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TABC posts interesting and informative articles about the agency and how the alcoholic beverage industry in Texas works.

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May 12, 2021

INDUSTRY NOTICE: Steps to Legally Offer Alcohol-To-Go Under House Bill 1024

Gov. Greg Abbott has signed House Bill 1024 (alcohol-to-go) into law and it is now in effect, replacing the COVID-19 protocols for selling alcohol to go. This law allows eligible Mixed Beverage Permit (MB) holders and Private Clubs (N/NB/NE) to sell beer, wine and cocktails to consumers for pickup or delivery if sold with a food order. To make sure you are ready to sell alcohol to go under the new law, review these three items: Read the alcohol-to-go guidance for Mixed Beverage (MB) and Private Club (N/NE/NB) permit holders. Ensure that you have a current Food and Beverage Certificate (FB) issued by TABC. If you do not have the FB Certificate, submit an application as soon as possible. Under the law, you may not begin or continue selling alcohol to go without this. TABC will do everything it can to timely process and issue FB Certificates to qualified applicants. To help the struggling restaurant industry, TABC will temporarily use discretion on enforcing the FB Certificate requirement for businesses that make good faith efforts to timely submit their FB Certificate applications and payments but have not yet been issued the certificate by TABC. However, if an applicant receives notice that TABC has denied their request for an FB Certificate, the applicant may no longer conduct alcohol-to-go activities. To submit your FB Certificate application, mail (do not email) a completed L-AFB form and a payment of $776 (application fee) to either of these addresses:   TABC Licensing Division 5806 Mesa Drive Austin TX 78731 TABC Licensing Division P.O. BOX 13127 Austin, TX 78731-312 Note: If you previously submitted an application using the L-LRC form and those instructions, TABC will still accept that application and you do not need to submit a new application. After submitting your FB Certificate application to TABC, please post a copy of your FB Certificate application next to your permit at your location. This will help TABC’s Audit and Enforcement personnel in using discretion on enforcing the FB Certificate requirement.   Alcohol delivery drivers are encouraged to take the Texas Responsible Alcohol Delivery (TRAD) certification course. This course teaches delivery drivers how to safely deliver alcohol to consumers in Texas. Businesses that hold a TABC Consumer Delivery Permit could be protected from liabilities if their drivers are TRAD certified. The course could also provide some protections to individual delivery drivers.

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May 3, 2021

INDUSTRY NOTICE: House Bill 1024 Pickup and Delivery of Alcoholic Beverages for Off-Premises Consumption

Eligible Mixed Beverage Permit (MB) holders and Private Clubs are now authorized to sell beer, wine and cocktails with food orders that are purchased for pickup or delivery under the following conditions: Retailer eligibility to offer consumer pickup or delivery to consumers: Hold a Mixed Beverage Permit (MB) and a Food and Beverage Certificate (FB) for the permitted premises; or Hold a Private Club Registration Permit (N) and a Food and Beverage Certificate (FB) for the permitted premises. General authority — Eligible Mixed Beverage (MB) and Private Club (N) permit holders may: Allow customers to pick up alcohol with food orders, Deliver alcohol with food orders to customers, Use third parties acting as an agent of the MB or N to make deliveries, Use independent contractors holding a Consumer Delivery Permit (CD) to make deliveries on their behalf. Restrictions on what may be picked up or delivered — Eligible MB and N permittees may allow pickup or delivery of any number of malt beverages (defined as beer and ale prior to Sept. 1, 2021), wines and/or distilled spirits ONLY WHEN: The alcohol is accompanied by a food order that was prepared on the business’s premises; and           Note: There is no required food-to-alcohol ratio. Malt beverages and wine are in their original container sealed by the manufacturer or in a tamper-proof container that is sealed by the permit holder and clearly labeled with the permit holder’s business name and the words “alcoholic beverage” (example: growlers of ale). Distilled spirits are in an original single-serving container sealed by the manufacturer and not larger than 375 milliliters (example: cocktail kit); or Distilled spirits are mixed with other beverages or garnishes and stored in a tamper-proof container clearly labeled with the permit holder’s business name and the words “alcoholic beverage” (example: in-house mixed margarita). “Tamper proof container” is defined as a “container that once sealed, clearly shows whether it has been opened. The term includes a cup or similar container that is placed into a bag that has been sealed with a zip tie or staple or sealed with shrink wrap or a similar seal.” Limits on where alcohol may be delivered: Deliveries may only be made to a location: Where the sale of that type of alcohol is legal; and Within the county where the business is located, or up to 2 miles beyond the city limits in which the business is located if that city crosses a county line.  Note: Permittees may NOT deliver alcohol to another licensed or permitted location. Requirements for completing the customer pickup or delivery to the customer: Recipients must not be intoxicated; Recipients must present valid proof of their identity that confirms they are at least 21 years old before the alcoholic beverage is handed over to the recipient; and Recipients must either sign a receipt (may be electronically signed) acknowledging the pickup/delivery, or the individual representing the permitted business must acknowledge the completion of the pickup or delivery through a software application. Note: Alcoholic beverages picked up or delivered under this authority may not be transported in the passenger area of a motor vehicle.   Revised to reflect that HB 1024 is now effective (May 12, 2021).

