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Whiskey and Politics

If you’ve ever paid a visit to Garrison Brothers Distillery, we hope we’ve been good hosts. We show you how we make bourbon. We tell some stories. We share our bourbon.

At the end of the visit, we always hear the same question: Why can’t I buy a bottle of your bourbon? Then we’re forced to go into a long-winded explanation of the three-tier system in Texas, antiquated liquor laws and prohibition era politics.

We’d like your help to do something about that.

Senate Bill 995, which would permit Texas craft distilleries to sell a single souvenir bottle to adult distillery visitors, passed the Texas Senate business and commerce committee with a highly favorable 7-0 vote last week. This week it reached the Senate floor and passed with a vote of 31 for and 0 against!

Now the bill has reached the House Licensing & Administrative Procedures (L&AP) Committee, where it may be stalled. But we’ve only got a week or so to get it out on the floor of the house for a vote. Otherwise, the bill dies in committee.

Here’s where we’d like your help: If you agree that this bill is good for Texas tourism, good for Texas agriculture and good for the state economy (we’ll pay taxes on every bottle we sell), please consider contacting your state representative, or the representatives who sit on this committee, and let them know how you feel about Senate Bill 995.

You can find your state representative’s contact information by Googling ”whorepresentsme” or you can contact the members of the L&AP Committee at the email addresses listed below.

If you decide to reach out to them, please be courteous. Few people today are willing to enter public service. We need them and they deserve our respect and admiration.

We appreciate your support. Please come visit again soon.

Honorable Representative Chente Quintanilla chente.quintanilla@house.state.tx.us

Honorable Representative Senfronia Thompson senfronia.thompson@house.state.tx.us

Honorable Representative Jose Menendez: jose.menendez@house.state.tx.us

Honorable Representative John Kuempel: john.kuempel@house.state.tx.us

Honorable Representative Patricia Harless: patricia.harless@house.state.tx.us

Honorable Representative Roland Gutierrez: roland.gutierrez@house.state.tx.us

Honorable Representative Charlie Geren:
charlie.geren@house.state.tx.us

Honorable Representative Joe Driver:
joe.driver@house.state.tx.us

Honorable Representative Mike Hamilton (chair): mike.hamilton@house.state.tx.us

posted by Dan Garrison in Spring 2010 Newsletter and have Comments (8)

8 Responses to “Whiskey and Politics”

  1. dayton vause says:

    this is the kind of stuff I want to discuss on the radio. My show starts next saturday, please keep me in mind

  2. Chris says:

    I just shot off e-mail to Joe Driver. I think he’s a stand up guy having been instrumental in helping bring Concealed Carry to Texas.

  3. TED JETER says:

    Dan,
    I have emailed Mike Hamilton for assistance regarding 995. Have a great weekend and keep making the bourbon. t

  4. Wade Woodard says:

    I live in Senfronia Thompson’s district and sent her this message:

    The Honorable Senfronia Thompson,
    I’m writing today in regards to Senate Bill 995, which is now in the Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee, of which you are a member. I live in your district and appreciate your time and commitment in serving our great state.

    This bill would permit Texas craft distilleries to sell a single souvenir bottle to adult distillery visitors. I know we have many important items on agenda this session. These craft distillers are great examples of small business that are creating new jobs in Texas. The multinational and out of state owners of the large spirit companies have a strong control on the distribution channels which makes it hard for a Texas companies to compete. This bill is good business, will be good for Texas, and for Texas jobs.

    Please consider voting yes on this and encourage your committee to take action to move this to floor for vote.

    Thank you,
    Wade Woodard

  5. Dan Garrison says:

    Thanks so much Wade. Great note.

  6. Kuruvila Mani says:

    Sent a note to Mike Hamilton – used Wade’s great note as a template and added this at the end.

    This bill will be a benefit for the small businesses and will also promote tourism. Selling a single bottle won’t impact the retailers but will benefit them in the long run as if the product is good, the consumer will have to go to the retailer to buy more. This model has led to the success of many wineries across the country and could really make a difference to the small craft distilleries in Texas which are turning out some truly superior products.

  7. Jennifer Hanlon says:

    I see this stalled in committee – does this mean we need to start working on our peeps for next legislative session?

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