Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Stakeholders reach agreement on beer-to-go

Image credit: Texas Craft Brewers Guild.

A landmark agreement has been reached between the Texas Craft Brewers Guild (TCBG) and the Beer Alliance of Texas (BAT) on SB 312 and HB 672, the bipartisan beer-to-go bills currently filed in the Texas Legislature.

Soon-to-be-filed committee substitutes of both bills, authored by State Senator Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) and State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), would give craft brewers rights they have sought during legislative sessions dating back to 2007. If passed, the resolutions will allow patrons to purchase up to 576 ounces (two cases) of beer per calendar day from a craft brewery tasting room for take-home consumption. This would impact over 30 production breweries currently operating in North Texas.

“I am proud to be part of a win-win agreement for every level of the three-tier system,” says Sen. Buckingham. “This is a big step forward for small Texas breweries and the consumers who enjoy their products. I am grateful to both the Beer Alliance of Texas and the Texas Craft Brewers Guild for their willingness to reach a fair agreement for both sides of this important issue.”

Brewer-wholesaler unity on the bill is bolstered by support from both sides of the aisle. At their 2018 conventions, both Texas Republicans and Democrats included support for Beer-To-Go in their respective party platforms.

"Allowing ‘beer-to-go’ sales is a common-sense issue that both Republicans and Democrats agree on because it’s good for small business and has come to be expected by consumers,” says Rep. Rodriguez. “Texans are incredibly excited about ‘beer-to-go’ as the public support for HB 672/SB 312 has shown, and I am glad that the Texas Craft Brewers Guild and the Beer Alliance of Texas have come to the table.”

Seeking to foster regulatory stability for the industry, the TCBG and the BAT have also agreed to refrain from lobbying to raise or lower allowable Texas malt beverage barrelage caps for a period of 12 years.

“The Beer Alliance of Texas has always worked to ensure a strong malt beverage market in Texas,” says Rick Donley, president of the BAT. “We have committed to working with our friends in the craft-manufacturing segment on sensible regulations that provide for a stable and predictable three tier market in Texas that continues to be recognized as the gold standard for regulatory structures across the country.”

In a press release announcing the news, the TCBG and BAT applauded Sen. Buckingham and Rep. Rodriguez’s commitment to setting craft brewers on a more equal playing field with Texas wineries, distilleries, and brewpubs which are all permitted to engage in to-go sales as a brand-building, tourism-boosting opportunity.

"The Texas Craft Brewers Guild is proud to promote a sensible alcohol regulatory framework that encourages competition, consumer choice and access to market for brewers in our great state,” says Josh Hare, board chair for the TCBG. “We are excited to be working with the Beer Alliance of Texas to promote common sense regulations that ensure the beer industry in Texas will continue to thrive. We look forward to the opportunity to provide consumers with greater access to Texas made beer while ensuring a predictable and effective three-tier system.”

Monday, February 11, 2019

Deep Ellum, HopFusion among winners at 2019 Best of Craft Beer Awards

Image credit: Best of Craft Beer Awards.

Judging for the 2019 edition of the Best of Craft Beer Awards has been completed, with two area breweries landing medals at the competition.

A total of 262 medals were awarded by a panel of 96 judges at the event, with winning breweries hailing from 33 different states. Over 2000 entries were logged and separated into 90 categories, then evaluated against the 2018 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines.

Regarding North Texas medalists, Deep Ellum Brewing Co. of Dallas was a repeat winner for Deep Ellum Lager (the beer took bronze in 2018), while HopFusion Ale Works brought home a Best of Craft Beer award for the first time. As for other winners, a complete list of 2019 medalists can be found by clicking here.

Deep Ellum Brewing Co., Dallas
  • Silver for Deep Ellum Lager in the Other Lager category.
HopFusion Ale Works, Fort Worth
  • Silver for Feisty Redhead in the Specialty Beer category.

Cheers and congratulations to Deep Ellum and HopFusion!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Humperdinks' original Greenville location closing Sunday, February 3

Humperdinks' original location on Greenville Ave. in Dallas (Photo: © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

The Lake Highlands Advocate reports that Humperdinks Restaurant & Brewpub on Greenville Ave. in Dallas will close after the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 3.

The Greenville spot was the first for the local chain, originally opening in 1976. Brewing operations were added in early 1997 - coming online after brewpubs were legalized in Texas during the 1993 legislative session. For a number of years, house beers were crafted under the Big Horn Brewing Co. label, based on a partnership with Washington-based Ram International. That coupling resulted in Big Horn Brewing Co./Humperdinks of Dallas being named Large Brewpub of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival in 2001.

As for other locations, brewing operations continue at Humperdinks on Six Flags Drive in Arlington (open since 1995) and W. Northwest Highway in Dallas (open since 1997). An additional site in Addison ceased brewing in 2005, before eventually shuttering in 2017.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

North Texas Craft Beer Conspectus - January 29, 2019 edition

Representing just the sort of news that's expected in the Conspectus, this round of updates includes items on new beers, new and future breweries, and international recognition for a local brand.


Bluffview Growler now brewing in Dallas

Adding its name to the roster of active North Texas brewing operations, Bluffview Growler introduced its first house brew during the pub's second anniversary party in mid-January. Billed as Bluffview's Unfiltered Pale Ale, the small-batch beer was an American-style pale ale that finished out with an ABV of 7.0%. Available for a limited time, it tapped out shortly after the celebration.

Lakewood releases 2019 production calendar

Lakewood Brewing Co. of Garland has revealed its 2019 production plans, with a number of notable changes in store for the coming year. In addition to a new Small Batch Series and special Barrel Works selections, the brewery will introduce a new year-round beer called Lemonale and a new Seduction Series offering in the form of Salted Caramel Temptress. As for beers not making the cut, Dry-Hopped Zomer Pils and Till & Toil will not be included in the 2019 seasonal lineup. Details on that and more can be found by clicking here.

BlackMan Brewing honored at Pura Vida Indie International Beer Cup

Gypsy Brewer Barret Tillman has landed multiple awards from the 2019 Pura Vida Indie International Beer Cup. Tillman was recognized for Smoking Lit, a collaborative effort between his BlackMan Brewing label and Treintaycinco - Fabrica de Cervezas of Costa Rica. The beer, a lichtenhainer by design, was named Best Beer from Costa Rica, Best Beer from Central America, and Best Beer of the Cup.

Two future brewing companies obtain TABC approval

Earlier this month, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) issued permits for Toasty Bros. of Denton and Funky Picnic Brewery & Café of Fort Worth.

Toasty Bros. is set to begin brewing this month under an alternating proprietorship with Hop & Sting at Grapevine Craft Brewery. The first beer to hit the fermenter will be a double stout called Damage Dealer, which looks to debut in March.

Funky Picnic is currently under construction in the Near Southside neighborhood of Fort Worth, with current targets eyeing late spring for an opening date.

Image credits (top-to-bottom): Bluffview Growler, Lakewood Brewing Co., Pura Vida Indie International Beer Cup, Toasty Bros., Funky Picnic Brewery & Café.