HB602 is dead

Not surprising, but sad nonetheless:

The latest effort by Texas’ small craft brewers to bolster their business by letting people leave their tours with a six-pack or two is dead.A spokesman for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Thursday that time simply ran out on House Bill 602, which was never offered for a vote by the end of the day Wednesday, deadline for the Senate to consider bills approved by the other chamber.The final, unresolvable conflict was a last-minute objection by Anheuser-BuschInBev, the world’s largest beer company. The Belgium-based conglomerate, which brews Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob and other beers in breweries in Houston and elsewhere, opposed a provision in the bill that would have denied it ability to offer the take-home beers.

more at Beer, TX.

HB602 had its flaws:  I wish that the distributors wouldn’t have required the size limitation, and in reality, HB660 would have created a much better playing field (more akin to other more beer-friendly states).  But as HB602 was the only of the three beer bills to get this far this session it was our best hope for improvement.  But similar to the Cubs fan rallying cry on opening day (“there’s always next season!”), the legislature will meet again in 2013.