News Blog / Monthly Archives: January 2018

TABC Town Hall and Listening Tour

At LaBarba Permit Service, our main mission is to help local businesses navigate the complicated and often difficult process of dealing with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) to obtain an alcohol permit in Dallas, TX. That’s why we’re encouraging you to take advantage of the upcoming TABC Town Hall and Listening Tour, in which they will hear your complaints and frustrations as small businesses trying to make a living, and you will gain greater insight into how and why they operate.

What

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is hosting roundtables across the state, bringing together lawmakers and members of the food and alcoholic beverage industry in an attempt to build new partnerships between the TABC and the members of the industry they regulate. Additionally, these sessions will allow the TABC to get a better understanding of the practical effects its actions have on the alcoholic beverage industry, so they can better understand what’s working and what’s not, thereby charting a clearer course into the future.

When

Tuesday, February 27, 2018, from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM CST

Where

Frisco Police Department, located at 7200 Stonebrook Pkwy, Frisco, Texas 75034

Why

There are a few reasons for this series of roundtables:

  • The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has a new leadership team dedicated to working out the kinks in the processes they are in charge of regulating, and they want to approach their relationship with the alcoholic beverage community with a new focus on teamwork going forward.
  • The TABC wants to provide an opportunity for relevant legislature to be reviewed by both the leadership team and the alcoholic beverage community for a much-needed refresher.
  • Finally, the TABC is turning a scrutinizing eye on its processes and is seeking out everything it needs, from lists of problems to suggestions, to overhaul the way it operates. This is your opportunity to lay your concerns on the table: where the TABC needs to work on its processes, how the TABC could improve its systems of communication and what you think could streamline or clarify the TABC’s methods of operation. They want to hear from you, bars, restaurants, breweries, pharmacies, convenience stores and other small local businesses—in other words, the establishments that keep the industry the TABC regulates ticking—about what you need from them.

Get an alcohol permit in Dallas, TX

At LaBarba Permit Service, we believe that you have the right to stay informed about any changes in liquor licensing law and how it affects your business, as well as to have your voice heard. As a member of the community, your concerns are important to the TABC. But we also know that you may be too busy with your bar or restaurant to be able to attend this roundtable, so rest assured that you can always come to us for help obtaining liquor licenses, cigarette licenses, sales tax permits and related licenses and zoning. We jump through the hoops for you and make the process as simple, quick and transparent as possible. Call us today for help with your alcohol permit in Dallas, TX!

Consumer Shifts in the Drinks Industry

Today’s consumers are notoriously fickle – only witness our prowess at rejecting humans with the swipe of a finger! Along the same lines, the decline of brand loyalty has been building for decades now, and stats from three segments of the drinks industry clearly echo that narrative. The main takeaway? No product, no matter how well-established, is immune to the threat of shiny new things.

The “Rise” of Light Beer

Once a dirty word, now the three top-selling beers in the U.S. are “light.” In 2017, Miller Lite pushed Budweiser to number four. Also, it’s only a “rise” insofar as mass market beers in general have seen a dramatic decline in sales, but light beer is declining more slowly.

The Decline of Soft Drinks

The habits of the current President notwithstanding, Diet Coke consumption has flat-lined. Coca-Cola announced it would be re-tooling the drink’s image, but the outlook isn’t great even though Diet Coke remains the second most popular soft drink in the nation. So what’s made such a dent in sales? Experts point to the simultaneous rise of bottled and flavored water and sparkling drinks. Perhaps these days fewer people are willing to buy the idea that a soft drink can be “diet” at all…

static1.squarespace.com

Craft Beer Boomerang

Craft brewery Green Flash announced it would be scaling back distribution to just 17 states, and cutting staff by 15%. After an ambitious gambit to launch throughout the country, it became clear that they couldn’t find a toehold in enough markets to sustain the strategy. The massive boom in small, local craft breweries has dramatically increased competition.

So, what’s the lesson here? Essentially, it looks like even flagship, mass market signature products are no longer holding market share. Once companies started emphasizing providing consumers with choices, the fragmentation was really inevitable. Building a national brand of any size is only getting more challenging, but it’s a fascinating time to watch the industry grow and change!

Looking to get in on the light/craft beer game before that takes a turn, too? Trust our Texas liquor licensing consultants to handle everything right the first time – call LaBarba today!

SOURCE: Beervana.

Complications Exist When Opening a Taproom in Texas: Information from a Licensing Consultant in Dallas, TX

Craft brewing has seen a nationwide explosion over the last five years. As sales began to plateau or even decline for major domestic beer companies like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, sales of small, local craft breweries have skyrocketed.

It was inevitable that the big companies would have to find ways to adjust to be able to keep up with this sudden, unexpected burst of competition. Now, owners of these smaller companies say representatives from these so-called “macrobreweries” are lobbying government officials to implement laws that make business tougher on the little guys.

Five years ago, the Texas state legislature helped the craft brewing renaissance take off by lifting a series of regulations on smaller breweries and brewpubs. Other breweries began to invest in the state after that, including the popular Oskar Blues of Colorado, which has been one of the smaller breweries on the leading edge of craft beer development for years.

Times have changed

However, this past May, the state legislature enacted a bill that stands to stifle the growth of many small breweries in the state and could prevent other breweries from doing business in Texas.

