Don't mess with Texas beer: New bill may raise craft beer prices

Jeff Ehling Image
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Controversial bill could mean higher prices for craft beer
Texans could have to shell out more for their craft beer.

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- The State House has passed a bill that might make you pay more for your favorite beer.

There is trouble brewing in the craft beer business, and it would make buying a glass of beer in a brewery taproom more expensive.

As it stands right now, breweries can sell beer in their own taprooms without a middle man.

But if a recent house bill passes, brewers would have to sell the beer to a distributor, then buy it back in order to sell the beer in the brewery's own taproom.

The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill that would require the extra step for brewers who produce more than 225,000 barrels of beer a year, which only impacts large craft brewers right now.

Brewers say taproom sales are a big part of their business model and help them market their beers to customers. They add if breweries have to sell then buy back their own beer to serve to customers, it will mean a price hike for consumers.

"There is absolutely no benefit to any consumer, to any business in the state of Texas with the exception of distributors if this passed," said Brock Wagner, of St. Arnold's Brewery.

The state senate has a similar bill that has not passed yet. Beer makers are telling beer drinkers to call their elected officials to voice their concerns.

Brewers also point out that less than one percent of beer sold in Texas is sold in brewery taprooms.

Report a typo to the ABC13 staff