New law costing large craft beer businesses - smaller breweries say it could hinder progress

A law that wasn't signed by Gov. Abbott, regulates how craft breweries do business. Beer makers aren't happy with that. Tristan Hardy explains.

LONGVIEW - When it comes to the business of craft beer, John Oglesbee is proud to establish the first brewery in Longview. He said Texas has started to push the craft beer industry. The Oil Horse is one of many craft beer businesses that are on the rise in East Texas. However, the progress could change. 

House Bill 3287 was passed during the regular legislative session, then it made into law in June without Governor Abott's signature. Buisnesses that produce more than 225 thousand barrels a year have to payt distributors a fee to delilver their own beer. The law is supposed to regulate how brewers, distributors and retailers do business. It doesn't come off that way to Oglesbee. 

"It's really frustrating that the state is pushing for regulation," Oglesbee said. 

CBS 19 reached out the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, they said when a business is paying a distributor, the beer is never touched. Charles Vallhonrat said if a small business like Oil Horse wanted to expand, House Bill 3287 would scare away investors.

"For most investors, they say 'I'm limited by growth. I cant grow and still have that tap room access.',"Vallhonrat said.

Oglesbee currently distributes a thousand quarter barrels a year. He'd like to see Oil Horse expand to higher markets, but if he takes the risk, his earnings would be cut by 30%. 

"Kinda like one step forward and two steps back the way they're [Texas Lawmakers] handling it," he said. 

The Texas Craft Brewers Guild plans to rebuttal the law in the upcoming 2019 legislative session. 

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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