A tentative deal on the table within the Senate Business and Commerce Committee would allow craft breweries in Texas to sell directly to visiting customers and allow brew pubs to sell their product in grocery stores, bars, and restaurants.
The deal is the result of a roughly decade-long effort made in part by the founder and CEO of San Antonio’s Freetail Brewing Company, Scott Metzger.
“This year was the biggest push we’ve ever made and it looks like we pushed to the finish line,” Metzger said during a phone interview with KSAT 12 News that he did from Austin, where he’s spent the last several days hammering out a compromise with industry stakeholders.
Metzger, who serves as the legislative chairman for the Craft Brewers Guild, joined Saint Arnold’s Brewing Company of Houston in the push for new legislation.
The deal, says Metzger, doubles the amount of product Texas brew pubs can sell annually and allows the size of craft breweries to increase five-fold, which puts Texas on a level playing field with craft brewing in other states.
"It lets the craft beer culture in this state be driven by the products in this state," said Metzger.
Staff with Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-Dist. 26, who is a coauthor of the legislation, say that the Senate Business and Commerce Committee recommended the bills be put on the Senate's Local and Uncontested Calendar.
That means that unless lawmakers request a full vote in the senate, the legislation could be voted on within that committee.
It must then move on to the House for a vote before it can be signed into law by the governor.