Craft Brewers, Consumers, and other players in the Texas Beer Industry Comfortable with Package of Bills
The House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures held a hearing yesterday that laid out the negotiated package of craft beer bills that the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce passed last week (here is the summary on each bill). Open the Taps testified in support of the primary four bills yesterday but was silent on the fifth bill in the package (SB 639/HB 1538) as we continue to believe the first four bills are in the best interest of beer consumers while the fifth bill specifically addresses issues between craft brewers and beer distributors. Somewhat surprisingly, nobody testified in opposition to any of the bills.
The bottom line is that we believe these bills (once signed into law) will move the craft beer industry forward with much more consumer and business-friendly laws (see the specific benefits we posted last week). If these laws work as well as we hope, by the time the Texas Legislature comes back in 2015, there could be double the number of craft brewers in Texas. The more successful brewers and consumers of craft beer in Texas, the more political strength we will have to make additional changes that facilitate growth in the craft beer industry.
We expect the full Senate to pass these bills by the end of this week, and by all indications, we may be through the House and on to the Governor’s desk by mid-April. We could not have made this much progress so quickly without the dedicated support of each of you who called, emailed, wrote and spoke directly with your elected officials and their staffs. We have shown that real grassroots consumer movements can influence public policy and we will continue to push our agenda. Cheers!