Senator Van de Putte and Rep. Villarreal to be honored at unveiling of new brewery
Legislative changes paying immediate dividends throughout state; San Antonio brewery begins multi-million dollar expansion
San Antonio, TX — On Saturday, September 7, San Antonio state legislators Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (Dist. 26) and Rep. Mike Villarreal (Dist. 123) will be honored by the Texas Craft Brewers Guild with special awards commemorating their work at the Texas Legislature on new laws to aid the state's burgeoning craft beer industry. The award presentation will coincide with the unveiling of Freetail Brewing's much anticipated new facility, located at 2000 S. Presa, at 11:15am on Saturday, Sept. 7.
Villarreal and Van de Putte were leading figures in the fight for statutory reform to aid the state's burgeoning craft beer industry. The Guild estimates the new laws — which for the first time allow Texas breweries to sell directly to consumers and Texas brewpubs to sell into the wholesale market — could create up to $5 billion of new economic activity and 50,000 new jobs over the next decade. The news laws were signed by Governor Perry and went into effect on June 14, 2013.
According to Villarreal, the new laws are working as he envisioned. "Freetail's expansion is exactly what we had in mind when we wrote this legislation. By replacing outdated laws with smart regulations we're allowing small business owners to create new jobs. I'll raise a glass to that."
To benefit from the new laws, San Antonio's Freetail Brewing Co. has announced they would be building a new facility with the capacity to allow for wholesale production. "At our original location, we simply don't have the space," said Freetail Founder & CEO Scott Metzger, adding "We can hardly keep up with the demand for our beer for customers of our pub. Expanding into another facility was a no-brainer in terms of being able to take advantage of these new laws."
Van de Putte echoed these statements, stating, "This type of business expansion and job creation is exactly what I had in mind when I called together beer and spirits industry stakeholders back in 2012 to reform our Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code. The craft beer sector was skyrocketing around the nation, yet Texas' craft brewing industry was restrained by outdated laws. I applaud the Freetail success story and anticipate many more as Texas' brewpubs finally catch up with pent-up demand for a great product."
The new Freetail facility, codenamed "Freetail2" will be located at 2000 S. Presa, occupying 30,000 SF on 1.8 acres, costing an estimated $3 million and creating 15 new jobs. Freetail2 will be designed in order to produce up to 10,000 barrels a year, the new statutory limit for brewpubs. The company's goal, according to Metzger, is rooted in the company's heritage. "San Antonio is my home town and Freetail is a San Antonio company. We want to be San Antonio's beer."
Saturday's unveiling will begin at 11:15am and include a brief program introducing the space and presenting awards, followed by an open house and samples of Freetail product until 1:00pm. Representative Villarreal and Senator Van de Putte will be available for questions and to meet with constituents during the open house.