Our stupid beer laws in action

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Owners of the popular Eatsie Boys food truck will open their first stand-alone restaurant later this year on Montrose Boulevard, serving everything from breakfast items to sandwiches to house-made gelato.

Closer to downtown, and possibly around the same time, the young entrepreneurs will cut the ribbon on their 8th Wonder Brewery. They recently took possession of a brand-new brewhouse and three shiny tanks that will produce craft beers like Alternate Universe, Hopston and Intellectuale, “the beer that makes you think.”

But don’t expect to see any of those brews on tap at their restaurant. Texas law forbids it.

“What a joke is that?” asked Ryan Soroka, a founding partner of both operations. ” … It makes no sense that we’re doing things the way we have to do them.”


In Texas, brewers must decide whether they want to be a shipping brewery, รก la Saint Arnold or Anheuser-Busch, which are prohibited from selling their own products directly to consumers, or a retail brewpub, which cannot distribute to bars, stores and other restaurants.

The catch for 8th Wonder as a shipping brewery is that holders of a Texas brewer’s license are barred from selling alcohol on-site or at any other establishment they own. Licensees are forbidden even from giving away samples at any retail site they own, a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission spokeswoman said.

So for now, at least, Soroka and his business partners will make beer in an old warehouse east of downtown and run a separate (and dry) cafe in the former Kraftsmen site at 4100 Montrose.

Despite what the shill for the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas says later in the story, this arrangement, which is solely to the benefit of the distributors and the big brewers, is hurtful to small outfits like 8th Wonder and to beer drinkers everywhere. It’s the same old story and will continue to be until there are enough members of the Lege who are willing to do something about it. Towards that end, I will point you again to Open the Taps and their Beer Voting Guide. Beer lovers have made progress in each of the past three legislative sessions, and as long as we keep up the pressure, we will eventually get the Lege to do the right thing.

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9 Responses to Our stupid beer laws in action

  1. peter wang says:

    Keep us posted on beer bills as they move through the Leg Session, please!

  2. joshua bullard says:

    heres the truth-theses guys are all left liberal democrats that have peaked to a point in bussiness when they finally realize that being democrat means at a certain level “uncle sam”wants to get in bed with them-dont run to the right crying foul-just take up the,the you know what,its a law that has been on the books for years,invented by the state democrats-your democrat so you should be happy for whats called “goverment regulation”,if you want to change the law-here is how you do it-you pay alot of money to conservative republican lobbyist-and i mean alot,so much that you may have to get loans,then pray for a miracle,

    you left liberal brewsters are all the same-try to get it for free before you pay for it.

    you cant pass go on this with out the money-you got beer so that shouldnt be a problem

    take it-joshua ben bullard

  3. Dave Read says:

    Sadly, I have all but given up hope of the Lege “doing the right thing” on any topic. From micobrewing to school finance, from voting distrct boundaries to rational educational curricula, I can predict which way the Lege will vote with startling accuracy. I simply assume they will vote to kowtow to or line the pockets of the special interests at the expense of the long term wellness of the State, and I’m never disappointed. It’s both sad and sickening. ๐Ÿ™

  4. joshua bullard says:

    “doing the right thing”??? dave-its a democrat state legislature that created the constraints on the micro brews-now the brewsters want relieve from the republican lege(for free) with out lobby—

    good luck with that
    joshua ben bullard

  5. Lonnie Allsbrooks says:

    There are options, will take some time, just depends if they are committed in changing the law. If there is anyone who understands the insane alcohol laws in Texas, it would be me, and we won’t go into that story. “Local Option Election”, this is the answer to their problem!!!

  6. joshua bullard says:

    lonnie-your high………………….on what

  7. Eric Weinmann says:

    It is my understanding that these antiquated laws are in place to protect the interests of large-scale distributors over that of small-sized retailers and manufacturers. It’s an overly burdensome regulatory system that deserves overhaul.

  8. Pingback: Eye on Williamson » Beer and Democracy

  9. Lonnie Allsbrooks says:

    Joshua-please keep your rude comments towards me to yourself. I am ok with you to disagree on my comments but I am not ok with you saying I am high on something. If you want to see how effective I can be, watch how I will change a 100 year fictional law in the Heights and it will be on the ballot next year, as I move forward with a “Local Option Election”. Thank you!

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