AUSTIN (KXAN) - If you're in the business of making beer - Texas is the place to be.
Last year, Texas craft brewers produced 133,000 barrels of beer in 2011. That's a 46 percent increase from the year before.
"Since 2010, our sales have pretty much doubled." said Amy Cartwright, co-founder of Independence Brewing Co.
The company started in 2004, with a client list of 30. Cartwright said that in the past two years, the company's sales have skyrocketed.
And now, more than 300 bars and restaurants in Austin serve Independence.
"What's really exciting about the scene now is the public is interested in tasting new beers." Cartwright said.
But with the interest comes competition. In 2010 there were 52 licensed brewers in Texas. Now Texas is home to 78.
Across town, Live Oak Brewing Co. is also banking on the brew business.
"A lot of bars and restaurants have a lot of draft beer right now and seems to only get bigger, " said Chip McElroy, the brewery's owner.
"We're growing at about 30 percent so far this year, " McElroy said.
Right now, microbreweries and brew pubs all across the state are fighting current laws and regulations dealing with beer distribution.
Micro breweries want the ability to sell to individuals directly from their facilities, right now they can't.
Brew pubs currently can only sale in house, but they want the ability to sale to distributors.
According to the research arm of the Texas House. several bills to allow craft brewers and brew pubs to expand their reach have been filed in recent years.
None have passed.
Proposals made last year would have allowed certain small brewers to sell directly to the public or conduct tours of their facilities for a fee. As part of the deal, beer would be provided for off-premises consumption.
Another proposal would have allowed brew pubs to reach consumers by selling to distributors or wholesalers who then could have sold their products to retailers.
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