Sightlines — Texas Brewery Takes TABC to Suit over “Antiquated Laws” with Crowdfunding Campaign

Nate Micklos

THE GIST
Current Texas laws prohibit microbreweries from selling beer to-go. This limitation does not apply to other manufacturers in the alc-bev space, including wineries, distilleries, and brewpubs. Deep Ellum Brewing Co. has decided to take action by suing the TABC, and is supporting their legal efforts with a public crowd-funding campaign.

WHY IT MATTERS
For those inside the industry there is a familiarity with antiquated laws resulting from factors such as the three-tier system and the Prohibition era — and Texas has some of the worst. Deep Ellum’s approach to fighting these laws is unique, to say the least. They’ve effectively launched a marketing campaign, “Operation Six-Pack to Go”, to garner momentum. To support their efforts they created a crowdfunding initiative to source $100k, largely from their fans. While a legal reversal would benefit those consumers by allowing them to buy six-packs at the brewery, it a big bet that consumers are willing to spend money, to spend money. Traditionally, these laws are fought by guilds and associations, who raise money as professional organizations to lobby for laws.

Deep Ellum kicked things off with a $10k contribution of their own, and at least one more brewery appears to have bought in at the $7.5k level. The rest range from $5-$100, putting them just over the $25k mark at posting. Whether it succeeds or fails, this should be a good test of Texas' demand for craft beer.   — Nate Micklos