What a marvelous day it is to love beer — especially beers from local brewers like Hops & Grain, Austin Beer Works and Jester King. On Thursday, the City Council approved a measure 6-0 to allow Austin-area brewers to sell their beer directly to consumers.
This approval comes almost a year after Texas lawmakers passed a statewide law that allows craft breweries to sell their brews on-site. When it went into effect in June 2013, local breweries enjoyed a few blissful months of increased revenue before being forced to stop the sales in October. Citing a city ordinance issue that prohibits alcohol to be sold within 540 feet of a residence, local breweries had to either secure permitting to become a brewpub, apply for a liquor license or just give their beer away as part of a tasting menu.
But under this new resolution, breweries can now sell their product directly to thirsty customers, as long as they meet two stipulations. The first is that the brewery is still at least 540 feet away from a residence and the second is that the tap room is 5,000 square feet or 30 percent or less than the size of the entire brewery, whichever is smaller. It should be noted, however, that during Thursday's meeting, Council Member Chris Riley added the possibility of approving larger tap rooms on a case-by-case basis, using Jester King as an example of a brewery in an isolated area that could benefit from a larger space.
No matter which local brewery makes your favorite beer (we're partial to 512 Pecan Porter and ABW Fire Eagle), the next time you're in the mood for a brew, consider heading directly to the delicious source.