The state is protecting big business and exploiting the little guy, but Texan beer rebels are fighting back.
I suspect some of my readers might be the kind of conservatives who don’t believe in drinking alcohol. You are free to do so for the sake of sobriety, financial well-being, taste, or concern for the way your example might be used by others. While I think wine is mandatory in the Lord’s Supper, everyone is free to do what they want outside of that one event.
But as a Bible-believing Christian, I think “wine and strong drink” is a gift from God that can be enjoyed. However, when I became of legal age, I remember beer tasting awful. Here in St. Louis I’m at the heart of it. Budweiser? Seriously? (I judge no one for enjoying these drinks, I’m just saying I can’t do so.)
The only thing that saved me as a beer drinker was the craft beer revolution. Thank God for the small-business, entrepreneurial spirit in the United States.
And now, in Texas, the empire is striking back.
The Institute for Justice is dealing with a piece of Texas state government corruption—the kind they do openly because they don’t believe anyone can stop them:
Can Texas seize valuable property from craft breweries and simply give it to beer distributors, even though those distributors never earned it and don’t deserve it? Three craft breweries say “no” in a constitutional challenge to a 2013 law that strips breweries of their traditional right to sell their distribution rights and instead forces them to surrender those rights to distributors without compensation.
There is no public purpose to this law. Texas is simply using the public power of the legislature for the private gain of beer distributors. Amazingly, the law forces breweries to give up their distribution rights for nothing, but distributors can turn around and resell those same rights for whatever price the market will bear. This case will determine whether Texas brewers can keep these valuable property rights in the businesses they built.
It is truly amazing the Texas legislature passed such a gross robbery under the color of law. Historically, brewers sold the right to distribute their product. They obviously could only charge what the market would bear.
So now these breweries have to give distribution rights away for free and then the distributor has the right to sell this exclusive privilege to another distributor.
The owners of Live Oak Brewing, Peticolas Brewing Company, and Revolver Brewing are suing the state of Texas. But activists everywhere should be supporting them by other means. If you live in Texas, write to your state representative and tell them that this theft requires repentance!
There is a slogan most Texans are proud of: “Don’t mess with Texas.” It is a great slogan provided it is understood to refer to the people of Texas. The Texas state government needs to learn that they “don’t mess with Texas” if they know what’s good for them. By robbing Texas businesses they are messing with Texas.