A big change to Texas law may be on tap in Austin, as a new breakthrough between brewers and distributors would allow take-home beer sales at breweries. Bipartisan companion bills have already been filed in the House (by a Democrat) and Senate (by a Republican), but the effort got a major boost last week when the Texas Craft Brewers Guild and the Beer Alliance of Texas reached a deal to support the legislation. Under the compromise, Texans would be allowed to buy up to two cases of beer per person, per day at breweries.
For Texas craft brewers, the change is long overdue. "Texas is the only state in this nation that does not allow production breweries to sell beer to go," says Ryan Soroka, president and co-founder of Houston's 8th Wonder Brewery and Distillery. "If this historic piece of legislation goes through, everybody wins---brewers, distributors, retailers, and beer drinkers."
Soroka tells KTRH this would expand the overall craft beer industry in Texas, which is good for producers and consumers. "Ultimately this law would create another revenue stream for 8th Wonder and other breweries, that could fund growth and create more jobs," he says.
The current law has been kept in place by distributors, who were concerned that direct take-home sales would undermine the separation of production, distribution and retail sales. But Soroka is glad that brewers and distributors were finally able come together and put aside their differences. "The writing has been on the wall for a long time," he says. "People from different sides of this industry have started to see that this was a very protectionist, antiquated rule of law, and this (change) will create positive economic impact."