Texas Beer Bills Await Governor’s Approval

Call it a Memorial Day Weekend 5-pack.

On Monday, Texas lawmakers passed five bipartisan bills to help small brewers in their efforts to increase sales and generate more consumer interest in craft beer throughout the Lone Star State.

The bills (SB 515-518 and SB 639) alter the way craft beer is sold in Texas, making it easier for small breweries and brewpubs to do business with distributors, retailers and consumers. Here’s the breakdown:

  • SB 515 grants Texas brewpubs the right to sell their bill to distributors and allows for limited self-distribution (up to 1,000 barrels)
  • SB 516 and SB 517 adjusts the state’s self-distribution laws, allowing breweries that do not exceed 125,000 barrels annually to self-distribute, but also lowers the amount they are able to sell themselves to 40,000 barrels.
  • SB 518 allows packaging breweries the right to sell their products directly to consumers for on-premise consumption.
  • SB 639 prohibits “reach-back pricing” and prevents breweries from selling rights to distribute their products to wholesalers, although wholesalers would still be allowed to sell those same rights between one another.

The five bills now await Gov. Rick Perry’s signature before they can officially become law.

Scott Metzger, owner of Freetail Brewing Company in San Antonio and negotiator for the Texas Craft Brewers Guild was one of the more vocal craft brewers lobbying for change. He expressed his contentment in a series of tweets from May 20, after the bills passed through the House.

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