Friday, October 17, 2008

Texas law stifles state's craft brewers

More liquor-law stupidity, this time from Texas, America's bastion of liquor-law stupidity.

[Debbie] Farquhar-Garner, who runs the [Fredericksburg Oktoberfest] on behalf of the Pedernales Artists' Cooperative, wants to mimic the ritual opening of the original Oktoberfest, in which the mayor of Munich taps the ceremonial first keg. In 2000, Farquhar-Garner did a television interview and mentioned the fact that Shiner's master brewer would be on hand to meet the public. That landed her in trouble with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

"Every year I sit down with the TABC, and they tell me what we can and can't do," the Oktoberfest director says. "I found out that talking about a specific beer company is a big no-no." At Munich's Oktoberfest, the big beer companies put on the party. In Texas, it's illegal for a festival to even mention beer, and it's strictly forbidden for a beer company to donate alcohol.

This bears repeating: "In Texas, it's illegal for a festival to even mention beer".

Read the whole story at the Dallas Observer.

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