This is just priceless. Eric Warner’s new brewery in Texas, Karbach Brewing, has named their new seasonal beer for one of the greatest holiday movies ever made, A Christmas Story. The 8% a.b.v. seasonal was made with ginger, cocoa nibs, orange peel, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon, and has one of the best beer names I’ve heard in quite some time: Yule Shoot Your Eye Out.
There’s also a promotional video for the beer.
But wait, there’s more. There’s also a second Christmas beer that was inspired by A Christmas Story, this one slightly more subtle. It’s calle Fra Gee Lay — must be Italian! — an ale brewed with spices and aged in Bourbon barrels. It’s essentially the Yule Shoot Your Eye Out barrel-aged, and there’s another video.
Hilarious. Now if I can only figure out how to get the beer. Maybe if I hold up the brewery with my Red Ryder BB Gun.
Monday’s ad is the companion to yesterday’s Beer In Art post, Gil Elvgren’s Shiner Texas Special. After Elvgren finished the artwork, Shiner marketing applied the text and logo in upper righthand corner. The result, I think, is a pretty great looking ad.
Today’s work of art is by the American pin-up artist Gil Elvgren known for his glamour illustrations and cheesecake paintings, though he also worked in advertising throughout his forty-year career. In 1953, he did this painting for the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. It was originally founded in 1909, today it’s owned by the Gambrinus Company in San Antonio.
The finished ad included the addition of the Shiner logo and was known as “Shiner Texas Special. You can see the final ad in tomorrow’s Beer in Ads series.
To learn more about Gil Elvgren, check out his biography on Wikipedia or on GilElvgren.com. The American Art Archives has more of his advertising illustrations and you can see more of his pin-up work at Elvgren Pinup, GilElvgren.com, the Great American Pin-Up and the Elvgren Concordance, which has over 500 of his pin-up works.
Today in 1845, Texas became the 28th state.
- (512) Brewing Company
- 8th Wonder Brewery
- Abilene Brewing
- Adelbert’s Brewery
- Anheuser-Busch InBev
- Armadillo Ale Works
- Ass Kisser Ales
- Atomic Moss Brewing
- Austin Beerworks
- Ballyhoo Brewing
- The Barber Shop
- BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery: Webster
- Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery
- Blue Star Brewing
- Brigadoon Brewery & Brew School
- Buffalo Bayou Brewing
- Cedar Creek Brewery
- Circle Brewing
- City Acre Brewing
- Darkside Fermentation
- Deep Ellum Brewing
- Dodging Duck Brewhaus
- Double Horn Brewing
- Down Easy Brewing
- Draught House Pub and Brewery
- Eola School Restaurant, Brewery and Lodge
- Faust Brewing
- Firehouse Grill and Brewery
- Flix Brewhouse
- Franconia Brewing
- Fredericksburg Brewing
- Freetail Brewing
- Galactic Coast Brewing
- Good Libations Brewing
- Hey Babe Brewery
- Hops & Grain Brewing
- Horizon Brewing
- Humperdinks Restaurant & Brewery: Addison, Arlington, Dallas Northwest, Greenville, Richardson
- Independence Brewing
- Independent Ale Works
- Jaxon’s Restaurants & Brewing
- Jester King Craft Brewing
- Kreuz Creek Brewing
- Lakewood Brewing
- Live Oak Brewing
- LWS Brewing
- Middleton Brewing
- Moonlight Tower Brewing
- New Braunfels Brewing
- New Republic Brewing
- No Label Brewing
- North by Northwest Brewing
- Orf Brewing
- Padre Island Brewing
- Pavalar Brewhaus
- Pecan Street Brewing
- Pedernales Brewing
- Peticolas Brewing
- Port Aransas Brewing
- Rahr & Sons Brewing
- Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling
- Real Ale Brewing
- The Republic 1836
- Reunion Brewing
- Revolver Brewing
- Rogness Brewing
- Saint Arnold Brewing
- Small World Brewing
- South Austin Brewing
- Southern Star Brewing
- Spoetzl Brewery
- Stampede Brewing
- Texas Big Beer Brewery
- Thirsty Planet Brewing
- Treestrike Brewing
- Triple J Chophouse & Brew Co.
