This week's cover of the Houston Alternative newspaper is all about Texas Beer. Written by the great Robb Walsh, this is a really great article and I encourage everyone who has an interest in Texas Beer to read it, whether you pick up a paper copy, or read it on-line. Just a few items that I want to point out. The article gives a good history on Texas Beer, how it got its start with German Settlers, and how the three-tier system works in the state. One of the big issues that Mr. Walsh discusses is the stranglehold the distributors have on the Texas Legislatures (try 1.38 million in political contributions, across party lines, so all are to blame for this one). How it makes zero sense that wineries can sell their wares in on site gift shops, while beer (lower in alcohol, so that can't be the reason) are unable to do the same. You may remember a few years ago when Saint Arnold's Brock Wagner tried to take on this stupid antiquated law and failed. Oh he had plenty of folks tell him they supported him, but when it came time to walk the walk the cowardly Texas Legislature wouldn't even put the bill up for discussion. As pointed out in the article do Texas Legislatures not realize that not only will it not impact Beer Distributors but it will bring in MONEY to the state, by not only promoting Texas Breweries (hopefully allowing more to be created) but also promote other Texas Artisan Foods and Texas Restaurants. I guess these laws are what you get when most of the TABC code was written by failed Texas Prohibitionists. As you can see this article got me fired up this morning. Brock has stated that he is going to try again next year to get a fair bill passed to allow small breweries to sell their beer on site. I urge everyone to contribute whatever you can to this cause, whether it be money or letters to your local state Representatives asking them to support your neighborhood business.
Lastly, a couple of other side bars that Robb discussed: His top 5 Texas Beers (year round and seasonal). I can't say I disagree with too much, although I would have liked to see Sisyphus on there, and I'm just not a huge fan of Ugly Pug.
For more information on the Legislative struggle that Brock faced check this link out.