Two bills would make it legal for Texas breweries to sell beer-to-go
Take a trip to Austin Beer Works and you can go home with plenty of souvenirs, like one of their coolers, glassware, or even a piñata. But there's one thing you can't leave with: their beer. That's because it's illegal for breweries in Texas to sell beer-to-go.
"We turn away no less than 150 - 200 a week that ask for a six pack to go," said William Golden, co-owner and director of brewing operations at Austin Beer Works.
State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez has filed HB 672 in hopes of changing that. "If you go to a winery, you can go to the winery, taste wine there, buy a bottle or two to go," he said. "If you go to the distillery, it's the exact same thing."
The same goes for brewpubs, except they're much more limited in the amount of beer they can produce and have to pay for a special license so you can leave with beer on your way out. "For whatever reason, Texas is the only state in the entire United States where you can't do that at a brewery," Rodriguez said.
He hopes to even the playing field. A similar bill was filed in the Texas Senate by Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway). "Over $4.5 billion of positive economic impact is due to breweries, craft breweries throughout the state of Texas, so it will only increase that if they can sell directly to the consumer," Rodriguez said.
Golden says it would be more than just a convenience for customers. "They would be able to take a small amount of that beer that we would not be able to distribute out into the market because of the size of the batch," Golden said.