Legislative Update: Off-Premise Bills Filed
Legislators File Bills to Allow Texas Craft Beer Enthusiasts To Purchase Beer Directly from State Craft Breweries
Austin, TX – March 12, 2015 – Texas State Senator Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler) introduced Senate Bill 1386, which grants Texas craft brewery visitors the right to take home beer purchased at Texas craft breweries. Along with a companion bill (House Bill 3086) introduced in the Texas State House of Representatives by Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland), this legislation is expected to further enhance the national recognition Texas craft beer brings to the state, encourage craft beer fans to travel to Texas, and bolster Texas’ reputation as a craft beer destination.
Building on legislation introduced by Senator Eltife in 2013 allowing breweries to sell beer to guests for consumption in their tap rooms, this legislation enables those same breweries to sell beer in cans, bottles or growlers for visitors to take home. As beer tourism grows, the ability for brewery visitors to purchase souvenir beers enhances the experience for these customers. This modernization of the Texas alcoholic beverage code is seen as a great step toward making Texas a leading craft beer state.
The bills allow breweries that produce less than 225,000 barrels of beer per year (a barrel is equivalent to two kegs of beer) to sell beer directly to the ultimate consumer. The consumer can purchase up to 576 fluid ounces, or the equivalent of two cases of beer, once a month from a Texas brewery.
“Texas craft brewers continue to bring economic growth, jobs, and national recognition to the state,” said Senator Eltife. “This legislation is designed to finish what we started last session and bring people from around the country to this state which is rapidly becoming the epicenter of craft brewing quality.”
Representative Keffer commented “This gives Texas breweries the same rights already enjoyed by wineries, distilleries and many of their out-of-state competitors. Most important, it gives consumers greater access to Texas-made beer.”
Texas craft beer is on a recent tear with 44% growth in production by breweries impacted by this legislation, delivering an economic impact of $2.3 billion in 2013, and by bringing home 16 medals at the most recent Great American Beer Festival. Only three other states brought home more awards.