Nine weeks after the labels were approved and two days after the beer was released, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) has confiscated both bottles and kegs of a recent collaboration between Fort Worth, Texas-based The Collective Brewing Project and Placencia, Calif.-based The Bruery.
The beer in question is Minor Miner, a grisette-style ale brewed with Texas-grown pilsner malt sourced from Texmalt before being aged in oak foeders with orange blossoms and calendula flowers for between four and six months.
According to a post on The Collective Brewing Project’s website, the TABC instructed representatives from Andrews Distributing— which is The Bruery’s distributor in the Dallas/Fort Worth area—to collect both bottles and kegs of the ale after it became known that the bottles that were released mistakenly included labels that were used on bottles sold outside of Texas instead of the labels that were approved by the government agency, a mistake that The Collective Brewing Project readily admits to.
However, in the process of collecting those bottles, the TABC instructed those same representatives from The Bruery to collect kegs of the “illicit” beer as well, despite the fact that the keg label had been approved by the agency on May 24 and did not feature the same issues as the bottle label did.
“As of now the TABC considers the beer an illicit product and as it stands currently will not be sold in Texas,” said Ryan Deyo, co-founder of The Collective Brewing Project, in an email to Tenemu. “We are of the opinion that this is a misinterpretation of the law preventing a manufacturing brewery from putting the name of a retailer on their label. The TABC has interpreted this law to mean that breweries and brewpubs are not allowed to collaborate thus making this beer illegal or illicit in Texas.”
The TABC is a Texas-state agency that is responsible for regulating, inspecting and taxing the production, sale and use of alcoholic beverages within the state.
Deyo told Tenemu that while The Collective Brewing Project has no plans to file a lawsuit agains the TABC due to the costs involved, “The Bruery is consulting with a lawyer familiar with TABC law.”
“We have no financial stake in this beer motivating our opinion,” said Deyo in an email. “We just made a beautiful beer that we want to share with our fellow Texans.”