Beer-to-go bill gets boost from unexpected alliance

Texas Politics
Craft Beer_307389

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Texas law currently does not allow craft breweries to sell beer to customers from their tasting rooms. But so-called beer-to-go legislation to change that is getting bi-partisan support at the State Capitol. And now, beer distributors that previously opposed the idea say they’re open to change.

This week, the Beer Alliance of Texas, which represents distributors, and the Texas Craft Brewers Guild signed a compromise agreement.  The deal would allow brewery visitors to buy and take home up to two cases of beer.

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) authored legislation to allow beer-to-go sales at breweries. “You go to a winery, you’re able to have a glass of wine and also take some wine home,” Rodriguez explained in an interview on the State of Texas politics program. Rodriguez pointed out that brew pubs and distilleries also allow sales. “But breweries for some archaic, unknown reason can’t do that,” Rodriguez said.

The idea has support from both Democrats and Republicans. Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) authored a beer-to-go bill to be considered in the Texas Senate. On the House side, 27 members have signed on as co-authors of Rep. Rodriguez’s House Bill 672. 

“It’s about fairness,” Rodriguez said. “This will be a big help to craft brewers… it’ll help them grow, help them hire more people.”

“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,” Josh Hare of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild was quoted as saying in a joint news release by both groups.

Both groups have scheduled a joint news conference along with Sen. Buckingham and Rep. Rodriguez on Tuesday at the State Capitol.

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