Session Update: 5-13-2015

UPDATE: Politics and More Politics

Hello Open The Taps members!

I want to open this update with a huge ‘thank you’ to each and every one of you. You share our passion that the foundation for a thriving beer culture in the state of Texas starts with a focus on consumers. That passion fuels our organization’s work both in Austin and across the Lone Star State. Thank you!

This is a long update – so I’m breaking it into three parts:

One – brief […]

ACTION ALERT: HB 2546 by Rep. Springer needs our help

ACTION ALERT: HB 2546 by Rep. Springer needs our help

We have learned that the Beer Alliance lobbyists are actively working members of the Calendars Committee to keep HB 2546 from being considered by the full House of Representatives. They have no real policy argument, only saying they “gave enough” last session and do not want anything related to the craft beer industry to pass.

Again, this bill will simply allow homebrew competitions to be held wherever appropriate, regardless if the location […]

HB2546 Update: Homebrew Bill Moving to the House!

Two days ago, HB 2546, Rep. Drew Springer’s (R-68) bill to ease homebrewing restrictions had a hearing in the Licensing and Administrative Procedures committee. The hearing was short and sweet, which is just how everyone likes it if the results are favorable.

And they were! Today, the committee has announced that HB 2546 “Relating to the location of home-produced wine, ale, malt liquor or beer competitions” was voted favorably from the committee and will have its chance on the House floor.

Now […]

Action Alert – Homebrew bill: Hearing set!

Next week,  HB 2546 (the homebrew bill) has a hearing set in the House! This is great progress toward getting this bill passed. The hearing is on Monday, April 14, 2015, at 2 PM.

Leading up to the hearing, we need you guys to reach out to the committee members and ask them, politely and respectfully, to SUPPORT HB 2546

Chair: Rep. Wayne Smith (512) 463-0733
Vice Chair: Rep. Roland Gutierrez (512) 463-0452
Rep. Charlie Geren (512) 463-0610
Rep. Craig Goldman (512) 463-0608
Rep. Ryan Guillen (512) […]

OTT Response to Beer Lobby on Public Radio

Just want to clarify a few points in our post. It isn’t clear to all who we are mentioning and their allegiances. Sometimes we forget how in the weeds we are with beer laws!

Mr. Vallhonrat, mentioned below, is the executive director of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild. He was mentioned only to set the stage for the radio segment that aired today.  The one where the consumers weren’t heard from. We have and will continue to work hard with our […]

CALL TO ACTION for SB1386 Update (Off-Premise Brewery Sales)

SB 1386, the bill that would allow consumers to buy directly from breweries for off-premise consumption, is currently delayed.

OTT members and friends:

As you may have seen on Twitter or Facebook, the planned-for-today Senate hearing for SB 1386 was postponed, and we need your help to get it back on track!

Just to recap: SB 1386 would allow consumers to purchase up to two cases of beer per month directly from breweries (think of special, limited releases or a six-pack after a […]

ACTION ALERT!!! OFF-PREMISE bill to get a hearing in the Texas Senate!

Time to light up the phone lines fellow craft beer drinkers! SB 1386 by Chairman Eltife has been POSTED for a hearing on Tuesday morning at 8am in the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce.

We know it is tough to get to Austin to testify in support, so we need your help to ring the bell with the Committee members.

This bill is not the unlimited off-premise approach that we advocated for (individuals will be limited to purchasing no more than […]

Update: 2015 Session (3.18.15)

Since our last post on HB 3389 and our latest newsletter, here is what has developed:

We have a bill filed with Representative Springer for homebrewing issues ‪- HB2546‬

Representative Senfronia Thompson has implied she will not move forward with HB 3389, see her statement here.

A little background:

Our lobbyist talked directly with Rep. Thompson’s staff regarding this bill and we are happy to report that they have no intention of asking for a committee hearing or any further action on this bill (that means […]

HB 3389

If you haven’t seen the news going around social media today, Representative Senfronia Thompson of Houston filed a bill yesterday  that DECREASES the amount of beer a brewery may self-distribute (from 40,000 to 5,000 barrels).

OTT is disappointed with Representative Thompson’s attempt to stunt the growth of the craft beer industry in Texas. This deeply flawed legislation would reverse the progress we have made in Texas and punish small businesses in the process.

While we can’t answer for Representative Thompson as to WHY […]

Update: 2015 Session (3.10.15)

The 2015 Session is finally underway. 

Committees have been chosen and now it’s time to get to work filing bills.

A quick note on the Committee selections –
(For information on the Committee members, see our website – here.)

On the Senate side, Eltife’s no-surprise Business and Commerce Committee Chair appointment is a good thing for us. Last session, he was the Sponsor for bills SB515-518. We have also had positive discussions with his staff about the session and consumer issues.

On the House side, Chair of Licensing and […]