Distributors and major brewers kill bill to allow sic-pack and tour sales
Predictably, a bill in Texas that would have allowed Texas breweries to charge for tours and then allow visitors to take home up to a 12-pack worth of beer died in the House without a vote.
The Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas (WBDT) perceived this as a threat and demanded an amendment so that the bill would only apply to breweries producing 75,000 barrels annually, which excluded Anheuser-Busch InBev. Never mind that Anheuser-Busch does not offer tours.
Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner helped Representative Jessica Farrar author the bill, and has pushed for similar legislation in past sessions. He tweeted; “HB602 is dead. So close. Thanks to all who helped push it this far. Cause of death: pissing match between A-B & distributors.”
The bill got further than any past attempt at similar legislation, but nonetheless died when Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst refused to recognize Senate sponsor Eddie Lucio Jr. to bring it to a vote.
“What bothers me is that beer tourism is growing,” he said. “People come to Texas and visit breweries. We’re going to get 100,000 people through our building this year. It would increase sales, it would make it a better experience for the tourists, and it would be good for the Texas economy in so many ways. It’s very frustrating when you’re stymied,” Wagner was quoted as saying in a local newspaper.
Expect Wagner and Texas craft brewers to be back again.