SAN ANTONIO -

Texas craft beer brewers are celebrating a victory as several new laws went into effect.

The laws approved by the legislature make it easier for the brewers to get their products to consumers.

"We've only been in the industry a couple of years, but everyone is saying that this is the biggest step forward in quite some time," said Mark McDavid, co-owner of Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling.

McDavid and his business partners hope to take advantage of the new laws that will allow them to sell their craft beers directly to visitors.

Before the laws took effect, production breweries like Ranger Creek could only distribute their beers to retailers. Now they can sell it by the pint in their tasting room where they used to give it away along with a small tour fee.

"What they do for us is open up a whole new revenue stream," McDavid said, adding there are still some limitations. "We still can't sell beer to go, so you won't be able to buy a bottle from us, or fill a growler or buy a keg but we still think it's a huge step forward to be able to sell beer by the pint here."

The changes also mean local brew pubs like Blue Star and Freetail can now bottle, can and distribute their beers to retailers. Under the old laws they could only sell the beer where it was made.

Craft brewers have been pushing for the changes for years and finally got what they wanted.

"The industry got organized and we made a compelling business argument," McDavid said. "Part of it was also timing in that the industry has matured enough to where there's enough breweries and we have enough of a voice."

Currently only open to the public on Saturdays, McDavid and his partners are thinking about expanding those hours.

"The laws just got passed last week so hopefully we'll have something up soon," McDavid said. "We're still talking about how it's going to look."

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