Sightlines — Grapevine Stops Distributing Beers to Focus on Taproom, Improving Texas Laws

Austin Ray

THE GIST
Grapevine Brewery of Grapevine, Texas last week announced it would stop distributing its beers. But the GABF gold medal-winning brewery will continue to sell beer on draft at its taproom, explaining it doesn't make financial sense to continue distributing its beers at a loss.

WHY IT MATTERS
With shelf space at an all-time premium, price wars are common and margins are being hit hard. For larger breweries, the economy of scale means they can absorb these fluctuations and maintain their position on the shelf. For smaller breweries, it's another story. Grapevine also claims the changing beer landscape of “mergers, acquisitions and strategic partnerships” has generated the tough market conditions that have led them to this decision. 

When the news broke about Grapevine last week, some immediately assumed the beer maker was shutting down. Grapevine was quick to clarify, though, that they're still open seven days a week. They'll also continue contract brewing with North Texas Brewing Company.

Brewery taprooms are a boon for smaller breweries. They allow them to sell their beer at full margin, as well as ensuring the product is as fresh and well-presented as possible. But Texas law currently prevents its breweries from selling packaged beer directly from its taproom. Grapevine says it will join forces with Deep Ellum Brewery of Dallas to continue fighting for better beer laws in The Lone Star State. 

READ MORE
Grapevine Brewery Is Not Closing, but It Has Ceased Distribution of Its Beers [The Dallas Observer]

—Matthew Curtis