Austin's Infamous Brewing Company is using its cans as a weapon to ratchet up pressure on Governor Greg Abbott to let breweries and wineries operate their tasting rooms during the pandemic.
The brewery printed Abbott’s office phone number on the bottom of the latest run of its Bugsy’s Amber Ale and is asking customers to call the governor to ask that breweries be exempted from the order that closed Texas bars.
“I’ve been in contact with other brewers, and we’ve all called and emailed. … We’ve done everything we can, but the people Abbott hasn’t heard from are the consumers,” Josh Horowitz, Infamous' "ring leader" told the Current. “We always put some dumb-ass saying on the bottom of the can, so yesterday I said, ‘Why don’t we put Gov. Abbott’s hotline number on bottom for this run?’”
The team at Infamous banded together with other Texas breweries to demand new rules that would include separate guidelines for breweries and wineries — rather than hold them to the rules created to regulate 51% establishments that sell hard liquor.
“Typically, a bar is a place that buys all of their goods from a distributor,” Horowitz said. “I’m not buying my beer and reselling it. I’m making all of this beer here. To be stopped in my tracks because we’re a 51% establishment, it makes no sense.”
Although the Infamous taproom reopened this week under new guidelines provided by the TABC, it had been shuttered for months due to Abbott's order.
"No matter what changes they make to the rules at this stage in the game, we’ll continue this campaign to change the classification of what a brewery or winery is versus what a bar is," Horowitz said. "We’ve been doing it right and making sure everyone is safe. There’s no reason we shouldn’t have been open.”
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