Thursday, February 9, 2023

"Beer to You" bills seek to allow home delivery from Texas breweries

Members of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild gather for TCBG Lobby Day at the Texas Capitol (Photo: Emily Love).

Two bills introduced this week in the Texas Legislature seek to allow direct-to-consumer shipping and delivery from Texas breweries and brewpubs. The Texas Craft Brewers Guild (TCBG), along with its political action committee arm, CraftPAC, has strongly advocated for such an action as a means of supporting small businesses, increasing consumer choice and convenience, and creating more manufacturing jobs for Texans.

Dubbed the "Beer to You" bills and sponsored by Texas State Senator Pete Flores (SD 24) and State Representative Shelby Slawson (HD 59), Senate Bill 752 and House Bill 2003 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 for pick up from their facilities.

“In an era where consumers can have 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,” says Jon Lamb, owner of Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing Co. and Government Affairs Chair for the TCBG. “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.”

Past actions by the Texas Legislature include a 2005 law allowing wineries to ship their products directly to consumers. The state's wine industry has blossomed since, growing from around 40 wineries in 2005 to more than 400 today. Not only that, Texas now ranks second in direct wine sales volume with more than 600,000 cases shipped annually to enthusiasts’ doors.

More recently, the Texas Legislature made temporary pandemic-era delivery privileges for bars and restaurants permanent with the 2021 passage of House Bill 1024, popularly known as the “Margs to Go” bill.

“The Texas Legislature has already demonstrated its support for the safe and legal delivery of alcoholic beverages to Texans’ doorsteps,” says Caroline Wallace, Executive Director of the TCBG. “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.”

Texans who want to support the fight for Beer to You can visit to take action, either by signing a petition or making a monetary donation to CraftPAC.

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