The fight for independence isn't something that ended in 1836. It's a spirit we carry forward even today. It's what makes us Texans.
The way our state government is structured, the legislature meets only briefly once every two years. This gives businesses, consumers, activists and lawmakers alike a very narrow window to change our laws and affect regulation. That time is this spring, right now.
Craft beer fans and brewers alike have been preparing for this day for two years, ever since promising and progressive beer-focused bills stalled in committee in the previous lege. Grass-roots groups like Open the Taps and the Texas Craft Brewers Guild have kept vigil and their powder dry, waiting and preparing for just this time.
However, the promise of a better craft beer environment is in imminent danger. Special interests (distributors) and their pocket representatives (Dallas’ own John Carona) are pushing back hard. Deep Ellum's John Reardon, Saint Arnold's Brock Wagner, Freetail’s Scott Metzger and, surprisingly, even one of Anheuser-Busch's vice-presidents Keith Diggs have found themselves in Austin this week on the same side straining to not only improve brewing legislation but even to keep it from sliding backward.
Texas stands on the verge of being the best craft beer market in the United States with only a few minor tweaks to existing state laws. Now is the time for consumer voices to be heard. Contact your state reps by phone and by e-mail. Ignore the cynics -- every call and every message is logged, and numbers matter.
Votes will happen this coming week. Make noise. Demand change.
AGAINST: SB 639
Senator John Carona's Bill Could Raise Cost of Beer Across State (Dallas Observer)
Beer bills get committee hearing; senator urges action in one week (Houston Chronicle)