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Texas Legislators Are Trying to Legalize Beer-to-Go Sales

Two new bills supported by a craft brewery lobby are being put forward this month

Texas Craft Brewers Guild beers at the Capitol
Texas Craft Brewers Guild beers at the Capitol
Texas Craft Brewers Guild [Official]
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Two new bills were introduced in the Texas Legislative Session this session, looking to legalize beer-to-go sales from Texas craft breweries. Currently, Texas is the only state where it’s illegal for breweries to sell to-go beers on the premises.

Texas State Senator Dawn Buckingham and State Representative Eddie Rodriguez filed said companion bills in both legislative chambers, SB 312 and HB 672. What also makes these two bills especially noteworthy is that this is a bipartisan effort since Buckingham is a Republican and Rodriguez is a Democrat. Likewise, the Texas Craft Brewers Guild and its political action committee CraftPAC are supporting the bills.

As it stands now, Texas breweries that produce less than 225,000 barrels of beer every year can only sell up to 5,000 barrels of that beer for on-premises drinking. Retail beer isn’t even allowed, which Buckingham referred to as an “unnecessary government overreach” in a statement.

Both SB 312 and HB 672 would add “off-premises consumption” to that law, allowing people to buy beer-to-go from local breweries. That is something people can already do at Texas distilleries, wineries, and brewpubs. The new bills would “further economic development” in the state, Buckingham continued.

The Texas Craft Brewers Guild took to the Capitol yesterday to spread awareness about the bills with packaged and canned beers. There is also an online petition to show support for the bills, with over 7,000 signatures. The current 86th Texas State Legislative Session ends on Monday, May 27.