Take your Texas beer to go: TABC director talks alcohol law changes

AUSTIN, Tex. (KBTX) - You could soon buy beer to go from Texas breweries.

An amendment is making its way through the statehouse that would allow Texas breweries to sell their product in bottles or cans for you to take home to your fridge.

Right now, the beverages must be drunk on the brewery premises.

Bentley Nettles, head of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, says his agency cannot advocate for any specific amendments, only advise the legislature on how it will affect TABC.

However, Nettles did says he thinks it's a "great concept."

"It will put the Texas marketplace on par with the other states that already have it," said Nettles.

Still, the change wouldn't come without challenges for the TABC.

"When you have the manufacturer of a product starting to act like a retail member, [there are challenges]," said Nettles, "but what I expect if and when this bill is passed into law, we will work with industry to make sure that public health and public safety continue to be protected."

This amendment is part of legislation that allows the TABC to continue operating to regulate alcohol sales in the state. Nettles says there are other important amendments, including one that would reduce the number of alcohol permits from 72 to 36.

"Just like if you're a restaurant's short-order cook: if you have to cook 76 items, or you only have to cook 36, your job gets a lot whole easier," said Nettles. "So we're kind of excited about that here--the prospect of narrowing what we have to be responsible for."

Another amendment would "collapse the decades-old beer and ale separation," allowing those two categories to become one, simplifying the legal code surrounding them.

For the full conversation with Nettles, see the video player above.