This week Gov. Rick Perry issued a declaration naming September "Craft Distilled Spirits Month" in to celebrate the passage of four bills all authored by state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio.
"There were so many laws that we had that were outdated and really didn’t foster the type of entrepreneurship and Texas jobs in both the craft beer industry and in the distilled spirits side," Van De Putte said. "We looked at those and looked at everything that we could do to promote our Texas economy."
Like the legislature’s beer bills, craft distilled spirits makers will now have more freedom in how they sell and market their products. They will be able to sell their a limited amount of their products on the premises of their distilleries, sell in bulk directly to food processors, market their products and purchase other companies’ alcohol products to create blends.
"Texas distilleries will be able to continue their growth into a promising industry in our state," said Daniel Barnes, the president of the Texas Distilled Spirits Association and owner of Treaty Oak Distillery. "Moreover, the increase in tourism dollars will bring in new dollars for other Texas businesses."
All four new laws took effect Sept. 1 and in the coming months the Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Commission will begin providing the new craft distiller permits to any facility that meets the requirements.
The four bills that affect distilleries: (Thanks to the Texas Distilled Spirits Association)
- SB905 -- Allows limited sale of bottled product and on-premise consumption at distilleries
- SB652 -- Allows distilleries to purchase products in bulk from other Texas wineries, breweries, and distilleries for manufacturing purposes
- SB 642 -- Allows distilleries to sell their products in bulk directly to food processors
- SB 828 -- Provides for a designated agent to promote the distiller's products, conducts samplings for consumers, and take orders from wholesalers