Thursday,
April 24

 
POLITICS

Free beer!


Texas is "wide open for business" – unless you're an indie brewer

Despite the hype, in at least one industry Texas cannot currently claim to be “wide open for business.” When it comes to microbreweries and brewpubs, Texas’ latest free-market slogan would more accurately read, “Kind of allowing business” or simply, “Please stop doing that.”

While hundreds of microbreweries (or craft breweries) have blossomed in states like California (268), Colorado (130) and Michigan (102), Texas ranks 45th out of 51 states in microbreweries per capita according to a 2011 report by the Brewers Association, a national group for craft brewers. As of 2011, only 59 microbreweries called Texas home, despite the state’s historic beer-loving culture. I’m not talking about SXSW or Fiesta consumption, per se, but the ample number of German and Czech immigrants whose brewing techniques made Texas a pre-Prohibition beer haven and helped launch well-known Texas beer labels Shiner and Lone Star.

Why does Texas, the second most populous state, have 77 percent fewer professional craft brewers than the country’s most populous state? Especially when, according to Governor Rick Perry, our business climate is so vastly superior? In an answer that could come straight from Perry: Regulation.


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