AUSTIN (KXAN) - Brewers and distributors have struck a deal on new rules for selling beer in Texas.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Senate Business and Commerce Committee voted 7-0 to push a package of bills relating to craft beer through.
The agreement doesn't come without any compromises though.
In regards to Senate Bill 515, brewpubs will only be allowed to self-distribute their beer if they only have a beer license and not a mixed beverage license. Brewpubs will still be able to get their product on store shelves, but they'll have to go through a distributor.
Davis Tucker, owner of North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewery and vice president of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, says the revisions were necessary to push the bills along and to grow the craft beer community.
No other adjustments were made to the Senate Bills 515, 516 and 518.
Last week, Senator John Carona, a Republican from Dallas, escalated the stakes by introducing a separate bill (SB 639) that could overhaul the whole industry's pricing structure. Adjustments were also made to SB 639 on Tuesday, but details regarding the changes have not been released.
Sen. Carona also asked that all vested parties sign a letter indicating they were working together to get the bills passed.
Brewers from across the state have wanted to expand their market for years, but many say the current laws unfairly favor out-of-state breweries. If the bills become law, brewers believe this will help level the playing field.
The bills will go to the local consent calendar for a final vote before it moves to the House.
Tucker says he is confident the House will pass the bills this session.
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