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Texas Introduces Brand-New “Beer to Go” Legislation

Fans of craft beer and local breweries rejoice: as of September 1, you’ll finally be able to purchase cases of your favorite craft beer at brewery taprooms, and even order beer and wine for delivery. This is thanks to a pair of laws passed earlier this year by the Texas state legislature, which reverse some long-outdated liquor laws associated with the system of beer and liquor licenses in Texas.

There has been a big beer-to-go movement for some time in Texas. Fans of craft brewing and business owners in the craft brewing industry say it will improve business and tourism throughout the state, and give local brewers more of a chance to show off what they’re capable of doing. People who visit breweries will be able to take beer home with them to share with someone else from out of town, and word can continue to spread about what they’re making.

The Texas liquor system

There are three primary tiers to beer sales in Texas. You have the manufacturers (breweries) that make the product, the distributors who deliver it to the retailers and the retailers who sell it to customers. Under the old law, breweries were not allowed to directly sell their beer, because they were required to have a distributor.

According to craft breweries, this hampered their ability to generate sales because it added what would be, for the smaller breweries, an unnecessary cost. Beer distributors, meanwhile, were often opposed to the new beer-to-go laws, saying that it could disrupt the beer market in the state and that there should be a clear separation of the three tiers of beer sales to prevent one tier from having control over the activities of the others.

Finally, though, the brewers and distributors were able to reach an agreement to give brewers more of an ability to sell their own beers. This was in part due to all the negative publicity focused on the distributors, according to the president of the Beer Alliance of Texas.

The compromise that the two sides reached allows breweries to sell a very limited amount of beer per customer per brewery. Representatives from the Texas Craft Brewers Guild said craft beer enthusiasts from both within and outside of the state played a major role in getting the law changed, thanks to the tremendous demand for beer to go.

Considering the craft beer boom that Texas is going through, this is great news for all the small, local breweries that have popped up in the state in recent years. In a microcosm of what’s happening around the country right now, the number of craft breweries in the state has gone from 59 to 283 in the last eight years alone.

If you’re interested in learning more about liquor laws in the state of Texas and what you need to do to secure a beer and liquor license in Texas for your business, we encourage you to contact LaBarba Permit Service today. We’d be happy to answer any questions and explain how we can assist you in the process.

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