I rarely write a true editorial these days. My coverage of the adult beverage world typically comprises books and research articles. However, in light of yesterday’s momentous day, I felt the need to share my personal thoughts.
How did we get here?
Trying to modernize beer laws in Texas has been an arduous journey over the last 10 years. Until 2011, most of the industry did not think change was possible. Distributors were locked into contracts with the big breweries, and any change to the laws that affected distributors and macro brewers was shut down before a bill could even be introduced. Attempts were made in 2007 and 2009 to pass bills that allowed beer-to-go (taking purchased beer home from a brewery), on-premise consumption (drinking beer from the brewery at the brewery), truth in labeling, and even the right to tell consumers where a brewery’s beer could be purchased. Always to no avail. The old boys club between some legislators and distributors (the biggest bully being the Wholesale Distributors of Texas) was just too powerful.