Okay okay, I’ve been slacking… big time. No posts since July? Pathetic. Not to make excuses, but I have been busy with getting a new website up and running (check it out if you haven’t already: www.freetailbrewing.com), starting the long-awaited Online Store, the new beer board, about to unveil an app, insane bottle releases, and then the every day workings of a Texas brewpub.
With that said, I haven’t been slacking on the legislative front, and neither have my colleagues. I’m very happy to report that we’ve been engaged in discussions with legislators, wholesalers, retailers, big brewers and other industry stakeholders to discuss changes to the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Code which would get Freetail beers (and other brewpub beers) into the hands of distributors (and eventually retailers, then eventually you) and get you the ability to buy beer at a brewery.
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.
I promise I’ll do better updating going forward, but if I’m not updating then it means I’m busy fighting hard for the changes we all want to see!