Beer To You Denied Hearing in House and Senate Committees
Friday, May 12, 2023, marked the 88th Texas Legislature deadline for bills to be considered by their originating chamber. Left unheard in the Senate State Affairs and House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committees, the Beer To You bills (HB 2003/SB 752) will not move forward toward passage. Despite the outpouring of support from brewers and craft beer fans around the state and country, 2023 will not be the year Texas breweries and brewpubs gain the right to participate in direct to consumer shipping and delivery.
While this is not the result any of us hoped for, this session did move the needle with legislators on both sides of the aisle. Every office in the capitol is aware of our issues, and while we were stonewalled in committee this session, many offices have reached out to discuss how we can work with them over the interim to come back in the 2025 legislative session significantly higher up the mountain.
The legislative system in Texas is designed to kill bills, so getting across the finish line with legislation is never easy. Our fights tend to be particularly uphill with entrenched opposition who have controlled the narrative, and the campaign contributions, for many cycles. We knew from past battles that this would be a difficult fight, and sometimes you don’t win.
On disappointing days like these, it can be helpful to look to history for some perspective. We finally got Beer To Go over the finish line in 2019, 12 years, or six legislative sessions, from the first time that legislation was filed. While we have made significant strides in education and outreach to offices at the Capitol over the last decade, passing legislation in Texas is tough and often takes several sessions to get results–even when fighting for common sense modernizations that benefit Texas small businesses, consumers, and the Texas economy. You can learn more about the legislative history of the Guild and craft beer as a whole on the Guild’s Legislative Timeline.
We want to thank our craft beer community for rallying behind these bills. Our work will not stop in the interim and we look forward to coming back geared up and ready to push in the 2025 legislative session to once again expand the rights of small businesses. This fight isn’t over and the Texas Craft Brewers Guild remains steadfast in our commitment to make Texas the finest state in the nation for craft beer.
In the meantime, please continue to support your local breweries by buying their products through traditional retail channels and directly from the brewery. Small businesses are still dealing with the impacts of inflation, supply chain disruptions, rising rents, and other challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and our industry appreciates your fervent support.