The new legislation re-implements some of the regulations that had been rolled back in 2013, while adding other provisions that financially benefit some of the largest beer corporations in the world. The laws were pushed by wholesale beer distributors, which stand to benefit greatly from laws that will require beer makers to use their delivery services.

For example, one bit of legislation requires breweries that are opening taprooms to hire a distributor to be able to legally serve their own beer. This regulation applies even if the kegs never actually leave the premises of the brewery. In essence, it forces breweries to use a middleman they don’t want, meaning they are legally required to pay money for the distributor’s services. This cuts out a lot of profitability that might otherwise be invested back into the brewery’s business, allowing these smaller breweries to expand their offerings and their distribution ranges.

Many critics of this law are calling it an “extortion fee,” and say it will curb investments in the state and growth in an industry that is taking off all over the United States.

Opponents of the law include some of the state’s Tea Party Republicans, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, some urban Democrats, the Texas Association of Business and the Texas Association of Manufacturing. Proponents of the bill included establishment Republicans and most of the Democrats in the legislature. Craft breweries are now pushing hard on social media and other appeals to get public support to push back against the bill in hopes of a gubernatorial veto.

If your brewery is considering starting a taproom, what happens with this law will be of great interest to you. Many breweries might decide a taproom is no longer worth the expense if these rules stay in place.

For more information, contact a liquor licensing consultant in Dallas, TX with LaBarba Permit Service. We look forward to assisting you.

2018 Forecast: Liquor Business Trends

As we move into a new year, here’s a quick look at what industry experts say 2018 has in store for liquor lovers!

Sustainability

Read: prepare for fewer plastic straws. Does anyone use those? But really, we’re looking at a more systemic shift toward a long-term vision of sustainability that responds to issues including water waste, energy, and local sourcing.

Fermentation

The popularity of kombucha and kefir is seeping into the bar scene. Allegedly this is a good thing.

swift

Bars Within Bars

Mysterious. Like an onion. Those in the know claim that spaces with a “split personality” feel are on the rise. The Millennial version of the speakeasy, it often involves secret rooms and multiple, diverse branding concepts within the same building.

Activist Bartenders

AKA alcohol isn’t all bad. Whether manifesting as fundraising efforts for natural disasters or as the founding of a nonprofit dedicated to protecting traditional distilling methods, prepare to feel good for multiple reasons.

hinoki-kingston-negroni-427

Rise of Italian Spirits

All hail the spritz! Aperol sales are up a whopping 19%, so clearly we’re all craving a taste of la dolce vita lately. Relevant suggestion: next time you’re out, go for the negroni sbagliato, a happy accident of a drink beloved by the Milanesi for decades.

Ready to get in on these trends in Texas? Well, if you want to get through the red tape sometime before the next new year rolls around, your best bet is definitely to give our liquor licensing consultants a call today!

SOURCE: The Spirits Business.

Texas Breweries Take the Distribution Fight to the State Supreme Court: Info from a Liquor Licensing Consultant in Dallas, TX

Several Texas breweries are taking a case to the state Supreme Court that could have a huge impact on the distribution abilities of small craft brewers in the state.

The case began in 2014, when Peticolas Brewing Company (from Dallas), Live Oak Brewing Company (from Austin) and Revolver Brewing (from Granbury) filed a joint lawsuit against the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission (TABC), arguing against the constitutionality of a recently passed law regarding who was able to sell the distribution rights for a brewery.

The legislation was passed in 2013 along with a variety of other regulation reforms to the alcohol industry. Under the mandate, breweries would not be allowed to accept any payment for contracting with a distributor. However, the distributor would be able to get paid if it sold territorial distribution rights to a different distribution company.

A judge sided with the breweries in 2016, but in December 2017, the Texas Third Court of Appeals reversed the local court’s decision, stating that the law does not prevent these breweries from successful operation of their business, and that the law upholds the three-tier system in the beer industry, a system that exists to prevent conflicts of interest between alcohol distributors, manufacturers and retailers.

The Institute of Justice, which is representing the three breweries in the case, quickly released a statement saying it would appeal the decision to the Texas Supreme Court.

An important case for Texas beer and liquor law

This is far from the first incident in which Texas brewers have found themselves at odds with state regulators and major distributors. In many cases, laws that have been in place since Prohibition have not kept up with the industry, which has seen tremendous growth in the craft brewing sector. These smaller breweries feel these laws are outdated and impede small breweries from being able to grow and expand their distribution ranges.

In 2017, for example, there was a tussle between brewers and lawmakers over a “taproom bill.” Under that bill, breweries of a specific size are required to contract with distributors to sell their beer even if it comes directly from their taprooms without the kegs leaving the facility. Critics of the bill have called it a means of extortion and a way for legislators (backed by big-brewery lobbyists) to push back against the sudden massive surge of competition offered by smaller local breweries.

An analysis of campaign contributions in 2017 revealed that major beer executives and distributors spent more than $6 million in Texas alone lobbying political candidates and important PACs.

The breweries argue they should be able to profit from selling their own distribution rights, and the lack of that ability devalues their business and causes them to miss out on millions of dollars they could invest into their companies.

The decision of the Texas Supreme Court could have a major impact on how these types of conflicts are settled in the future.

For more information about these distribution laws and this particular case, contact a liquor licensing consultant in Dallas, TX today.

LaBarba Permit Service: Cutting Red Tape Since 1965℠