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Sen. John Carona Responds to Backlash; Didn't Bring Up Craft Beer Issue to Craft Beer Group

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On Friday, when we wrote about a bill introduced by Dallas state Senator John Carona that would prohibit breweries from earning money by selling distribution rights to wholesalers -- undercutting an important source of revenue for the state's fledgling craft breweries -- his office jumped into our comments section with a statement that applauded Senator Kevin Eltife's four bills that would open several new financial opportunities for craft brewers.

The statement also pointed out that we must "take the long and wide view on these important provisions" and reminded us that Carona created pro-craft beer working groups last year:

"... this is the very reason I created working groups during the interim to begin to address these important issues."

That naturally led us to wonder: What did those working groups think of Carona's Senate Bill 639 while they were, you know, working? Those groups, after all, involved many parties, including craft beer advocates, whose goal was to iron out the main issues surrounding craft beer legislation. Surely SB639 must have come up.

We asked Carona if the issue of prohibiting the sale of distribution rights was raised by the working groups.

Carona's response: "To my knowledge the working groups did not anticipate the distribution issue ..."

Oh. Well. Maybe they were too busy working on all those other thorny issues that touch on the pocketbooks of the powerful liquor lobby to pay close attention to a bill that would kick one of the legs from under craft brewers. Busy, busy, busy.

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