The answer, apparently, is yes. As recently as November, a state administrative judge ruled in favor of Cuvee Coffee Bar in Austin, which had its crowler operation shut down and related property seized in a 2015 raid. Despite this, the TABC regulations surrounding crowlers remain murky.
What, exactly, is a crowler?
It’s like a growler, but made of aluminum (like a can) instead of glass. Can + growler = crowler.
What, exactly, is the TABC’s problem with this?
Well, the agency claims that when a bar uses a crowler machine to seal the can’s lid, the bar has become a manufacturer, which breaks the laws governing who does what within the three-tier system of alcohol manufacture and sale (see our previous post HERE for more details on that).
Cuvee argued, successfully, that there was an insufficient difference between a growler and a crowler to necessitate this disparate treatment under the law.
So, where are we with this now?
Unfortunately, the ruling doesn’t actually change anything regarding the future of crowlers, it simply asserts that Cuvee Coffee Bar wasn’t in violation of TABC regulations as they stood at the time. Since the 2015 incident, the TABC clarified its rules in such a way as to effectively ban crowlers. It remains to be seen whether their perspective will change in light of Cuvee’s win.
Want to make sure you don’t run afoul of the TABC? LaBarba can help get you the proper license to serve alcohol in Texas, so contact us anytime!
SOURCE: San Antonio Current.