Public Hearing Set for Craft Beer Legislation, Plus a Brief Recap on Legislative Processes

Five bills have recently been introduced in the Legislature that would affect the business of craft beer in the state of Texas. Four are good for the business of craft brewing. One is not-so-good.

This coming Tuesday, March 5, the Business and Commerce Committee will meet at 8 a.m. to discuss all the bills. Dallas Senator John Carona chairs this committee and authored a bill that would prohibit brewers from selling their distribution rights -- something craft brewers aren't crazy about.

Now, if you're humming "I'm Just a Bill," that's cool. You're on the right track. But, something to keep in mind, in terms of a bill becoming a law in Texas: committees are where it's at. Because of the sheer number of bills introduced each session, basic business is conducted according to the committee system, with the committees serving as a clearinghouse. So, don't discount the importance of making a stand on an issue in a committee meeting.

You can track the process of the bills here.

And, here's a recap from the notice of public hearing of the bills we're watching:

SB 515 (Eltife) Relating to the sale of malt liquor, ale, and beer by the holder of a brewpub license.

SB 516 (Eltife) Relating to the distribution of ale by certain brewers.

SB 517 (Eltife) Relating to the distribution of beer by certain manufacturers.

SB 518 (Eltife) Relating to the authority of certain brewers and manufacturers to sell beer and ale to ultimate consumers.

SB 639 (Carona) Relating to the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages.

If you can't make it to Austin for the committee meeting, you can: • Send in comments [email protected] • Watch the meeting live here.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.