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Texas breweries to offer beer-to-go from September

Breweries in Texan will be able to offer beer-to-go for the first time from next month, following a change in the state’s legislation, with beer and wine delivery also now approved.

Currently the rules for beer sales in the state adhere strictly to the three-tier system in which manufacturers make the product, distributors take the products to the market and retailers then sell it to the public. The rationale was ostensibly to prevent any one tier invading the activity of the other two, but although wineries and distilleries are able sell wine and spirits to visitors, visitors to breweries tap rooms did not have the opportunity to buy a case of beer to take home – the only US state where this anomaly existed.

This is set to change next month following the adoption in June of a wider bill relating to the continuation of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which has repealed the anomaly.

According to local title the Texas Tribune, although there was “significant opposition” from the distribution and retail tiers, the parties eventually came to an agreement to allow brewers more access to the retail tier.

Rick Donley, president of the Beer Alliance of Texas, which represents distributors is reported as saying the organisation agreed to a “very limited amount” of beer to be sold per customer per craft brewer.

“Quite frankly, we were just tired of all the negative publicity and people not understanding the nuances of the three-tiered system,” he is reported as saying.

Josh Hare, chairman of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, credited the grass-roots movement of craft beer enthusiasts, consumers and producers working together to effect the change, the Texas Tribune reported.

As well as benefiting consumers, the move is expected to help boost tourism in the state, it added. Rachael Hackathorn, taproom manager at the Austin-based Zilker Brewing Co telling the paper, “For an out-of-town guest to take our beer back home with them and share it with their friends, that’s really what beer culture is about.”

Another bill due to come live in September will allow permits to retailers with a beer and wine retail license, which includes cafes, restaurants and coffee shops, to make alcohol deliveries for booze bought online – although the holder of brewpub licenses will not be able to deliver alcohol for off-premise consumption.

The signing of the bill was tweeted by Governor Greg Abbot in June, and has since attracted more than 40.7K likes.

“I just signed a law allowing you to order beer and wine from retailers to be delivered to your home. Enjoy responsibly. #txlege” he tweeted. 

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