Bottoms up! House gives OK to craft brewing overhaul
May 20, 2013 at 5:03 p.m.
A five pack of bills now awaiting the governor's approval would bring sweeping changes to the Texas craft brewing industry. The legislation, which state Sen. Kevin Eltife says offers new economic development opportunities, won final approval today in the Texas House.
Senate Bill 639, by Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, and Senate Bills 515, 516, 517 and 518, by Eltife, R-Tyler, give craft brewers more flexibility in selling the beer they produce in exchange for certain concessions to beer distributors.
"Breweries around the state will become tourist destinations similar to the wine industry, providing a strong tax base for local communities and the state," Eltife said in a prepared statement.
<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/2013/05/20/house-approves-craft-brewing-overhaul/" target="_blank">According to the Texas Tribune</a>, the bills represent the largest overhaul of the industry in Texas since the Legislature legalized brewpubs in 1993. Under the new regulatory scheme, brewpubs and craft brewers would be allowed more flexibility to sell their products - privileges beermakers have sought for more than a decade.