Texans Can Buy Beer Directly from Breweries Starting This Fall
The governor signed a bill making Texas the final state in the country to allow these kinds of sales starting September 1.
If you don’t follow the beer world closely, it’s easy to simply look around and notice, there are a lot of new breweries. That is true: The trade group the Brewers Association pegged that number at 7,450 at the end of 2018, an all-time high, and 85 percent of drinking age Americans now live within 10 miles of a brewery. But interestingly enough, overall beer sales are actually down, and many larger breweries are struggling. So what’s changed isn’t so much how much people love beer, but how people consume beer. More than ever, Americans are getting their beer directly from the brewery. And though plenty of factors play into that trend, one is very straightforward: Many states have changed their laws, making it easier to sell directly to drinkers. Not only does this tighten brewery’s relationships with their customers, but it also boosts their profit margins on beer sales (by not having to give a cut to a distributor or retailer) which makes it easier for small breweries to stay in business.
So on Monday, when Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the Beer To Go bill into law, on its surface, it sounds fun and convenient. And in fact, on Twitter, he even framed it that way by speaking only to one part of the bill: That it will allow beer delivery.
But for breweries, the law has an even bigger impact: As the Houston Chronicle reports, starting on September 1, the new law will also allow customers to buy beer – such as bottles, cans, growlers, or crowlers – to take home from Texas breweries, the equivalent of up to a case of beer per day. Important to note is that Texas was the last state in the country to not allow these kinds of to-go purchases. Previously, only brewpubs with certain licenses were allowed these kinds of off-premise sales.
According to 2017 data from the Brewers Association, Texas had 283 craft breweries, ranking it 11th in total number but just 46th per capita. Providing breweries with this additional (and very profitable) revenue stream will definitely help small breweries and could even encourage the number of breweries in the state to grow. On the fun and convenient side, if you know what brand of beer you want, Texans can now just go directly to the source.