UPDATE: Beer-to-Go Passes House but the Battle Will Rage On in the Senate

What actually happened, and what happens next

The Beer-to-Go bill passed the House after it came within a molecule of dying on the House floor Thursday afternoon.

By the time it eventually went through, it wasn’t even a bill at all, but rather a late-addition amendment tacked onto the TABC Sunset Bill by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) because the Lege wouldn’t grant it a hearing.

Texas State Representaive Eddie Rodriguez on the floor of the House in April 2019 (Photo by John Anderson)

It actually did die, with the House voting 72-71 to table to amendment, essentially banishing Beer-to-Go for at least another two years. But who is anyone kidding? Beer-to-Go would have been launched into the sun for a generation to come because Big Distro demands it from their representatives and Big Distro always gets it their way. Until they didn’t.

As is procedure in close votes like this one involving Beer-to-Go, a voice count was called on the floor of the house to ensure the legitimacy of the outcome to table the amendment. As the names were read, five AYE “voters” were absent from the floor (and one NAY), voiding those tallies from the total. In what should now be referred to as the Jon Snow amendment, Beer-to-Go rose its cold, dead claw to stay attached as an amendment to the TABC Sunset Bill in a 70-65 game seven comeback victory.

The subsequent vote on the TABC bill as an overall package – which, by the way, included a very underrated proposal for a 10am Sunday start time for purchasing beer along with Beer-to-Go – passed unanimously and will now be pushed to the Senate, who will surely have their say in the matter. If it moves on from there, it would then go to the desk of the Governor to become law.

If Beer-to-Go passes, Texas would only be the 50th state to allow pre-packaged and freshly-sealed takeaway beer from manufacturing breweries, making the last thing that Oklahoma could ever lord over Texas obsolete.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Eric Puga
More Subjective Taproom Thoughts From Austin Kids
More Subjective Taproom Thoughts From Austin Kids
Beergardigans the Third, courtesy of local half-pints

Aug. 25, 2023

Lazarus' Second Location Works Hard So You Can Relax With a Beer
Lazarus' Second Location Works Hard So You Can Relax With a Beer
The new, North Loop location is Laz'r focused

March 3, 2023


Beer to Go, craft beer, TABC

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle