hell of a lot more than I love any Republican.  Huffines it is.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Liberals make shifty beer, because you can't make good beer without a pure heart.

Anon
Anon

If The Huff is elected you will get the representation you voted for. You will get No Representation. The Huff will have zero ability to get anything done, he will not carry any influence with his colleagues, he will be a topwater in a sea of sharks.

And fercryinoutloud will somebody please tell him to STOP littering up my mailbox every friggin day! Enough Already!

SCamp2
SCamp2

@everlastingphelps  Just remember that Huffines is running to the right of Carona. Thinks Carona compromises too much and is a "Moderate".

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

I would rather get NOTHING from the lege than laws I DONT want, which is what they are giving me now. I prefer a do nothing lege to a do the wrong things lege.

Carona is a do wrong pol.

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