CTX brewery worried about new Texas bill - KXXV Central Texas News Now

CTX brewery worried about new Texas bill

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

A bill was filed on Thursday that a local brewery says could affect them. 

House Bill 3287, filed without signature by Governor Greg Abbott, would require craft breweries who exceed 225,000 barrels produced annually to participate in a 3 Tier system. The 3 Tiers are producers, distributors and retailers. If a brewery is purchased by a mega-brewer, they would also be required to participate in the 3 Tier program if their production is more than 175,000 barrels.

Representative Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth) authored the bill. Goldman’s Chief of Staff Amanda Robertson told News Channel 25 the bill is designed to create a distinction between independent craft breweries and larger breweries.

Barrow Brewing Company in Salado opened about a year ago. Last year, the brewery produced just under 500 barrels. That’s about 70,000 beers.

“We’re on track to produce about a thousand, 1,500 barrels this year,” Jack Shuff, Brewer and part owner of Barrow Brewing Company said.

Barrow Brewing Company is concerned how the bill could affect them in the long term.

“We wouldn't currently be affected by that limit but it creates a cap on what our value could be. It could immediately harm our investment potential because there's a limit to our future earnings because [the cap at the taproom] starts at 5-thousand barrels,” Shuff said.

Under the new law, breweries are allowed to continue to operate their taprooms as they do now as long as the taproom sales do not exceed 5,000 barrels.

According to Robertson, the 5,000-barrel cap for taprooms was presented by an Austin craft brewery in 2013 during the 83rd legislative session negotiations.

Robertson said the bill would only affect breweries like Barrow if they plan to be purchased by a mega brewer. But Barrow Brewing Company said they are still concerned.

“This is where you start to separate the very large brewers from the small craft brewers. And we're opposed to it on the grounds that this is not pro-small business,” Shuff said.

Robertson said the legislation is designed to protect the small craft breweries from the big name breweries.

The Texas Craft Brewers Guild made a petition that more than 13,000 people signed. Despite their efforts, the law will go into effect on September 1st.

News Channel 25 also reached out to Bare Arms Brewing in Waco. They said they are licensed as a brewpub so this legislation does not affect them.

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