There was a last ditch effort by the craft brewers in Texas to appeal to Gov. Greg Abbott to veto the recently passed HB 3287 — the bill that will force breweries that produce more than 225,000 barrels per year to pay a distributor to deliver it. The Texas Tribune says that effort has fallen short as Abbott did not use his veto power to help a brewer out.
At first glance, you could almost buy the distributors’ argument that this bill does little to harm the local, independent breweries in the area, most of whom fall well below that threshold, and instead will actually be helpful in stopping larger brewing companies from buying up smaller independent breweries.
Buuuuuuut, reports the Texas Tribune:
But three Texas breweries recently purchased by mega-breweries will be exempt from the law. Karbach in Houston, bought by Anheuser-Busch InBev; Revolver in Granbury, purchased by Miller-Coors; and Independence in Austin, bought by a Heineken-owned subsidiary — will not need to pay distributors the tax at their existing facilities.
Under the law, the three mega-breweries will also be able to expand to two new facilities each but will be required to use wholesale distributors at those facilities.
This “carve-out” provision was not extended to Colorado-based Oskar Blues, which has been producing beer in Austin since June of last year. In total, the brewery produces more than 225,000 barrels of beer at all of their facilities. They will be required to pay distributors to deliver their own kegs to their own taproom.
The favoritism in those exceptions is almost impressive for how blatant it is. So, I guess after all of those Big Beer-owned breweries takeover the state, then we will really see the teeth of this bill show and fight for the local independent brewer.