- Twisted X Brewing
- TwoRows Restaurant & Brewery: Allen
- Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que
- Uncle Buck’s Brewery & Steakhouse
- Van Der Bönerbosch Brewing
- Whip In Parlour Cafe
- Wicked Beaver Brewing
- Wimberley Brewing at Brewster’s Pizza
- Yellow House Canyon Brew Works
- Zio Carlo Magnolia Brewpub
Texas Brewery Guides
Guild: Texas Craft Brewers Guild
State Agency: Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
- Capital: Austin
- Largest Cities: Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth
- Population: 20,851,820; 2nd
- Area: 268601 sq.mi., 2nd
- Nickname: Lone Star State
- Statehood: 28th, December 29, 1845
- Alcohol Legalized: September 15, 1933
- Number of Breweries: 37
- Rank: 18th
- Beer Production: 19,850,556
- Production Rank: 2nd
- Beer Per Capita: 25.3 Gallons
- Bottles: 39.4%
- Cans: 54.6%
- Kegs: 5.3%
Beer Taxes (4% or Less):
- Per Gallon: $0.19
- Per Case: $0.44
- Tax Per Barrel (24/12 Case): $6.00
- Draught Tax Per Barrel (in Kegs): $6.00
Beer Taxes (Over 4%):
- Per Gallon: $0.20
- Per Case: $0.45
- Tax Per Barrel (24/12 Case): $6.14
- Draught Tax Per Barrel (in Kegs): $6.14
Economic Impact (2010):
- From Brewing: $2,297,903,903
- Direct Impact: $7,164,583,859
- Supplier Impact: $5,622,775,974
- Induced Economic Impact: $6,873,411,601
- Total Impact: $19,660,771,434
- Control State: No
- Sale Hours: On Premises: Monday-Friday: 7am-midnight
Some cities/counties permit sale until 2am (with license).
Off Premises: Beer/Non-hard liquor —
7 a.m. to midnight (Mon.-Fri.)
7 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. (Sat.)
12:00 p.m. to midnight (Sun.)
Hard Liquor —
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Mon.-Sat.)
- Grocery Store Sales: Yes
- Notes: No alcohol cap but ABV > 15.5% requires additional license, so many places are beer/wine only.
Wet/dry issues determined by city/county election.
Liquor stores statewide closed all day Sunday.
An alcoholic beverage served (on-premise) to a customer between 10 a.m. and noon on Sunday must be provided during the service of food to the customer. 29 Texas counties are completely dry. In many counties, public intoxication laws are vigorously upheld.
Data complied, in part, from the Beer Institute’s Brewer’s Almanac 2010, Beer Serves America, the Brewers Association, Wikipedia and my World Factbook. If you see I’m missing a brewery link, please be so kind as to drop me a note or simply comment on this post. Thanks.
For the remaining states, see Brewing Links: United States.
You may recall that in late October Jester King Sued Texas Over Antiquated Beer Regulations. I just got a press release from Jester King Craft Brewery that the judge in the case has ruled in their favor on their first amendment claims, though he did reject their claims under the Equal Protection Clause and the Commerce Clause. Here’s the news:
Yesterday afternoon, Judge Sam Sparks of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas issued his final judgment on the case that Jester King Brewery and our two co-plaintiffs, Authentic Beverage Company and Zax Restaurant & Bar, filed against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. With respect to all of the First Amendment challenges to the current state law, he ruled in our favor, declaring the statutes and TABC rules in question unconstitutional and therefore invalid. Congratulations and many thanks to our attorneys, Jim Houchins of Houchins Law and Pete Kennedy of Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody for taking on this case and for all of the hard work that they put in. Thanks also to Pete’s firm for supporting his efforts and to Jim’s associate, Rachel Fisher, for all of her hard work and diligent research.
