Scott Metzger of Freetail Brewing has an update on what he and his craft-brewing colleagues have been working on.
Brock Wagner (of Saint Arnold of course) and I have been Co-Chairing the Texas Craft Brewers Guild Legislative Committee and have come a long way. There is still a ton of work to do, and nothing is certain, but I feel better about our chances than ever before. For the first time this issue is being tackled from the perspective of economic development and helping Texas-born businesses flourish. From that angle, there is really no denying that changes must be made to grant Texas craft brewers greater access to market.
The Texas Craft Brewers Guild has released this position paper laying out our legislative agenda. Specifically, we have four goals (all equal in importance):
- Gain the ability for packaging breweries to sell their products to consumers on the premise of their breweries
- Gain the ability for brewpubs to sell to the wholesale tier
- Protect small brewer’s existing rights to self-distribute
- Achieve these goals while protecting the integrity and viability of the 3-tier system
As I wrote here last November, protecting a viable, independent 3-tier system is vital for the health of the craft brewing industry. Without independent wholesalers, craft beer would never see the light of the shelves or taps we’d be stuck in a world without the wide variety of choices we enjoy today.
See here for more about their economic impact study. I’m less sanguine about the three-tier system than they are, but if they’ve found a way to overcome the resistance to any change while living within that system and not making it any harder for further newcomers to the industry, then who am I to complain? I wish them all the best of luck next year.