Excessive government intervention continues to brew trouble for the Texan beer business.
The Foundation’s Carine Martinez-Gouhier’s recent Austin-American Statesman’s op-ed points out how recent legislation has tightened restrictions on brewer’s direct-to-consumer sales, reinforcing a longstanding posture favoring distributors.
Since Prohibition, laws have kept the three tiers of the alcohol business strictly separated. Of the three tiers—brewers/distillers, distributors, and retailers—the government has repeatedly singled out the distributors for many privileges.
In 2013 a law was passed to allow craft breweries to sell on-location under caps for total barrels produced and sold. However, recent legislation has tightened the production cap, probably resulting in prospective breweries to reconsider coming to Texas.
Martinez-Gouhier explains the law’s consequences, “The higher costs discourage investors from providing new capital to craft brewers. Fewer brewers and taprooms mean fewer jobs for Texas workers — and higher prices for Texas consumers seeking to enjoy their favorite beverages.”
Under this new law, future breweries will have to highly limit how much of their business they can see to other manufacturers and must sell to a distributor and buy the beer back to sell in their taproom.
Breweries with existing taprooms will be grandfathered out of these new restrictions but their sales are still highly limited by other laws. These laws present no benefit to the public or the breweries but do give undue protections to the distributors. In the interest of all beer and liberty loving Texans, these laws should be repealed.