New legislation could put a cap on the amount of beer craft brewers can produce. House Bill 3287 is headed to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk and brewers across Texas are upset.
Under the bill, brewers would have to sell their beer to a distributor then buy it back to sell it in their own taproom. The bill doesn’t affect everyone, only breweries that get bought out by the big conglomerates and produce more than 175,000 barrels a year. Self-distributing breweries can only self-distribute a total of 40,000 barrels across all locations, anything above that would have to be sold through a distributor.
There are exceptions to the bill, current breweries over the limit are grandfathered in will be able to keep their taproom. Ode Brewery in West El Paso is not affected by the bill but the owners are still against it.
“We’re putting our necks out on the line to try and make something big, brewing isn’t cheap and these big breweries deserve the opportunity to pay back their debt by selling their own product”, says Albert Salinas the Head Brewer/Owner of Ode.
The author of the bill, State Rep. Craig Goldman from Forth Worth says only a small percentage of brewers would be affected and that’s the point. Goldman says the bill is meant to protect the craft beer industry from big corporate companies.