You Should Be Paid For Your Self-Distribution Rights – and Texas Agrees!


In 2013, distributors lobbied and won a concession as part of a generally positive group of reforms supporting the craft brewing industry in Texas.  The provision they slipped into the 2013 amendments to Texas craft brewing laws prohibited brewers from getting value for their self-distribution rights.  The entirety of sales driven profits, the law said, had to be handed over to a distributor without the brewer receiving anything for the blood, sweat, and tears they’d put into building their brand one sale at a time.

That all changed recently when a Texas trial court overturned that portion of the law, holding that it violated the state of Texas’ constitutional provision.  The constitutional provision cited prohibits the state legislature from enriching a business at the expense of another through legislation.  Prior to the law’s passage, Texas brewers had the right to sell their self-distribution rights to distributors and were fairly compensated when they did.  The state could still appeal the ruling, but for now, a big win for the rights of craft brewers and potentially some good case law to follow should an appeal occur with a similar result.

The finding is definitely persuasive and great reminder that brewers who develop a sales network and self-distribution channels shouldn’t just sign away those rights in other states.  They should demand and receive fair compensation.

You can read more about the decision in the Austin American-Statesman and in the Dallas News.

Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

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