Texas on the Brink of Enjoying Beer Like Every Other State in America

Beer-to-Go passes Texas Senate as TABC Sunset Bill amendment

“What is dead may never die,” as they say in Westeros and apparently in the war room of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild. The infamous Beer-to-Go Amendment (née: Bill) continues to battle its way through the Texas Capitol collecting a cache of unlikely victories.

Photo by John Anderson

Wednesday night, the TABC Sunset Bill, which allows the much-maligned entity to continue to operate as an important accessory to alcohol permitting and buzz-harshin’ stings, was passed by the Texas Senate. Along with it came unanimous Senate approval for the bill’s “Beer-to-Go” amendment, added as a clever, last-ditch solution by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, in the Texas House of Representatives before his original bill, HB 672, became a corpse left to rot at the behest of notorious joy-slayers, the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas.

"Beer laws that promote the growth of Texas breweries are good for the state. The passage of Beer-to-Go removes one of the most significant obstacles for growth of small breweries, both those just starting out and those that have been successful and want to move from a brewpub license to a Brewer's permit. Experience has shown that law changes like this help create jobs and increase the total amount of craft beer sold by breweries, distributors and retailers,” said Saint Arnold Brewing founder/brewer and overall beer rights zealot Brock Wagner in a press release.

The Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas recently relented on its previous resistance to Beer-to-Go, signing an agreement with the Texas Craft Brewers Guild and fellow big distro (but slightly cooler) pals the Beer Alliance of Texas. The agreement lent support for off-premise sales from manufacturing breweries in Texas. This buy-in from the WBAT appears to be the domino that tipped the line as the Beer-to-Go amendment gained sudden urgency only after that specific distributor group got onboard. In this agreement, beer fans would be able to buy one case (up to 288 fluid oz) of beer per day, per person directly from manufacturing breweries. Originally, the agreement between the TCBG and BAT sought two cases per person, per day. The group also agreed not to amend this version of the bill for 12 years.

The senate version of the TABC bill, with Beer-to-Go attached, will now go back to the House of Representatives for either a fast-track “concur” approval, or for another round of debate that would include a small group of representatives and senators forming a conference committee set up to reconcile the differences between the two bills. That bill, should it gain final approval between the two houses, would then seek Gov. Abbott’s blessing for a whole new world of very normal, everyday stuff that literally every other state already enjoys.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Beer To Go, TABC, craft beer, Texas Lege 2019

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