It’s been just over a week now since history was made for beer in Texas, specifically the craft beer industry. On May 21st, the State House of Representatives passed the ‘craft beer bills’ Senate Bills (SB) 515-518 and 639 that will forever change the landscape of beer in Texas.
The House floor voted to pass these bills, following what the Senate had already done weeks earlier. Here’s a look at the effect these bills will have:
•Brewpubs will now be allowed to produce up to 10,000 barrels, up from the current 5,000.
•Brewpubs will now be allowed to sell to wholesale distributors.
•Brewpubs that sell just alcoholic beverages made on-premise can self-distribute up to 1,000 barrels each year. They are still allowed to carry guest taps.
If a brewpub sells only beer and wine they can self-distribute, but if they serve spirits as well, they will only be able to sell to a distributor.
SB 516 and 517
•Craft breweries with an annual production of 125,000 barrels or less can purchase a $250 distributing permit to self-distribute up to 40,000 barrels.
Currently only the Spoetzel brewery (producers of Shiner), ABInbev and MillerCoors produce more than 125,000 in Texas. Many are nowhere close to this amount.
•Production breweries with an annual production of 125,000 barrels or less can sell up to 5,000 barrels on-site each year for on-site consumption.
Production breweries are still be bared from on-site sales for off-site consumption.
•Allows for the ability of one distributor to sell their territorial rights to another distributor.
•Makes the sale of territorial distribution rights by breweries to distributors illegal, thus putting into law a practice that has been vague for years.
•Prohibits Reach Back Pricing, but still allows set prices as they wish, but they can not take into consideration what the distributor would charge a retailer.
•Allows for agreements between distributors and breweries that would allow for things such as kickbacks and money from advertising and promotions.
Now that the House and Senate have giving their blessing, it’s on to the Governor for his signature, which technically isn’t needed, as the bills would become law on June16 even without a signature. The only thing that could stop this is a veto from Gov. Perry, a move that many don’t see as likely.
Up and coming events
The Grille at La Cantera is at it again this month with yet another dinner paired with great craft beer. This time teaming up with Austin’s Jester King Craft Brewery.
Course 1: Le Petit Prince paired with Blue Point Oyster, Citrus Jelly, Jicama Watermelon Watercress Sorrel Salad, House Made Jalapeno Potato Chips
Course 2: Das Wunderkind paired with Black Cod Brandade, Smoked Tomatillo Jam, Sour Dough Croistini
Course 3: Salt Lick paired with Braised Grass Fed Beef Tongue, Apple Malt Demi, Toasted Barley Smoked Pecan Gouda Dumpling, Pea Tendrils, Citrus Buttered Heirloom Carrots.
Courese 4: Gotlandsdricka paired with Grilled Black Bread Pork Belly Sandwich, Harvarti Cheese, “Beerkraut” Sweet Potato Steak Fries, Alder Smoked Sea Salt, Maple Demi
Course 5: Mad Meg paired with Caramel Goat Cheese Tart, Dark Cherry Ice Cream.
Tickets are $55 and can be obtained by calling 210-558-6500.
San Antonio’s own Branchline Brewing Co hosts its monthly ‘Happy Hour’ tomorrow May 30th from 6-9pm at the brewery. A toned down and more intimate version of their open houses with beers from local homebrewers featured each month. Buy a glass for $10 and get 3 samples of their brew along with a personalized tour.