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Deep Ellum Brewery Takes on a Goliath of a Cause

It’s an issue that is not likely to be solved anytime soon — the traditional "little guy" versus "big guy" scenario that, in the end, if won, will change current laws in Texas that prohibit microbreweries from selling their products on-site for off-premise consumption.

Someone had to do it, Deep Ellum Brewery recently decided to lead the charge.

Deep Ellum Brewery’s John Reardon said, “This involves unfair laws that prohibit us, a microbrewery in Texas, from selling our products directly to the end consumer for off-premise consumption while allowing wineries, distilleries, and brewpubs to do just that.”

He believes that microbreweries have been unfairly singled out as a manufacturer and are the only ones prohibited from this right.

To that end, the brewery is taking on the beer industry, the State of Texas and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, in a fight to abolish these unfair laws that prohibit microbreweries from selling their products on-site for off-premise consumption, most notably six-packs to go.

Deep Ellum Brewing Company has launched what is called Operation Six-Pack to Go as a way to fight for the right to sell a six-pack to go. A simultaneous campaign on Indiegogo was also initiated in order to gain support from fellow microbrewers, consumers and beer lovers to help pay for the lawsuit.

Reardon’s Deep Ellum Brewery is leading the fight to change this because he believes that consumers should have the freedom to buy the beer they want and that microbreweries need to be given a level playing field alongside the current multinational beer giants. 

“This has been of interest since the day I opened the brewery,” Reardon said. “Texas, while priding itself on being pro-business, is only one of 10 states that does not allow for these types of sales. The distributor lobbies have controlled our state’s liquor laws for far too long.”

As for the final outcome and how many other breweries like Deep Ellum this lawsuit will affect overall, Reardon said, “This will affect just over 100 brewers in Texas. It would allow all brewers to sell their products at the point of manufacture for off-premise consumption. This is a right that we have attempted to gain through better legislation for the past 14 years.”

Reardon said that it is almost guaranteed that there will be a general denial response, at which point he will move to present evidence and expert testimony on why the current prohibition is unjust.

“This will be a long and expensive battle,” Reardon concluded. “We are asking consumers for help as their interests are being stifled as well. By not allowing consumers to freely choose where they can purchase our products, you create an unfair marketplace with artificially inflated pricing.”

He said he also believes that consumers will want to support their favorite breweries in this cause as well, “Quite frankly, the cost of the lawsuit is more than any one brewery can bear, however, it positively affects many, while also benefiting consumers both near and far.”

 

Learn more about Operation Six-Pack to Go or support the cause here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sue-tabc-operation-six-pack-to-go

Friday, October 9, 2015