36 Texas House Members Send Letter to Governor Abbott Requesting Waivers to the 2-Bottle Sales Limits Imposed on Distillers.
The Texas Whiskey Association applauds the 36 members of the Texas House Of Representatives who signed on to a letter authored by Rep. Gina N. Calanni of House District 132, supporting the waiver of TABC code Section 14.05c which prohibits distillers from directly-selling any more than 2-bottles per person, per 30-days. TXWA has mobilized over 13,000 Letters to Texas Legislators and Governor Abbott requesting waivers on direct-sales prohibitions for distillers that have worked as essential manufacturers of hand sanitizer producing over 1 Million gallons to date and donating over $10M worth to first-responders. Thank you representatives for recognizing our efforts!
May 12, 2020
The Honorable Greg Abbott Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
RE: Request to Suspend Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 14.05(c)
Dear Governor Abbott:
On behalf of our constituents, we respectfully ask you to suspend Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 14.05(c) so that Texas distillers may sell more than two bottles per person within 30 days at their distilleries.
We have heard from many concerned constituents that efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 may force the closure of some Texas distilleries. As you know, the state has seen tremendous growth in its distilling industry in the last decade, going from fewer than 50 distillery permits in 2013 to more than 160 today. Because many of these distilleries are young businesses, their products are not yet widely distributed in package stores. Thus, Texas distilleries rely on sales from their tasting rooms to provide the capital necessary to build their businesses and create jobs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the closure of tasting rooms for over a month, preventing Texans from visiting tasting rooms and purchasing bottles and mixed drinks. As a result, Texas distillers have experienced an 80 percent loss of revenue since COVID-19 mitigation efforts have been instituted. Limited cocktail sales and the two bottle purchase restrictions make it impossible for distillers to generate the revenue necessary to support their operations and employees.
Suspending the restriction on bottle sales is critical to helping this young industry financially survive this pandemic. Distillers estimate that suspending the two bottle limit will increase curbside sales by 35 percent and allow them to re-hire staff — a critical need in this time of rampant unemployment.
Texas distillers are entrepreneurs who care about the wellbeing of their communities and our great state. To date, they have donated over 200,000 gallons of hand and surface sanitizer to first responders, health care workers, and their communities. And now they need our help.
We understand the public health necessity in closing tasting rooms to visitors, but limiting the number of bottles sold via curbside pick-up provides no public health benefit during the COVID-19 outbreak. We respectfully ask that you suspend this regulation to help the Texas distilling industry in its time of need.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at (512) 463-0528.
Rep. Gina N. Calanni House District 132
Rep. Rhetta Andrews Bowers House District 113
Rep. Kyle Biedermann House District 73
Rep. Alma A. Allen House District 131
Rep. Michelle Beckley House District 65
Rep. Lorraine Birabil House District 100
Rep. Rafael Anchía House District 103
Rep. Diego M. Bernal House District 123
Rep. John H. Bucy III House District 136
Rep. Travis Clardy House District 11
Rep. Anna Eastman House District 148
Rep. Vikki Goodwin House District 47
Rep. Stan Lambert House District 71
Rep. Armando “Mando” Martinez House District 39
Rep. Nicole Collier House District 95
Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins House District 120
Rep. Gina Hinojosa House District 49
Rep. Ray Lopez House District 125
Rep. Terry Meza House District 105
Rep. Alex Dominguez House District 37
Rep. Jessica González House District 104
Rep. Celia Israel House District 50
Rep. J.M. Lozano House District 43
Rep. Ina Minjarez House District 124
Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr. House District 36
Rep. Ron Reynolds House District 27
Rep. Carl Sherman House District 109
Rep. Tony D. Tinderholt House District 94
Rep. Evelina “Lina” Ortega House District 77
Rep. Ramon Romero, Jr. House District 90
Rep. James Talarico House District 52
Rep. James White House District 19
Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos House District 102
Rep. Jon Rosenthal House District 135
Rep. Ed Thompson House District 29
Rep. Erin Zwiener House District 45