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Court Case Boosting Texas Craft Brewers Faces Appeal

Houston Retail

A court ruling granting craft breweries additional distribution and territorial rights is being appealed by the State of Texas. In a decision handed down in August, District Court Judge Karin Camp sided with three Texas craft brewers in a lawsuit against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to overturn SB 639, requiring craft breweries to pay to use distribution companies to get their products into restaurants. The bill also stipulated craft breweries sell their beer in any part of the state for the same price, leading brewers to price their product as high as possible. 

Texas has filed a notice with the Third Court of Appeals in Austin seeking to overturn the ruling. A brief detailing the arguments has not yet been submitted, according to the Dallas Business Journal. Based on the state's previous arguments, it's likely it'll reassert the bill's constitutionality.

Craft brewers argue the law increases their distribution costs, hurting their ability to compete with beer giants. With popular craft brewers around the state like Deep Ellum Brewing, Real Ale Brewing and Saint Arnold's gaining ground, overturning the ruling could throw a major wrench in ongoing operations. The ruling hits growing beers the hardest, affecting the beer's ability to be sold in packaged form, a move typically taken after the beer is proven popular. [DBJ]