Today the Texas House passed Senate Bills 639 and 515-518. Assuming that Governor Rick Perry doesn't veto them by June 16, the way beer is sold in Texas has changed forever. As described in this post on the site for consumer advocacy organization Open The Taps, the regulations will result in the following changes. First, brew pubs will now be allowed to distribute up to 1,000 barrels of beer per year. Second, breweries will now be allowed to sell beer for on-premise consumption. Texas breweries will finally be allowed to install tap rooms similar to those seen across the country, and brew pubs will be able to develop an audience for their beers outside of their physical locations.
Reached for comment, Open The Taps secretary Leslie Sprague tells Eater that the organization is "very excited" about today's events; she added that the bills passage will "create a better craft beer scene for Texas." However, Sprague said the group "still has a lot of work to do:" a reference to the push for to-go or "dock" sales that would allow consumers to purchase beer directly from breweries for off-site consumption. Turning to the brewers, Saint Arnold Brewing Company founder Brock Wagner tweeted that the bills won't change how the company structures its daily tours, but fans can "expect a few more special events." For statements from the Beer Alliance of Texas and the bill's sponsor, Sen. Kevin Eltife, go here.
· Legislative Update: Craft Beer Bill Summaries [Open The Taps]
· Beer Bills Formally Pass, Head to Gov. Rick Perry [Beer, TX]
· Scott Metzger [@beermonkey/Twitter]
· Brock Wagner [Twitter]