According to a press release from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, (TABC), Austin’s Cuvee Coffee has been “charged with possession of equipment or material for manufacture of unauthorized beverages”.
This is the apex of an ongoing battle between the big bad wolf and a small business owner over the use of a canning device sealing and selling crowlers. Crowlers, just like growlers, are used to transport beer for later consumption. They are more popular with beer drinkers because they keep more light and air out of the vessel, but according to outdated Texas alcohol laws, crowlers are considered a canned product and require a separate permit.
Before I continue, this is obviously a biased, unbalanced post. The whole thing is a complete mess, and it’s showing how disfunctional the TABC is, and why it’s completely unnecessary to have around.
The problem lies within the language of the law; outspoken owner of Cuvee Coffee, Mike McKim, has provided a little more detail about what they are trying to accomplish in the following press release:
“TABC issued a press release today explaining the actions it has taken against Cuvee Coffee for its use of their crowler machine. Cuvee’s position has been, and continues to be, that the practice of filling and selling crowlers does not violate its TABC permit nor any provision of the alcoholic beverage code.
Cuvee is a law abiding business, with good relations with TABC representatives. We simply disagree with TABC’s interpretation of the beverage code as it relates to our crowler machine. Our decision to continue using the crowler was driven by our desire to obtain a judicial ruling on our use of the crowler — a decision not uninvited by TABC representatives.
As the press release acknowledges, we were simply exercising our right to petition the courts for a ruling. That can’t happen until a court obtains jurisdiction over this issue. The violation formally issued by TABC today begins that process. Importantly, it has always been our intention to cease use of the crowler once we received the notice of violation. Now that we have that, we’ll pursue a resolution of the matter with TABC, and the courts, as necessary.”
Here’s a great YouTube video from Destination Beer Show about the crowlers: