AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin City Council passed a resolution Thursday in support of Texas House Bill 672 (HB 672), which would, if passed, allow beer-to-go sales at Texas craft breweries.
The bipartisan bill was drafted by Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin). If it were passed, breweries would be allowed to sell up to 576 ounces, or two 24-packs, of packaged beer per person per day.
Council Member Sabino Renteria, Rep. Rodriguez and the Texas Craft Brewers Guild worked together to understand the challenges faced by Texas breweries.
"Texas craft breweries bring great benefit to the communities they serve by building local facilities, hiring local residents, paying taxes to their local governments and selling delicious beer, but the industry is being held back by Texas's outdated alcohol laws," Rep. Rodriguez said.
“This important bipartisan bill will allow small local businesses the ability to grow throughout our city and state,” Council Member Renteria. “I’m glad to support helpful, common sense legislation like this from our State Legislature and am appreciative of Rep. Rodriguez’s work pushing this forward.”
According to Council Member Renteria, Austin is home to more craft breweries than any other city in Texas, and Texas as a whole has more than 300 craft breweries that have a nearly $5.3 billion impact on the state's economy.
Currently, take-home sales are legal for Texas wineries, distilleries and brewpubs. Craft breweries in every other state besides Texas are also allowed to sell beer-to-go.
"Today, Texas is the only state in the country where breweries do not have the right to sell patrons beer-to-go," Charles Vallhonrat, Executive Director of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, said. "We are grateful to Council Member Renteria, Mayor Adler and Austin City Council for passing this resolution in support of HB 672 and its Senate counterpart SB 312, bills which, if passed, will even the playing field for these small businesses in our communities."
“Austin is proud of our local craft brewers and we support common sense changes to state regulations that help these small businesses grow and thrive” Mayor Steve Adler said.
HB 672's companion bill, SB 312, was drafted by State Senator Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway).
If HB 672 or SB 312 pass, they would take effect on September 1.