By Feature Writer Gin Benavidez
Y’all, every state has messed up laws when it comes to beer, and Texas is no exception. Our “S” is “effed” as the kids say. I think they say that. I know they love to use single letters as entire words, so that’s probably something they say. Either way, the point is Texas beer laws are wack.
For example, did you know that you still can’t buy kegs from some of your favorite local breweries? Or that, on occasion, a few breweries have to buy their own beer from themselves through a distributor? If you’ve been to a taproom in the recent past, did you have chips or some other snack food forced upon you with your beer purchase? These are all the results of our janky beer laws. And those chips probably came right off of the shoulders of those working in the beer industry, because I know we’re salty as hell about these rules.
However, despite the current beer law ludicrousness, things have actually improved immensely for beer-drinking Texans over the years. Seriously! We have beer-to-go options and real taprooms now, just to name a couple of recent achievements. Used to be (in 1990) if you were a brewery and wanted to sell your beer directly to consumers in Texas, you had to literally own SeaWorld. It’s almost as if super-specific laws like this one were making life for Texas craft breweries difficult on porpoise.
It certainly makes you wonder and it also makes you appreciate the amazing efforts of CraftPAC, a Political Action Committee that supports the Texas Craft Beer industry. CraftPAC has only been around since 2018 and already they’ve made a significant impact on some of these senseless laws. For more fun facts and a history of notable Texas beer laws and advocacy efforts, check out this helpful timeline put together by the Texas Craft Brewers Guild.
If you want to know what you can do to help change Texas beer laws for the better, you can always donate to CraftPAC by visiting https://craftpac.org. And VOTE! Not just in the big, sexy elections, but in every election you’re eligible to vote in. Because these weird beer laws are directly affected by local elections. And if you’re going to cry in your beer about election results, you can at least be happy the beer you’re crying into isn’t a Budweiser at SeaWorld, but rather a glass of your favorite local beer that you were able to take to-go and drink in the comfort of your own home.