On Tuesday the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, the trade organization that represents more than 200 independent breweries in Texas, launched ‘CraftPac’ a political action committee aimed at fixing laws on the books that prevent Texas breweries from expanding and reaching their full potential.
The fight to update these laws, which have been on the books since Prohibition, has been ongoing for decades, though we can point to 2011 when we saw the first big push in modern Texas to change them. Brewers around the state even formed Texas Craft Beer Freedom to help raise awareness amongst beer consumers in the Lone Star State. Despite these efforts, that year saw incredible push back from the big macro brewers and distributor lobbies, keeping any move toward modernization in the proverbial closet. This defeat saw lawsuits filed against the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission, hoping to change the laws that could not be done legislatively and some victory was seen.
Not ones to give up, the State’s brewers continued with the campaign for education to show just how these archaic beer laws were and how much of a stranglehold they were placing on small business in Texas. They were joined by the grassroots consumer advocacy group Open The Taps, who formed in 2011 in response to the legislative defeat, and together with a few friendly distributors, were able to make some headway in 2013 having a few laws changed for the better.
Though some advancement was seen in 2013, a little was lost as well. When the 2015 and 2017 legislative sessions rolled around, the states small and independent brewers saw more inaction. With Open The Taps fading and the distributor lobbies doubling down, it was difficult to see what could be done. With the launch of CraftPac, we have a combined group representing the State’s brewers and consumers, giving both a legislative voice and show our State’s leaders that they cannot ignore an industry that has a 4.5 billion dollar impact on the Texas economy.
For more information, check out the Texas Craft Brewers Guild website.