As of result of yesterday’s ruling, beer in Texas may now be labeled as “beer” and ale may now be labeled as “ale”, regardless of alcohol content. Breweries and distributors are also no longer prohibited from independently telling consumers where their products may be purchased, or from communicating truthful and accurate information about their alcohol content. That means Jester King will now be able to add a “Where to Buy” section to our website, as will all other breweries selling beer in Texas.
“In a remarkable (though logically dubious) demonstration of circular reasoning” Judge Sparks writes in his ruling, “TABC attempts to defend the constitutional legitimacy of the Code through an appeal to the statutory authority of the Code itself.” Referring to the required use of the terms “beer”, “ale”, and “malt liquor”, he writes “TABC’s argument, combined with artful legislative drafting, could be used to justify any restrictions on commercial speech. For instance, Texas would likely face no (legal) obstacle if it wished to pass a law defining the word ‘milk’ to mean ‘a nocturnal flying mammal that eats insects and employs echolocation.’ Under TABC’s logic, Texas would then be authorized to prohibit use of the word ‘milk’ by producers of a certain liquid dairy product, but also to require Austin promoters to advertise the famous annual ‘Milk Festival’ on the Congress Avenue Bridge.’”
We were disappointed, but not too surprised, that Judge Sparks ruled against our claims that Texas’s disparate treatment of breweries and brewpubs violated the Equal Protection Clause and that its treatment of foreign breweries violated both the Equal Protection Clause and the Commerce Clause. The TABC never gave any reason why Texas should be able to prohibit craft brewers from selling beer to customers on-site, while allowing wineries to do so, or why Texas should be able to favor foreign wineries over foreign breweries, and Judge Sparks did not speculate on why that might be. But the legal standards are different and more demanding for challenges brought under the Equal Protection Clause than the First Amendment, and we were unable to persuade Judge Sparks to strike down these discriminatory laws. We were encouraged, however, by Judge Sparks’s observation that “The State of Texas is lucky the burden of proof was on [the Plaintiffs] for many of its claims, or else the Alcoholic Beverage Code might have fared even worse than it has.”
We’re pleased to have helped to bring about at least a few long overdue changes in the antiquated and often inconsistent Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, but small brewers still face many unjust and unnecessary obstacles that need to be removed before we can stand on equal footing with Texas winemakers and brewers in other states. Measurable progress was made with yesterday’s decision, but much more is still needed. We don’t yet know what, if anything, will happen next on the legal front. That’s something that we’ll need to discuss with our attorneys. In the meantime, though, it’s not too early to start thinking about the 2013 legislative session, with the hope that this case will help to bring some momentum for further change. For the first time, Texas consumers finally have a well-organized grassroots organization that’s working to modernize the Beverage Code. We, at Jester King Craft Brewery, will continue to do everything we can to support the efforts of Open the Taps and we encourage everyone who is reading this to do the same.
It’s a start. Congratulations to Jester King.
The Jester King Craft Brewery in Austin, Texas, is my new hero, but then I’m a fan of their Don Quixote kind of crazy. The windmill they’re currently tilting at is the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).
Like most states, and the Federal government, most of the laws regarding alcohol were written in the months following the passage of the 21st Amendment, which ended Prohibition. Unfortunately, most laws and especially regulations, are rarely updated or amended. And while that may be fine for most laws, after 78 years the beer landscape in America is vastly different than it was when the regulations were implemented. Then, the different kinds of beer being made were significantly more modest than today. A lot of the laws that currently govern how beer is defined, sold, distributed and labeled are incredibly antiquated.
I didn’t know specifically how bad it was in Texas, but I was certainly aware of the federal regs and several other states that have similar inconsistencies between their regulations and reality. Essentially, these laws make it mandatory that brewers lie about what their beer is and/or force them to omit information that consumers would undoubtedly find useful. So Jester King, and two other unnamed co-plaintiffs, is suing the TABC in federal court.
Below is their press release explaining what they’re trying to do:
Jester King Craft brewery, maker of artisan farmhouse ales in the beautiful Texas Hill Country on the outskirts of Austin, has filed suit against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). On Wednesday, attorneys representing Jester King Craft Brewery and two other co-plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment in federal court asking that the case be decided in our favor.
