Day 11: Under the Spotlight
The title of today’s post is both a reflection of the growing interest in HB 660, and the way I spent most of yesterday.
Thursday is typically the day I take “off” (I use the term “off” lightly since you’ll still usually find me at the brewpub), but yesterday ranks right up there with some of the busiest days I’ve had. I spent a good chunk of the afternoon on the phone with various journalists. One of them was Jeorge Zarazua who wrote a great piece for today’s Express-News (link can be found below). A little later I entertained (and was actually entertained myself by his sense of humor) the paper’s photographer as he captured the print debut of my beard (also found in the link below). Then KENS 5 came in for interviews with myself, Joey Villarreal of Blue Star Brewing Co. and Representative Mike Villarreal who of course authored the bill (no relation to Joey). The KENS story will air today, and they’ve promised me it will be online – I’ll post it (or a link to it) as soon as it’s up.
One of the most uplifting things I’d heard was from the Representative, who told me that he would have never predicted such a public response from this bill. You all are being heard! Paraphrasing, he told me that every session there is a relatively small bill that, for whatever reason, turns into a big deal. This is that bill, he told me. Obviously it is something that was very important to us craft beer drinkers, but for other folks to be rallying behind us to is huge. Even folks who may not drink craft beer are in support – they know it is just the right thing to do.
Equally as uplifting in my conversation with the Representative was that he’s already engaged with the wholesalers on discussing the bill. The wholesalers aren’t against us brewpubs having the ability to sell them beer. They are only concerned that it doesn’t result in the dismantling of the 3-tier system through legal challenges. The success of this bill rides on our ability to show that it doesn’t. Luckily, the evidence from other states and our own wine industry backs us up.
Keep writing those letters, sending those emails. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished already in 11 days, and we’ve only just begun.
Around the Web
Jeorge Zarazua has a great story on the bill in the business section of the San Antonio Express-News, which you can read here.
And Beer Town Austin has news on the forthcoming collaboration beer.