Craft beer, a widely-loved and growing industry in Texas, doesn’t often find itself the target of the state legislature. This session, however, there is one bill that has some people worried: HB 3287/SB 2083. Super intriguing, we know. But since it’s started a fight, we thought it was worth laying out for you!
So, what’s this bill about?
Tap rooms, mostly. Because Texas enforces strict separation of beer manufacturers, distributors, and sellers, there’s some weird legislative quirks on the books. Previously, breweries that produced more than 225,000 barrels were prohibited from having a tap room where they could sell their product directly to the public. This new bill would modify that rule to include breweries that are part of a larger company, putting them over the 225,000 barrel threshold when you look at combined overall production.
What does that actually mean…
This really won’t affect the vast majority of craft breweries. With the exception of a few of the biggest players, production volumes aren’t anywhere close to the 225k cap. The people who are mad about this are craft breweries that are owned by mass market brands like Anheuser-Busch. Because the parent company well exceeds the production limit, the subsidiary craft brewery wouldn’t be able to have its own tap room any longer.
So, arbitrary punishment for those who’ve “sold out”? Or a way to protect small craft breweries by giving them a bit of an advantage? Who knows where the legislature will end up on this issue!
Bored by liquor licensing policy but need to know if it affects your business? Give us a call, and we’ll help you figure it out!
SOURCES: Houston Chronicle & Houston Beer Guide.