TABC Cracks Down on Crowlers

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HOUSTON, TX - A new way to take beer to-go was gaining steam in the craft beer world, until a recent crack-down by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

A "crowler" is a mix between a can and a growler, but unlike its glass counterparts, crowlers have to be sealed with a special machine, instead of just a screw-on top, which is where the TABC says crowlers at these retailers were breaking the law.

“Crowler machines are actually considered canning machines, under the alcoholic beverage code, and as such, only those folks who have those permits that allow them to brew their own beer on-site may use them,” explained TABC representative Chris Porter.

Texas bars using the crowler machines got letters from TABC telling them to stop, and the commission says most retailers heeded the warning, except for one bar in Austin, Cuvee Coffee, which has since had its crowler machine confiscated.

As far as Houston bars, their crowler machines are away for now, but retailers say the crowlers were a good source of revenue and they hope a legislative change will bring back them back in the future.

For now, the subject, like the crowlers, is sealed.