Monthly Archive for December, 2011

It’s Only Just Begun…..

Yesterday the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas handed down its ruling on the joint lawsuit filed back in October of this year against the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission (TABC) by Austin brewery Jester King, Zax Restaurant and Bar and Authentic Beverage. 

Essentially the Federal court states that breweries in Texas can now: label a beer a ‘beer’ and an ale, an ‘ale’, regardless of the ABV; advertise where their beers are sold; as well as describe the alcohol content of their beers with words like ‘strong’. “In a remarkable (though logically dubious) demonstration of circular reasoning” Judge Sparks states in his ruling filed yesterday, the “TABC attempts to defend the constitutional legitimacy of the Code through an appeal to the statutory authority of the Code itself.” Referring to the required use of the terms “beer”, “ale”, and “malt liquor”, he writes “TABC’s argument, combined with artful legislative drafting, could be used to justify any restrictions on commercial speech. For instance, Texas would likely face no (legal) obstacle if it wished to pass a law defining the word ‘milk’ to mean ‘a nocturnal flying mammal that eats insects and employs echolocation.’ Under TABC’s logic, Texas would then be authorized to prohibit use of the word ‘milk’ by producers of a certain liquid dairy product, but also to require Austin promoters to advertise the famous annual ‘Milk Festival’ on the Congress Avenue Bridge.’”

Continue reading ‘It’s Only Just Begun…..’