Although Texas has a reputation for having one of the most pro-business environments in the country, new laws passed by the state legislature in Austin are suffocating the craft beer industry. Now craft beer brewers are fighting back.
The newly formed CraftPAC, founded by the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, will look to lobby against many of the current laws that make growth in their industry nearly impossible.
One law on the books here in Texas currently prohibits craft breweries from making to-go sales, something that is legal in all other states.
The overregulation doesn’t stop there. Just this past legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill that re-established pre-2013 regulations making craft brewers pay money to large beer distributors for services they don’t need. Though it was opposed fiercely by members of the House Freedom Caucus as well as a few Democrats, House Bill 3287 passed and met no veto challenge from Gov. Greg Abbott.
Under this newly passed law, craft brewers must pay for deliveries, even if they are only a few feet away. Critics of the bill called it an “extortion fee.”
On their website, CraftPAC states:
“Despite the state’s many archaic beer laws, there are now more than 200 breweries operating throughout Texas. It’s a testament to the quality of Texas craft beer, the pioneering spirit of Texas brewers, and the passion and thirst of drinkers that the industry is as successful as it currently is.”
Texas prides itself on being a state that allows businesses to prosper and lets the free market do its job. The legislature should do its job to break up the archaic and protectionist beer laws that have plagued Texas’ craft brewing industry for far too long.

Austin Goss

Austin Goss is the Capitol Correspondent for Empower Texans and Texas Scorecard. Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, Austin is a Christian, soldier in the United States Army Reserves, and a student at the University of Texas at Austin. Follow Austin on Twitter @AG_Legacy


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