Texas Craft Brewers Guild Supportsthe Filing of SB 752 / HB 2003 Which Would Allow for Legal Home Delivery
AUSTIN, Texas(February 9, 2023) — This week, Texas State Senator Pete Flores (SD 24) and State Representative Shelby Slawson (HD 59) filed SB 752 and HB 2003 for consideration in the 88th Legislative Session. These important companion bills propose to legalize direct to consumer shipping and delivery from Texas breweries and brewpubs, an issue which the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, along with its political action committee arm, CraftPAC, have strongly advocated for as a means of supporting small businesses, increasing consumer choice and convenience, and creating more quality manufacturing jobs for Texans.
Dubbed the “Beer To You” bills, as a follow-up to the Guild’s ultimately successful 2019 campaign around “Beer To Go” (in which Texas became the last state in the country to legalize take-home sales from breweries), these bills seek to level the playing field with Texas wineries, grocery stores, liquor stores, and restaurants who already enjoy legal pathways to get their products on customers’ doorsteps. Currently, breweries and brewpubs are explicitly prohibited from engaging in home delivery, shipping, or even working with third party delivery apps like DoorDash, Grubhub, etc. to pick up from their facilities.
“In an era where consumers can have virtually anything delivered to them with a swipe of a finger, convenience is paramount in the retail market and your license type shouldn’t be the barrier between your product and the customers that want it,” Jon Lamb, owner of Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing Co. and Government Affairs Chair for the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, said. “Unfortunately, that’s how the current laws in Texas are written. You can have wine shipped directly to your doorstep from a Texas winery, a six pack of beer added to your grocery delivery, or a margarita added to your taco and queso order. It’s time to end the prohibition on breweries and brewpubs reaching their customers in this same way.”
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Texas Craft Brewers Guild launched its first petition in support of home delivery and shipping rights for Texas brewers. More than 22,000 Texans signed on in support. While there wasn’t ultimately executive or legislative action for breweries, the Texas Legislature did make temporary pandemic-era delivery privileges for bars and restaurants permanent with the passage of 2021’s House Bill 1024, popularly known as the “Margs to Go” bill.
Still, there’s perhaps no better case study for the economic and tourism impact of direct shipping than the success of the Texas wine industry. In 2005 the Texas Legislature passed a law allowing wineries to ship their products directly to consumers. Today, the state of Texas ranks second in direct wine sales volume with more than 600,000 cases shipped annually direct to wine enthusiasts’ doors. Texas’s wine industry has blossomed exponentially since the passage of this legislation, growing from around 40 wineries in 2005 to more than 400 wineries today, making Texas the 5th largest state for wine production in the United States and an industry with more than $20 billion in total economic impact. This growth is clearly tied to the safe, rational, and direct access to market Texas wineries enjoy and has not stopped Texas wine from finding success through traditional retail channels.
“The Texas Legislature has already demonstrated its support for the safe and legal delivery of alcoholic beverages to Texans’ doorsteps, both in 2005 when shipping was legalized for Texas wineries and then again in 2021 when the Governor’s temporary COVID-19 delivery privileges for bars, restaurants, and other retailers were made permanent,” Texas Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Caroline Wallace said. “With Beer To You, the Texas Legislature has an opportunity to support the growth of beer tourism in Texas as brewery visitors send products home, join beer clubs, and support their favorite small beverage producers regardless of proximity.”
Under SB 752 / HB 2003 brewers would be subject to the same sales requirements and state liquor laws as other industry members currently engaging in home delivery and/or shipping as well as existing sales and barrelage caps in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code.
The craft brewing industry has a $4.9 billion dollar economic impact on the Texas economy, and supports more than 30,000 jobs. Yet, Texas ranks 47th in breweries per capita and 41st in craft beer industry economic impact per capita.
“Texas is a big state,” Wallace said. “And we have a big opportunity to grow if we can continue to fix these kinds of anti-competitive, antiquated laws limiting Texas brewers’ access to market.”
In fact, a recent Brewers Association survey indicated that 92% of regular craft beer consumers would order beer shipments or deliveries from a brewery once a month or more if given the opportunity to do so.
Texans who want to support the fight for Beer To You can visit CraftPAC.org/BeerToYou to take action!
ABOUT THE TEXAS CRAFT BREWERS GUILD: As a member-driven organization, the Texas Craft Brewers Guild fights for the advancement of independent beer brewed in the Lone Star state. Together, we promote, propel, and protect our collective interests while enlisting our fellow Texans to raise a glass and join us. The Guild’s Board of Directors hail from craft breweries in all the major metropolitan regions of the state, as well as different brewery types and sizes to represent the Guild’s over 300 brewery members throughout the state, including operating breweries, as well as those that are in the advanced planning stages. The Guild also welcomes allied trade and retail members who support the craft brewing industry. To learn more about the Texas Craft Brewers Guild visit texascraftbrewersguild.org.
ABOUT CRAFTPAC: CraftPAC is a Texas-based general purpose Political Action Committee (PAC) founded by members of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild. It is a Board of Directors led organization formed to protect the rights of Texas craft breweries and champion common sense, 21st century legislative reforms. To learn more about CraftPAC visit www.craftpac.org.