LUBBOCK, Texas — Mickey Minter has six of his original beers on tap at The Plains Brew Company, and he’d like to add more. But up until Wednesday, he wasn’t allowed.
“I’ve always been a big fan of drinking beer,” Minter said. “And then I discovered craft beer some years ago and I brewed my own… [but] our licensing has restricted us to beers five percent in alcohol and below.”
Mr. Minter holds a license to brew beer, which, according to previous law, allowed only malt beverages at or below five percent alcohol. To brew anything higher, Minter would need to obtain a separate “ale” license. Now, updated law combines the two into a “malt beverage” permit that allows for either range of alcohol percentage.
“It was a little unfair,” Minter said. “With the way new laws have changed now, it’s going to level the playing field for everybody. Nobody will be at a disadvantage to the other one anymore.”
The more flexible brewers’ licensing procedure is one of the numerous laws that loosen alcohol restrictions in Texas. Other laws in that went into effect this week allow the purchase of alcohol at 10:00 A.M. on Sunday, rather than at noon, and permanently extend the COVID-19 measure that allowed restaurants to include alcoholic beverages in takeout and delivery orders.
Mr. Minter said he looks forward to offering a wider selection of beers that he hopes will attract even more diverse people and palettes.
“Being able to offer different styles attracts a broader market of beer drinkers,” Minter said. “We’re looking forward to making some different beers that get higher in alcohol. There’s some really good higher alcohol beers that need to be produced.”