Legislative Victory for Texas Beer

Categories: Brew Blog

StArnold kMatherly.jpg
kMatherly
Cheers indeed. Local breweries celebrate a win in the House of Representatives.

Just as we were bemoaning the huge, wet bite the IRS took out of our savings account, along comes an example of tax dollars being put to good use. On April 21 the office of State Representative Jessica Farrar (D, Houston, District 148) sent out a press release announcing the passage of HB 602 in the Texas House of Representatives, a huge hurdle in the campaign to allow Texas breweries to provide beer for off-premise consumption. In layman's terms, tours of local breweries hope to send you off with a six-pack souvenir of freshly brewed beer to be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home.

Farrar released a statement following the passage of the bill, saying, "It is well past time for Texas to take steps to support this growing industry. HB 602 will allow more Texans--as well as those lucky enough to visit Texas--the opportunity to take home samples of the fine craft brews that reflect the independence and creativity of Texas craft brewers."

As we reported in February, Brock Wagner, founder of Houston's own Saint Arnold Brewing Company, was instrumental in perfecting the language of HB 602 and similar versions in the past. On the recent victory for beer in Austin, Wagner said, "HB 602 being approved by the House was a huge step forward. I'm not really sure what is going to happen in the Senate since we have never gotten this far previously. We are trying to make phone calls and get people to contact their senators to express the importance of supporting this bill. And we still need the governor's signature too," adding, "I don't take anything for granted."

When asked if there were any plans for a celebration at the brewery if the measure becomes law, Wagner responded, "Our position is one of cautious optimism. We haven't planned any big celebrations since we're not there yet. But if HB 602 does become law, I guarantee that we will be throwing some kind of a party!" Now there's a reason to contact your local state senate representative! (If you're not sure exactly who that is, click here.



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6 comments
Paul Hightower
Paul Hightower

"Huge step forward"? No, HB602 is more like an amendment to a tiny step we already almost had. Very little truly changes if it passes.

SirRon
SirRon

Oh fantastic. Here come the gangs.

Chas
Chas

No celebrating until Governor Goodhair signs the legislation. It's very difficult to predict what he'll veto.

SirRon
SirRon

For one, now St. Arnold will be able to legally charge you to get in the door :)

Lauren Marmaduke
Lauren Marmaduke

It's like Mr. Miyagi told Daniel-san - "First learn stand, then learn fly."

They have trying to get similar pieces of legislation passed for years, but it's never even gotten past the House because the distributors have lobbied against it. This time they have the backing of the distribution lobby. Yes, it's a small step, but change often has to happen that way (especially legislative change).

SirRon
SirRon

A lot changes actually, even though it is a small step. This is huge for smaller breweries.

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