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Excitement brewing for local businesses after passage of TABC sunset bill

Posted at 5:45 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 19:31:09-04

It’s been an uphill battle, but Texas breweries are one step closer to being allowed to sell beer to-go.

The state Senate passed the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission sunset bill Wednesday.

Texas is the only state that does not allow the sale of beer to-go, and craft beer lovers have lobbied for that to change throughout the 86th Legislative Session.

The suds aren’t flowing just yet, but Texas brewmasters call the Senate’s vote one that was long overdue.

Some even referred to state laws regulating alcohol sales as archaic.

“It’s really a step in the right direction. We’ve had these outdated laws that have been in effect for a while now, and we have a really good Texas Brewers Guild that has really pushed for this new bill to go,” Hector Cavazos said.

The TABC sunset bill, which began as just draft legislation, proposes that breweries be allowed to sell their products on-site in packaged form, such as cans, bottles and small containers called growlers.

“One of the big things that they want to do when they go and visit a brewery is they want be able to purchase the beer, take it with them, and not be told that they have to go to a grocery store to pick it up,” Varian Criser said.

Criser owns Lorelei Brewing Company and Cavazos owns Rebel Toad Brewing. Both believe this change will allow them to tap into the national market and draw a round of interest to the Coastal Bend.

“It’s going to create a buzz for beer drinkers and people that are interested in beer and it’ll probably increase a little bit,” Cavazos said.

“It will create more of a tourist attraction for people of knowing that, ‘Oh hey, my buddy visited that brewery, brought me back some beer and next time I’m in the area I’m gonna swing by because it was great’,” Criser said.

Now the TABC sunset bill just has to be signed by Governor Greg Abbott for the beer-to-go policy to become law. If approved, that law would go into effect on Sept. 1.