Recent Legislation Makes Texas Beer Laws Even Worse

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Texas craft brewers have long been entangled in onerous laws and regulations surrounding beer in The Lone Star State. Jim Dow of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild recently penned an op-ed for The Dallas Morning News describing how recent legislation has only made the problem worse:

If you're confused by recent proclamations by beer wholesaler trade groups that "Texas craft beer is thriving because of good regulation," you should be, because many small breweries are struggling. Yes, some Texas craft breweries are growing. Some are even thriving. But this is only in spite of the law, not because of it...

Besides being deprived of the ability to compete on a level playing field with their manufacturing competitors, Texas breweries are also subject to the bizarre vagaries of our Alcoholic Beverage Code. To put the matter neatly in perspective, a single brewery in Texas can require as many as 14 individual licenses and permits in order to convey their product to market. That's enough red tape to affix a hammer to a sickle.

Making matters a lot worse, in 2017, persuaded by beer wholesalers, the Legislature enacted HB 3287. This legislation created a new dimension of absurdity: In the case of the most logical investments and mergers, it restricted or penalized the flow of capital from one brewery to another. It had the real effect of devaluing Texas' small, independent craft breweries the day it became law.

Under the most ludicrous provision of the law, certain breweries could be required to pay a distributor for the right to sell their own beer in their own tap room. No value-added service here — it's just mandated payment to a third-party for doing nothing...

The whole piece is here.