We have sued the TABC because we believe that its Code violates our rights under the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. Under the Code, we are not allowed to tell the beer drinking public where our beer is sold. We are also not permitted to use accurate terms to describe our beers. We are often forced to choose either to label them inaccurately or not to make beers that we would like to brew. Under the bizarre, antiquated naming system mandated by the TABC Code, we have to call everything we brew over 4% alcohol by weight (ABW) “Ale” or “Malt Liquor” and everything we brew at or below 4% ABW “beer.” This results in nonsensical and somewhat comical situations where we have to call pale ale at or below 4% ABW “pale beer” and lager that is over 4% ABW “ale.” The State has arrogantly and autocratically cast aside centuries of rich brewing tradition by taking it upon itself to redefine terms that reference flavor and production method as a simple shorthand for alcoholic strength.
At the same time, the State prohibits breweries from using other terms that accurately reference alcoholic strength like “strong” or “low alcohol.” That means you will not be seeing any Belgian or American Strong Ale in Texas. Further, the State restricts the contexts in which we can communicate the actual alcohol content of our beers. We are not allowed to put the alcoholic content on anything the State considers advertising, which includes our website and social media. We are simply seeking to exercise free and truthful speech about the beer we make and strongly believe that the State has no interest in keeping you from knowing the type of beer we make, how strong it is, or where it’s sold.
Our claim under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, maintains that breweries, like wineries, should be able to sell their products directly to the public. Right now in Texas, we cannot sell our beer at our brewery. We can only sell beer through a retailer or distributor. When people visit Jester King and ask to buy our beer, we have to tell them, “Sorry, it’s illegal.” Brewpubs are faced with an equal and opposite restriction. They can sell beer on-site, but cannot sell beer through a retailer or distributor. Texas wineries on the other hand are allowed to sell on-site and through retailers and distributors. We are suing because the State has no rational interest in maintaining special restrictions aimed at limiting the sale of beer.
Finally, the lawsuit challenges the State’s requirement that every foreign brewery wishing to sell beer in Texas obtain its own separate license. Foreign wineries and distilleries are not burdened by this requirement. They may simply sell their products in Texas through an importer that has one license for all the wine and spirits it brings into our state. The result is that small, artisan beer makers often have their beer kept out of Texas by unduly burdensome fees.
When we started Jester King, part of our plan was to help other small, artisan brewers, from both the United States and abroad, sell their products in Texas. This is something that we remain interested in doing at some point, which is where our material interest in this part of the case comes into play. Our much larger interest, however, is in allowing Texas beer drinkers to have access to the beers that helped shape our desire to build an authentic farmhouse brewery in the Texas Hill Country and that have had a direct influence on the type of beers that we have set out to brew. Many of these beers are from small overseas breweries whose products are currently being sold elsewhere in the U.S., but not in Texas because of exorbitant licensing fees. We would like to have the ability to purchase these beers in our local market and would like for all Texas beer drinkers to be able to do the same.
We have chosen to pursue these matters in federal court after witnessing the lack of progress that has resulted from previous attempts to address the inequities of the TABC Code legislatively. During the last legislative session, there were bills aimed at giving breweries and brewpubs similar rights to Texas wineries, but these bills never even made it out of committee.
We cannot say how likely we are to succeed in this lawsuit. The State has only to show a rational basis for restricting our freedom and the freedom of beer drinkers in this matter. However, as long as there is a TABC Code in Texas that discriminates against and puts undue burdens on breweries both home and abroad, we will continue to do everything in our power to fight for a more just and free system for us and for beer drinkers in our state.
As they say, their quest is a difficult one and the likelihood of success somewhat unlikely, sad to say. But the effort of bringing attention to these problems may increase awareness of them, both in Texas and elsewhere, and long term might start down the long road to changing them and bring them in line with reality. It may be a long quest, but hopefully it’s not an impossible dream.
