Texas Senate OKs New Beer Distribution Rules

AUSTIN (March 25, 2013)—A bill approved Monday in the Texas Senate by a 31-0 vote on Monday, makes changes to the beer industry's pricing structure that would accompany an overhaul of regulations that apply only to craft breweries.

The bill still must win approval in the House.

Current laws prohibit pubs such as Freetail of San Antonio from packaging their beer for retail stores and also prevent breweries such as St. Arnold's of Houston from selling beer to tour visitors.

The fight split the state's distributors, who have long held sway with lawmakers.

In a compromise, brewpubs and small breweries would pay $250 for licenses to sell their beer directly to consumers.

Brewpubs would be limited to selling 1,000 barrels a year and they would only be allowed to sell their own beers.

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