Austin breweries lobby for beer-to-go sales this legislative session

Beer lovers can go to any brewery in Texas and have a pint or two but can't take a beer to go.

Adam DeBower, owner of Austin Beerworks founded the brewery with three other beer enthusiasts back in 2011. Since then, the business has more than doubled in size. DeBower said Austin Beerworks it’s been an exciting journey but legislative roadblocks have got in the way.

“Since the very beginning, we recognized that the laws aren’t necessarily beneficial for craft brewers but we were determined in spite of that to create something good and something real and something valuable for the state of Texas," DeBower said. "We're just asking for the same rights that already exists everywhere else in America."

DeBower said the law doesn't apply to breweries in 49 other states.

Austin Beerworks has joined dozens of other independent breweries across the state to lobby for a change in beer-to-go sales. Before the opening of the Texas legislative session two bills were introduced in both the house and senate to include beer-to-go sales for breweries.

"In both those bills they do something very simple that already exists for Texas wineries and Texas distilleries and Texas brew hubs," said DeBower. "At the end of the day it's about the 54 beer workers here at Austin Beerworks and the several thousand craft beer employees throughout the state of Texas to help us put bread on the table."

The companion bills have a long way to go before they can potentially reach the governor's desk. Until then, DeBower said Austin Beerworks will keep serving up pints in house in hopes the customers will be able to one day enjoy locally brewed beer outside of taprooms.