Good luck, Jester King. This kind of thing should be happening in every state.
It reads like a joke, so I don’t know if it’s true or not, though it does come from the Clark County Democrat of Grove Hill, Alabama from late October, 2009. Thanks to Pete Slosberg, who sent me the link. Apparently, a Texas beer joint sues church…. Here’s the joke … er, story:
In a small Texas town, (Mt. Vernon) Drummond’s bar began construction on a new building to increase their business. The local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers. Work progressed right up till the week before opening when lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.
The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means.
The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building’s demise in its reply to the court.
As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he commented, “I don’t know how I’m going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that does not.”
This is a weird one. The Houston Press’ Brew Blog did a map showing soft drinks from each state in a post last week called the United States of Soft Drinks. Due to popular demand, they did a new one this week, tackling beer in another post entitled the United States of Beer. After a decidedly unfunny “alcoholics” joke, they apparently “hunkered down all weekend, doing the kind of brutal and difficult work that it takes to determine a fitting beer for every last one of our 50 states.” They’re not all bad choices. I might have chosen Anchor (for its history) or Sierra Nevada (for its size) in California, but Stone Brewing isn’t a bad pick. I imagine many could quibble with the choices of at least some of the other states, too.
But a few others are just embarrassing. Four Loko for Nevada? First of all, it’s not much of a beer, though technically a malt-based beverage and taxed as a beer, certainly it’s not marketed as a beer, and it was recently banned anyway. At any rate, Four Loko was made by Phusion Projects of Chicago, Illinois d.b.a. Drink Four Brewing Company. Then there’s the Epic Pale Ale they show for Utah. That Epic is a beer from … New Zealand. There is an Epic Brewing from Salt Lake City, but their Pale Ale is called Capt’n Crompton’s Pale Ale.
While Budweiser is certainly appropriate for Missouri, there’s an Anheuser-Busch family beer for Kentucky, South Dakota and West Virginia. And while ABI does operate a dozen breweries around the country, none are in those three states. Similarly Miller makes sense in Wisconsin, but there are also MillerCoors beers for Alabama, Florida and North Dakota. And again, MillerCoors does have ten breweries in as many states, but none are located in the three states listed on the map. Pabst Blue Ribbon is listed for Virginia. Pabst, of course, owns no breweries and, as far as I know, doesn’t brew their beer in Virginia. Their headquarters are in Illinois, although the Pabst website lists their home at the bottom of the page as Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the contact page takes you to San Antonio, Texas.
The post details some of what they refer to as the “logic” employed for some of their choices, but I’m not entirely certain logic was in fact used. What do you think of their choices?
You can see the map full size here, and it’s easier to read the key on the bigger map.
Craft brewers tend to not be as cutthroat competing with one another as a lot of other businesses. Most believe that the sale of one craft beer helps the sales of all other good beer, too. But that ethos doesn’t necessarily extend to sports. Case in point, the 2010 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers.
Shaun O’Sullivan, from the 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco — in fact just a stone’s throw from the ballpark where the World Series will be played — got a call today from his friend and colleague Fritz Rahr, who owns Rahr & Sons Brewing in Fort Worth, Texas, proposing a friendly wager on this year’s World Series.
So here’s the bet, as told by Shaun O’Sullivan on the 21st Amendment website in a post entitled It’s On Like Donkey Kong:
If the Texas Rangers win the World Series (highly unlikely in my opinion, but I digress), I will wear a Texas Ranger’s shirt, drinking a Rahr and Sons delicious beer outside of San Francisco’s AT&T Park. And when the San Francisco Giants beat the Texas Rangers (they will), Fritz will be wearing a Giants shirt and drinking a 21st Amendment delicious canned craft beer outside of Arlington Field.
I can’t wait to see those photos. Just one more reason to cheer on the Giants. Though I confess that Rahr makes some outstanding beers and it would be nice to taste a few of them during the series, I think for now I’ll stick to Bay Area beers to root for San Francisco beginning this Wednesday. What will you be drinking during the ball games?