Craft breweries have grown tremendously in popularity over the past few years, appealing to drinkers across the United States who would rather spend more money on a better-tasting beer than drink more watered-down beer in the name of catching a buzz.
Currently, breweries across the state of Texas are not allowed to sell cans or bottles of beers to customers for their consumption outside those breweries’ grounds. These take-home bottles and cans are better known as beer-to-go across the state of Texas.
Unfortunately for relatively small brewers, those that produce fewer than 225,000 barrels of booze each year can’t sell any more than 5,000 barrels of that beer directly from their manufacturing facilities. Those barrels of beer must be distributed inside breweries’ official tasting rooms, which are given to consumers under the guise that they must consume the beer on those breweries’ properties.
You might be surprised to learn that Texas is the only state across the United States that does not allow these undersized breweries to sell bottles and cans of their products in beer-to-go form.
Believe it or not, manufacturers of wine and liquor can sell bottles of their products in to-go form. For some odd reason, beer manufacturers have been left out of being able to sell pre-packaged beers from their brewing facilities.
It likely won’t come as a surprise to learn that the majority of beer-related rules in the state of Texas are based in laws constructed and implemented during the prohibition of alcohol across the United States from 1920 to 1933. You might also hear laws from this era referred to as blue laws.
As the number of active, registered craft breweries across the Lone Star State has increased dramatically since the turn of the decade, people involved in the trade have publicly lobbied for Texas to modify its laws to help these entities do better business, in turn generating more tax dollars for the state of Texas and its municipalities.
In 2011, the Brewers Association of Texas reported that only 59 craft breweries were in operation across all of Texas. Since then, more than 200 craft breweries have entered the craft brewing frenzy, with Texas being home to well over 250 of these breweries as of Jan. 2019.
Two bills that would grant craft breweries the ability to sell beer-to-go are currently in line to be heard in the state’s legislature.