U.S. Markets closed

New beer distribution rules clear Texas Senate

Michael Brick, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The Texas Senate has approved new rules to help small brewers expand.

Under a bill passed 31-0 on Monday, changes to the beer industry's pricing structure would accompany an overhaul of regulations that apply only to craft breweries. The bill still must pass the House.

Current laws prohibit pubs like Freetail of San Antonio from packaging their beer for retail stores. They also prevent breweries like St. Arnold's of Houston from selling beer to tour visitors.

The fight split the state's distributors, who have long held sway with lawmakers.

In a compromise, brewpubs and small breweries would pay $250 for a license to sell their beer directly to consumers. Brewpubs would be limited to selling 1,000 barrels a year. And they would only be allowed to sell their own beer.