Jester King Brewery filed suit against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, claiming state laws restrict beer producer and customer freedom.
In the suit previously filed in federal court, they bring up several specific issues within state law that they claim infringes on their and our First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Their lawyers now filed for summary judgment asking for a decision in their favor.
They say that labeling laws restrict accurate terminology, such as having to inaccurately label any beer over 4% alcohol by weight as ale or malt liquor, and anything below 4% as beer. Jester King states, "This results in nonsensical and somewhat comical situations where we have to call pale ale at or below 4% ABW 'pale beer' and lager that is over 4% ABW 'ale.' "
Additionally they claim in their suit that their marketing speech is restricted, even to the point that they cannot tell consumers where to buy their beer or communicate certain details about their beer in advertisements or social media.
Importantly they cite that freedoms enjoyed by wineries and spirit makers are not equally available to breweries, such as breweries not able to sell directly to the public at their brewery. Also, foreign breweries must obtain their own separate license to sell in Texas, unlike wine that can come through an importer. Jester King says that this restriction keeps many artisan beers off our shelves due to burdensome fees.
Jester King is not alone; they are not the only ones burdened by these state laws. They are just the ones finally to file suit and address these problems. No doubt other breweries and beer pubs throughout the state will join in their suit.
"Our much larger interest, however, is in allowing Texas beer drinkers to have access to the beers that helped shape our desire to build an authentic farmhouse brewery in the Texas Hill Country and that have had a direct influence on the type of beers that we have set out to brew.?