I know what you’re thinking. No more Ale in Texas? How is that a win? But don’t worry, it’s only a labeling issue, and it’s a very, very good thing.
As you probably know, and if you don’t I’m surprised you’re reading this site, Jester King recently sued the TABC. ( Texas Alcoholic Beverages Commission. )
To make a very long story, significantly shorter, Jester King won. ( In most areas. ) From now on ( Pending potential appeals, other potential legal issues etc ) beers sold in Texas can actually be called…get this…Beer.
More after the jump.
Yes, believe it or not up until now any beer that was over 5% ABV was FORCED to be labeled Ale. Regardless of whether it was actually an ale, or not. Which means that it would literally be illegal to label that big, malty 14% Samichlaus lager as just that, a lager. Just as any beer under 5% abv could NOT be called an Ale. It MUST be called a “beer.”
Which means that delicious 4.7% or so Stone Levitation Ale was illegal to sell in Texas, simply because it was an Ale, and labeled as such.
Obviously, that’s just stupid. And it quite literally made Texas the laughing stock of anyone in the Craft Beer Community who knew about those laws. Worse, it kept quite a few fantastic breweries from distributing to Texas because it wasn’t worth the hassle of jumping through all those hoops.
Attempts have been made to change this for years, and finally it’s succeeded. In addition to eliminating the “Ale in TX” clause, Jester King has also successfully given breweries the right to tell their customers where to buy their product. Yes, that too was now illegal.
Now, there is a downside, as they were not successful in every aspect of their lawsuit. They were unable to convince the judge that brewpubs should be able to distribute, and that breweries should be able to sell direct to customers just as wineries do.
But, one step at a time, and trust me when I say, this is a very big step!
So, raise a toast to Jester King, perhaps Texas’ ballsiest brewery.
For more details straight from the source, check out Jester King’s very own Blog: