Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Texas House Bill 1062
The time has come, pick up the phone and call your Texas Legislature!!
Why do you ask?
State rep Lon Burnman (Ft. Worth) has introduced House Bill 1062. If passed this bill will give breweries who brew more than 1000 barrels of "ale or malt liquor" a year to sell no more than 35,000 Gallons annual on site. The goal is to make this effective by Sept 1 of this year. For long time readers of this blog this is similar to the failed house bill 1926 that Brock Wagner of Saint Arnold's was advocating back in 2007. In 2007 this bill failed wholly due to the fact that the Beer distributors were against it, and since they give millions to politicians (especially the Chair of the committee went to). Hopefully this time the bill will pass. What can you do to help out? Well write your local State Representative, tell them that this bill must pass. Click here to find who your House Rep is.
Now let's be very clear on what this bill does and does not do.
It will only affect those with Brewer Permits (Brewpubs have different permits so they are not affected).
It will allow brewers to sell some of their beers in tasting rooms (some may be allowed for on site consumption) similar to what wineries in our state can already do.
It will hopefully foster a greater appreciation for Texas Breweries and help make them tourist destinations for out of state folks. This is a big one for me. I love going to CO or California breweries and buying beer there that I can't get here.
What will it not do?
It will have zero effect on Beer Distributors. Regardless of what they may say, the amount of beer that these brewers will be allowed to sell on site will not make much of a dent in their sales, if anything it might create more demand at stores.
It will not dismantle all financial obstacles to opening a brewery in Texas. There a lot of issues that make opening and running a successful brewery in our fine state. This is one of them, but its not the only one, not by a long shot. It will however give them a bit more financial security (no numbers) and every little bit helps.
This bill can only help foster Texas Beer Culture, and hopefully help promote Texas Beer tourism.
In closing I'll reiterate to please write your local House Rep.