The Texas Craft Brewers Guild (TCBG), the trade association representing nearly 300 small and independent Texas craft breweries, and the Beer Alliance of Texas (BAT), a trade association representing malt beverage distributors across Texas, have reached a stakeholder agreement on SB 312 and HB 672, the bipartisan Beer-To-Go bills currently filed in the Texas Legislature.
With the endorsement of both the TCBG and BAT, soon-to-be-filed committee substitutes of both bills, authored by Senator Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) and Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), would, if passed, allow patrons to purchase up to 576 ounces (two cases) of beer per calendar day from a craft brewery tasting room for take-home consumption.
“I am proud to be part of a win-win agreement for every level of the three-tier system,” Senator Dawn Buckingham said. “This is a big step forward for small Texas breweries and the consumers who enjoy their products. I am grateful to both the Beer Alliance of Texas and the Texas Craft Brewers Guild for their willingness to reach a fair agreement for both sides of this important issue.”
Brewer-wholesaler unity on the bill is bolstered by support from both sides of the aisle. At their 2018 conventions, both Texas Republicans and Democrats included support for Beer-To-Go in their respective party platforms.
“Allowing ‘beer-to-go’ sales is a common-sense issue that both Republicans and Democrats agree on because it’s good for small business and has come to be expected by consumers,” Representative Eddie Rodriguez said. “Texans are incredibly excited about ‘beer-to-go’ as the public support for HB 672/SB 312 has shown, and I am glad that the Texas Craft Brewers Guild and the Beer Alliance of Texas have come to the table.”
In an effort to foster regulatory stability for the industry, the Texas Craft Brewers Guild and the Beer Alliance of Texas have also agreed to refrain from lobbying to raise or lower allowable Texas malt beverage barrelage caps for a period of 12 years.
“The Beer Alliance of Texas has always worked to ensure a strong malt beverage market in Texas,” Beer Alliance of Texas President Rick Donley said. “We have committed to working with our friends in the craft-manufacturing segment on sensible regulations that provide for a stable and predictable three tier market in Texas that continues to be recognized as the gold standard for regulatory structures across the country.”
TCBG and BAT applaud Senator Buckingham and Representative Rodriguez’s commitment to setting craft brewers on a more equal playing field with Texas wineries, distilleries, brewpubs which are all permitted to engage in to-go sales as a brand-building, tourism-boosting opportunity.
“The Texas Craft Brewers Guild is proud to promote a sensible alcohol regulatory framework that encourages competition, consumer choice and access to market for brewers in our great state,” Texas Craft Brewers Guild Board Chair Josh Hare said. “We are excited to be working with the Beer Alliance of Texas to promote common sense regulations that ensure the beer industry in Texas will continue to thrive. We look forward to the opportunity to provide consumers with greater access to Texas made beer while ensuring a predictable and effective three-tier system.”
Key Points of the SB 312/ HB 672 Agreement:
● Retain the 5,000 barrel cap on taproom sales.
● Allow sales for off-premise consumption in amounts up to 576 fluid ounces per calendar day, per person.
● Any product offered for sale in the taproom which does not have an approved label must post in plain view the alcohol content of that product.
● The total amount of on and total amount of off-premise sales shall be reported (in barrels) to TABC on a monthly basis. The Commission shall hold the records for public review.
So far, more than 12,000 Texans have signed an online petition urging the Texas Legislature to pass Beer- To-Go this session.