Time to get serious, y’all.

One of the things that makes local breweries like Live Oak, (512), and Austin Beerworks so great is their ability to distribute their own beer. As self-distributors, these now well-established local breweries have found success by being able to sell their own product, collect their own accounts, and essentially take full responsibility in getting their beer to you in any way they can.

Self-distribution is like a business within a business, and brewers like the ones above have painstakingly grown this second business because they care about their beer and they care about local consumers. Because they are in charge of deciding where their beer is going, and how it’s getting there, they have more control over how much their company can thrive in the local market. And when their company is thriving, us beer drinkers are just as happy as the brewers because it means we can get our favorite local beers in more places and at a decent cost.

This is why we Texas beer drinkers must stand in opposition to House Bill 3389, which would limit the amount of beer that breweries can self-distribute to 5,000 barrels a year (the current cap is 40,000 barrels a year). If a brewer is to exceed that amount annually, they would have to go through a distributor.

However, the brewer can’t sell their distribution rights to a distributor – they have to just hand over their rights. For free. So, basically, this secondary distribution business that some brewers have created, they’d just be giving it away to another company for nothing.

This leaves breweries like Live Oak in a tight spot. Live Oak is projected to distribute 10,000 barrels this year. If this bill is to pass, they’d either have to give up their distribution rights, or limit their production to only 5,000 barrels instead. Either way, this would have a negative impact on Live Oak in that they’d lose a significant amount of money, staff, and beer. It goes without saying that these losses are all tied together – if one goes down, the others do too.

Consequently, this bill would also have a negative impact on us Texas beer drinkers because some local beers would become harder to find and much more expensive. Eff that noize. If I wanted shit to be hard to find and expensive, I’d live in Hawaii.

The bill can be read here: ftp://ftp.legis.state.tx.us/…/…/HB03300_HB03399/HB03389I.htm

Your local representative can be found here:http://www.house.state.tx.us/memb…/find-your-representative/

Guys, please join me in raising hell about this. Contact your local representative and tell them you are opposed to House Bill 3389. This is important, and the fate of some of your favorite Texas beer depends on it.

PS – I’m not saying that using a distributor is a bad thing, but brewers shouldn’t be forced into it. Make the cap on production high enough that it’s more of a choice on the brewery’s part whether they want to pursue self-distribution or go through a distributor.