Local brewpubs may soon be tapping Texas-sized market


by Sarah Forgany / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @ForganySarah


Posted on January 21, 2011 at 9:29 PM

Updated Saturday, Jan 22 at 12:20 PM

SAN ANTONIO -- A proposed House bill could give brewpubs the power to distribute their beer anywhere in Texas.

State Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, filed House Bill 660 last week.

The legislation would allow Texas brewpubs to sell up to 5,000 barrels of beer a year at the pub directly to consumers.

It would also let them sell to distributors and wholesalers, plus self-distribute to retailers under 10,000 barrels per year.

The bill would also help brewpubs increase production to 75,000 barrels per year.

"Today's laws prevent brewpubs from growing their market through their own distribution system, selling directly to customers off-premise or selling to wholesalers and distributors," Rep. Villarreal said. "This is what kills me, a great brewpub like Freetail, or Blue Star here in San Antonio could actually sell more of their product to Texas if they relocate to another state like New Mexico."

Freetail Brewing Company owner Scott Metzger helped draft the bill. He adds that changing the law would help production at breweries and would allow the market to grow tremendously.

"No Texas business should ever have to leave the state to increase their business in the state. That's pretty un-Texan, if you ask me," Metzger said.

Joey Villarreal, Blue Star Brewing Company owner, also tells KENS 5, "This House bill would be remarkable to pass."

Meanwhile, Rep. Villarreal added, "If we sell more beer, we raise more tax dollars, and that's good for children who need their education paid for. It’s a win-win for everyone.  If these brewpubs grow their market, they can become eventually clients of wholesale beer distributors."

KENS 5 tried reaching out to beer distributors for comment, but no one was available.