Texas Whiskey Association Asks Gov. To Allow Direct Sale Options

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Texas Distilleries, Wineries & Breweries Need Rescuing

Its summertime in Texas and in the world before COVID-19 many of us would be meeting up with friends at our local brewery to try a new beer on trivia night. On a Friday evening, some of us might gather at the local tasting room and listen to a talented musician. And on a Saturday we would hop in the car for a short road trip to a distillery to try the golden amber of a Texas whiskey, or a sweet and smooth Texas vodka.

However, new guidance from the TABC on the Governor’s Executive Order (GA-28) has forced the public closure of distilleries, wineries and breweries in addition to bars across the state.

There seems to be some kind of disconnect that the Governor is a supporter of “alcohol to go sales” at restaurants, but isn’t acting to waive direct sales restrictions. While the bigger companies are benefiting from more sales, the locals are suffering. And as Texans, don’t we all want to support our fellow Texans?

In a statement from TXWA Executive Director, Spencer Whelan, distilleries remind the Governor they stepped up when the state needed a hero, and now they need the state to come to their aid. They aren’t coming with hands open asking for a bailout, but rather a solution allowing them to sell their product directly to the consumer. Direct alcohol to consumer sales are legal in states like Virginia and Kentucky.

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Statement From TX Whiskey Association

AUSTIN, TX JULY 23, 2020 — The Members of the Texas Whiskey Association, along with scores of distilleries across the state, were among the first to step up in the fight against COVID-19. In March, distillers pivoted their operations to the production and local distribution of alcohol-based sanitizers — donating hundreds of thousands of gallons and protecting countless lives of first-responders and frontline health workers. (estimated retail value of sanitizer donated $9.8 million)

Distilleries then modified their on-site tourism and customer service operations to not only meet, but exceed the protocols outlined by the state’s recommended reopening guidelines. At the same time, the existence of pre-COVID laws have effectively prohibited distillers from having feasible contactless sales options currently afforded to distilleries in several other states as well as other types of beverage alcohol manufacturers within our state.

Waive Restrictions That Limit Direct Sales Options

Now, the Office of the Governor and the TABC appear to be specifically limiting distillers’ revenue options to only in-person, drive-thru sales of 2 bottles per person, per 30 days — without options for contactless sales methods like shipping and delivery. While our members would love nothing more than to be able to operate as they did prior to COVID-19, that is currently not a reality and not in the interest of public health.

Therefore we ask again, as we did in the spring, for the Governor to waive the restrictions that limit direct-sales options for distillers. This would enable distillers to sell their products in a contactless manner, without arbitrary limits, and to ship their products directly to consumers with age-verified delivery.

The future of Texan’s health and economic prosperity is at risk. Failure to acknowledge this reality and implement common-sense, free-market permissions could result in the death of an entire industry that voluntarily came to the aid of our state when needed. Texas distillers are essential businesses for the health and safety of Texans. Now, they need the essential tools required to stay in business.

How To Get Involved

When this is all over, and believe me, we all hope it’s sooner rather than later, once again we’ll meet up with friends over our favorite adult beverages. But without a waiver from the governor, that cool brewery you loved or your favorite wine tasting room, might be gone. Visit StillStrongTX.com and write your state representative. Let them know you want, increased bottle sales limits, In-county delivery, and direct-to-consumer, age-verified shipping. If you’re at your local grocery store buy a six pack of Texas brewed beer or a case of Texas wine. Or if you’re dining out or ordering to go, add local beer or a drink made with Texas spirits to your order.

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Kristin Barclay
Kristin Barclay graduated from the University of South Carolina with a major in Journalism and Advertising. Throughout her career, Kristin has demonstrated a passion for storytelling and a commitment to providing accurate, timely, and informative news coverage. She has a deep understanding of the issues and concerns facing local communities and has earned a reputation as a trusted source for reliable news and information. In addition to her work as an editor and journalist, Kristin is also a skilled writer and has written articles on a wide range of topics, including politics, business, education, and culture. She has a keen eye for detail and a talent for crafting compelling stories that engage and inform readers. Kristin is also an active member of the community and has volunteered her time and resources to numerous organizations and causes. She believes in the importance of giving back and making a positive impact on the world around us. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Kristin Barclay is also a passionate advocate for local journalism and the role it plays in keeping communities informed and engaged. She believes strongly in the importance of supporting local news outlets and is dedicated to ensuring that quality journalism remains a vital part of our society. Outside of work, Kristin enjoys traveling both for business and pleasure. She loves exploring new places, meeting new people, and experiencing different cultures. Whether she's on a business trip or a vacation, Kristin is always eager to discover what makes each place unique and special. Kristin's passions include boots, bourbon, dogs and college football. She is a self-proclaimed boot aficionado and has an impressive collection of cowboy boots that she wears with pride. She also enjoys sipping on a good bourbon and spending time with her husband and beloved border collies. Last but certainly not least, Kristin is the proud mother of two children who bring joy and meaning to her life. She is deeply committed to being a loving and supportive parent, and her children are her greatest source of inspiration and motivation