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New Laws Will Allow Texans to Leave Breweries With Beer

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Beginning on September 1, 2019, Texas craft beer drinkers will be allowed to leave their favorite breweries/taprooms with a case of beer, as well as order wine and beer for delivery. This is all thanks to two new laws which were passed in the State Legislature this year.

Beer sales in Texas presently run on a system of three levels. There are breweries who manufacture the beer, those who distribute it, and those who retail or sell it to the consumer. The reason for this establishment was to keep any single level from, in effect, controlling the other two. However, with this year came discussion between the brewers and distributors, who came to an agreement which would see the brewers having more access to direct sales with their customers. Rachael Hackathorn, Zilker Brewing Co.’s Taproom Manager, recently told the Texas Tribune, “It’s going to be a really cool opportunity to showcase our ability in a different light. For an out-of-town guest to take our beer back home with them and share it with their friends, that’s really what beer culture is about.”

New Laws Will Allow Texans to Leave Breweries With Beer

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According to Senator Dawn Buckingham, author of this unique legislation, the retail and distribution levels of beer sales originally had some significant opposition to the proposed revision of the process. However, the two came to an agreement, which Buckingham was happy to see. Buckingham noted that it just seemed a bit crazy for Texas to be the only state in the union where people couldn’t visit a brewery and bring home some beer. Now, under the new laws, that won’t be the case.

The “beer to go” component of House Bill 1545 is just a smaller portion of legislation which pertained to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. For those who have long been fans of the Texas craft beer scene, a change such as this is refreshing. Many Hill Country residents are glad they’ll be able to go to a microbrewery and bring home their new favorite beer. Texas brewers are also banking on this new beer-to-go law as another tourist draw for the Lone Star State. Breweries are definitely in support of that. The existing Texas law allows for patrons to take home spirits from a distillery or a bottle of wine from a winery, but it does not allow for beer to be brought back from a brewery.

New Laws Will Allow Texans to Leave Breweries With Beer

Photo: Needpix

In addition to the beer-to-go component, wine and beer delivery can also take place effective September 1. House Bill 1232 was signed into law in June by Governor Greg Abbott. It allows wine and beer retailers to deliver their wares directly to the front doors of their customers. With this option in effect, those with retail licenses for the sale of beer and wine (which also includes coffee shops, cafes, and restaurants) will soon be allowed to apply for the proper permit for the delivery of beer and wine. Those with a license will be able to deliver directly or they can contract with a digital delivery service, like Amazon or Instacart. It’s broadening the horizons of alcohol retailers throughout the state, but breweries, in particular, are anticipated to reap a reward from the changes.

What’s your take on the the new laws in Texas? Do you support the laws or think that the process worked just fine before? Let us know!