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Craft beer is good for Texas

Because it can’t be said too often, am I right? Here’s a brief Q&A with Charles Valhonrat, the executive director of the Texas Craft Brewer’s Guild.

Q: What are your goals for the 2013 legislative session, and how do you plan to get lawmakers on board?

A: There are two primary goals we are driving with respect to legislation. One is legislation that will allow package breweries – breweries that today keg, cask, bottle or can their beer for sales into the distribution tier – to sell a limited amount of beer at their breweries directly to their patrons. This would mean selling beers in a tap room setting for enjoyment while on premises.

Additionally, this change would also allow the brewery to sell their packaged beer to visitors to be enjoyed at home. By taking advantage of the opportunity of having craft beer fans on site, craft brewers would be able to make the most of the marketing opportunity this creates and build greater demand for their product in the traditional three-tier system of distribution.

Another legislative goal is to allow brewpubs to sell their beer into the wholesale tier.

Today, brewpubs can sell their beer on premise, including packaged beer that usually goes out in things like growlers. But, fans of a certain brewpub cannot find that brewpub’s beer at a local liquor or grocery store.

We are advocating statutory changes that would allow brewpubs to package and sell their beer through the three-tier distribution system here in Texas.

We’ve heard this before, and there’s nothing new to add. I repeat it here as a reminder that we’ve been through this before – this is the fourth time that the craft brewers have tried to change Texas’ archaic laws regarding the sale of beer in a way that benefits consumers rather than distributors – and we’re going to have to keep saying this stuff until we finally get what we want. It may not happen this session, it may not happen in the next session, but it will never happen if we stop talking about it and advocating for it.

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