S.A. beer brewers excited about Texas House vote

Representatives okayed new rules for distributors

Published On: May 17 2013 09:42:10 PM CDT   Updated On: May 17 2013 10:26:59 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

Small beer brewers declared victory Friday after the Texas House approved new rules that would overhaul regulations that apply only to craft breweries.

"It's a longtime coming," said Joey Villarreal, owner of the Blue Star Brewing Company. "It's great to see that common sense prevailed and we're all excited."

Current laws not only prohibit pubs from packaging their beer for retail stores, they also prevent breweries from selling beer to tour visitors.

Under the new law, places like the Blue Star Brewing Company in San Antonio could actually sell kegs to other restaurants and bars.

"We don't have to say no, that Texas law doesn't allow us to do that," said Villarreal. "We can deliver a keg of beer and that just sounds like common sense, but believe it or not, it was a reality in Texas until today that we could do that. So, this is just a very exciting time right now."

Travis Poling with Beer Across Texas said the new rules will really help local breweries take off.

"What it essentially does is it allows these businesses to reach consumers much more readily," said Poling. "And we're probably going to see Texas turn into a craft beer state much like Colorado and California."

"I think it's going to be good for local brewers," said Villarreal. "And, maybe there will be more opening, more people making beers here in Texas. I think it's just great."

The bills already passed the Senate in March.

The bills have to go through a third reading and clear a final House vote next week before heading to Governor Rick Perry's desk.

For a list of recent stories Stephanie Serna has done, click here.