Members of the Texas House of Representatives, moustaches a twirlin’, rushed House Bill 3287 through for a vote late last week. The Texas Craft Brewers Guild tried to throw its body in front of it at the last second, but there was nothing to be done. The bill now moves to the Senate. Below are some details covered under a thick layer of our snark.
What the bill does
Mostly, it pleases the well-connected wholesaler buddies of those holding political office. That part isn’t specifically written into the language of the bill, but there are few other ways to interpret the actual language of the bill, which would require craft breweries who produce (or will produce in the future) 175,000 barrels of beer per year, and want to keep their taprooms open, to pay Texas wholesalers a fee for the right.
Let’s repeat that. A larger, growing craft brewer with a fully functioning taproom would, at that size limit, then need to pay a third-party — that is totally uninvolved with the sales of the product from this location, which is its own location — for the right to continue to do so.
I mean. What?
Oh hey, and you might not believe this, but two other amendments that would have been inconvient for distributors were removed from the original bill, according to the Houston Chronicle. One would have “forced distributors, once they bought the beer, to take it to a warehouse before delivering it back to the brewery.” But why even pretend that work is being done here? So that was nixed. The other amendment would have “forbidden distributors who merely collect their payment without touching the beer from charging more than an administrative fee.” But why limit their ability to make more money for nothing? That’s not the point here. Silly gooses.
The bill was supposed to be aimed at any craft brewery that was purchased by a large outside company — which is why, hilariously, AB InBev was also against this bill. What a world.