At State Conventions, Parties Show Bipartisan Support For Granting Manufacturing Breweries the Same Rights as Breweries in 49 Other States
As the 2018 Midterm Elections and 2019 Legislative Session approach, Texas Democrats and Republicans have included planks in their party platforms supporting expanded rights for Texas craft breweries. As the only state in the country to disallow beer-to-go sales from manufacturing craft breweries, Texas Republicans, holding their convention in San Antonio June 14-16, and Democrats, holding theirs in Fort Worth June 21-23, have agreed that this needs to change.
“The craft brewing industry has a $4.54 Billion impact on the Texas economy and represents a growing manufacturing industry for our state,” Texas Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Charles Vallhonrat said. “This is a Bipartisan issue. While both parties may have different approaches, they share clear, unequivocal support for beer-to-go sales directly from manufacturing craft breweries. This is a right exercised by breweries in 49 other states, and one we strongly hope to see extended to Texans in the 2019 Legislative Session. That both parties are expressing support for this issue in their platforms demonstrates the bipartisan grassroots momentum around this issue leading into next session.”
Under current Texas law, wineries, distilleries, and brewpubs are allowed to sell some quantity of their products to-go from their tasting rooms, leaving manufacturing craft breweries as the only local makers in the Texas alcohol beverage industry who do not have the right to sell packaged products to a tasting room patron for take-home enjoyment. This discrepancy robs Texas craft breweries of a valuable revenue stream and an important brand building opportunity.
While Texas boasts over 250 breweries and brewpubs, the state still ranks 46th when it comes to breweries-per-capita. Texas craft brewers believe that modernizations to the Texas Three-Tier System, including allowing beer-to-go sales from craft breweries, will lead to more entrepreneurism, economic development, tourism, and quality manufacturing and small business jobs.
Republican Platform Language:
34. Three-Tier Alcohol System: We urge the Texas Legislature to adopt legislation eliminating the mandatory three-tier system of alcohol production, distribution, and retail. Texans should have the freedom to purchase alcohol directly from manufacturers, just as any other retail product.
Democratic Platform Language:
(Jobs Section) Democrats support modernizing the TABC’s 3 tier system because Texas’s craft breweries create jobs, encourage tourism, grow the economy, revitalize communities and add incremental tax revenues. Democrats support legislation allowing craft breweries to enjoy the same rights as their competitors in every state that allow them to sell and market their products directly from their breweries to consumers for take-home consumption, and ensure fairness in distribution across the state.