St. Arnold Comes to Austin

sag2a.jpgI like St. Arnold’s beer. I’ve liked it for quite some time, particularly the Amber. I’ve been known to grab a Lawnmower or an Elissa on occasion, but Amber is definitely my favorite. I’ve run into the St. Arnold people at Gingerman a few times and they’re always very cool and personable. I’ve always dug their marketing, perhaps it’s the lapsed Catholic in me.

The St. Arnold people have started a blog and a campaign to get some of the Texas laws governing microbreweries changed. Essentially, they want to be able to sell their product on the premises. They can’t do that now. If you take a tour of St. Arnold in Houston or Live Oak or Independence here in Austin or Real Ale in Blanco or Rahr & Sons in Ft. Worth and find a beer you like in their tasting room, you can’t buy it there. You have to find a store that sells the beer and get it there. Stupid, eh? No reason you shouldn’t be able to buy a six pack or a keg from the source.

Texas wineries successfully lobbied to be able to do this a few years ago. The microbreweries say that laws like this are the reason that Texas only has 5 microbreweries. Just 5! When we typically rank near the top in state beer consumption! What’s up with that? Greg Koch, CEO of Stone Brewing in California, and home of my absolute favorite beers, agrees with them.

Much of the commentary points out that this should really be a non-issue and passed with relative ease. I hope so. I’m looking at you, Eddie. Now somebody needs to start a lobby to get Real Ale to brew more Lost Gold IPA. I’m just sayin’.

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