Friday, May 12, 2017

Building a Brewery: Weeks 47-50

Yes, things have been quiet around here lately. Yes, it's been more than a couple of weeks since our last post. Yes, there's not a whole lot of new info on this week's post. No, it doesn't mean we don't have a lot of things happening behind the scenes. But a lot of that stuff doesn't make for exciting reading unless you just love hearing about emails and numbers.

What is interesting, and IS important, and DIRECTLY AFFECTS THE TEXAS BREWING INDUSTRY is something you've probably seen us post about a lot lately on our Facebook page. There is a bill that was introduced a few weeks ago to the Texas House of Representatives that has a direct negative effect on craft brewers and their rights. It's referred to as HB 3287 and Senate companion SB 2083.

There are a few limitations the bill puts on larger brewers, which we don't technically have to worry about as a startup brewery, but if I'm not planning the future of this company, then I'm doing everyone a major disservice. The really shitty thing this bill does propose, however, is what is referred to as a "dock bump tax." I don't usually like to copy and paste content on this blog, but I think you should hear about this from those more seasoned and eloquent than I am to explain why this is a bad, unfair, and damaging thing to the Texas Craft Brewing industry. Here's Josh Hare, founder of Hops and Grain Brewing in Austin:

" If the total production were to increase above 225,000 bbls this bill would still allow for the 5,000 bbl sold on-site but the beer would have to be sold to a wholesaler and then purchased back at retail price before it could be sold on-site.  But the beer would never actually leave the brewery.  A brewer would have to invoice their distributor at the normal wholesale cost and then the wholesaler would send back an invoice at retail cost before the brewer could sell it.  And because of the wonders of the Alcoholic Beverage Code, the brewer would have to pay the invoice immediately and the wholesaler would be allowed credit terms on their invoice."

You read that correctly, this bill allows wholesalers to essentially receive a cut of taproom sales simply because that beer was not given to wholesalers in the first place. I'm sorry, but taking money for something you didn't do to earn it is called stealing in my book. And they say millenials are entitled...

Unfortunately, and despite HEAVY resistance by craft brewers and their fans alike, the bill was approved by the House and now travels to the Texas Senate for approval. If you want to do your part for craft beer, please consider calling your senator and urge him or her to vote NO on Senate Bill 2083. You can find out who represents you and their contact information HERE. You can also read all of Josh Hare's entire post regarding the bill to fully understand why this has brewers angry and share the link on social media so more craft beer fans can voice their outrage.

In the meantime, things will begin to pick up for renovation of our space. We will hopefully be re-surfacing our deck in the backyard fairly soon, for which we will contact a handful of folks that have reached out to us as volunteers. We may have a freshly brewed batch of Pantego Porter that might need drinking at the end of a hard day of work, just sayin'. Until then, y'all stay tuned. Big stuff coming!