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April 20, 2021

Industry Spotlight: Rathskeller Bar

In our second Industry Spotlight, we’re bringing you the story of a bar that holds the oldest beer license in Texas. TABC’s Industry Spotlight series tells the stories behind your favorite bars, restaurants, businesses and drinks. To start, we’ve selected businesses that have some of the longest-standing licenses and permits and no recent history of violations. This month we’re spotlighting the Rathskeller Bar, housed in the Hermann Sons Home Association’s historic building in downtown San Antonio. This “time capsule” bar, as association president Lori Todd describes it, has held its TABC beer license for more than 83 years. Rathskeller BarOwner: San Antonio Hermann Sons Home AssociationAssociation President: Lori ToddLocation: San AntonioOriginal License: Sept. 1, 1937

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April 12, 2021

Use These Charts to Get Ready for Sept. 1 License Changes

We’ve posted two charts to help you prepare for the new, simplified license and permit types coming Sept. 1, 2021. In 2019, state lawmakers streamlined alcohol laws to help Texans more easily do business with TABC. Those changes take effect Sept. 1, putting in place the updated license and permit structure. To help you understand the upcoming changes, we created the following charts: Sept. 1, 2021 License Consolidation Explained — shows how certain current licenses will change and be merged into the new license structure. Sept. 1, 2021 License and Permit Types — shows the new license and permit types starting Sept. 1. Download the charts and learn more on TABC’s License Changes page.

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March 17, 2021

Industry Spotlight: The Oyster Bar Restaurant

Welcome to the first edition of a new online series from TABC, where we’ll bring you the stories behind your favorite bars, restaurants, businesses and drinks. The alcoholic beverage industry in Texas is as diverse as the state itself. Whether it’s a place you enjoy with family and friends over dinner, the brewer of your favorite beer, or the store down the road, we want to share the rich history of TABC license holders. To start, the agency is selecting businesses that have some of the longest-standing licenses and permits and no recent history of violations. That’s why our first Industry Spotlight profile features the Oyster Bar Restaurant, which has been in business for more than 70 years. The Oyster Bar Restaurant Owner: Justo Barrientes Jr.General Manager: Mary LompraLocation: South TexasEstablished: 1950 (original location)

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March 8, 2021

Executive Order Allows All Businesses to Open at Full Capacity on March 10

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-34, lifting the mask mandate in Texas and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100% beginning Wednesday, March 10 at 12:01 a.m. Read Gov. Abbott’s full news release. View the TABC Coronavirus Information page.

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Jan 26, 2021

Join TABC in the Fight Against Human Trafficking

Allison Franklin was lost. After the violent death of her dad and frequent sexual abuse plagued her youth, Allison said she found herself homeless on the streets of Houston — until a predator lured her into a life of servitude. Her story is one of thousands of reasons TABC fights human trafficking. When Allison shared her story in a TABC video last year, she wanted people to know that they can play a role in stopping human trafficking. “I wish I didn’t have that story to tell,” she said. “I wish I had a different story to tell but I hope that my story inspires others to make sure this doesn’t happen to someone else.” As January marks Human Trafficking Prevention Month in Texas, TABC wants to show why fighting this crime is so vital and how everybody can play a part in saving lives.

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Jan 18, 2021

TABC Remembers Fallen Officer Delbert H. Pearson

Forty-eight years ago today, Delbert H. Pearson was the first commissioned officer of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to die in the line of duty. On Jan. 18, 1973, Inspector Pearson was killed after identifying himself while confronting a suspect in an illegal whiskey stash investigation. Originally from Paris, Texas, Pearson worked with TABC for nearly 21 years and was 55 at the time of his death. In 2020, TABC created the Pearson Award in his honor. The award is given to the graduate of the TABC Agent Academy who demonstrates the top physical skills performance in the class. Pearson was survived by his wife and two daughters. His daughter, Peggy Kerley (and husband Ralph), now have two adult children, Karmyn and Jeff. 

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Jan 15, 2021

Join the Webinar Series: Charting an End to Human Trafficking in Texas

You’re invited to join a five-part webinar series about the state’s strategic plan to end human trafficking in Texas, starting Jan. 19. The series will be hosted by the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinating Council, a group of representatives from state agencies who are evaluating human trafficking programs across Texas and coordinating efforts to combat the crime. The council published its strategic plan to end human trafficking back in May. The webinars, which take their themes from the strategic plan’s five pillars, will take place on Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 19 — Prevent: Assess the Threat of Human Trafficking in Texas Jan. 26 — Protect: Investigate and Conduct Human Trafficking Operations Feb. 2 — Prosecute: Prosecute Human Trafficking Using All the Tools Available Feb. 9 — Provide Support: Provide Follow-up Care to Victims After Recovery Feb. 16 — Partner: Identify and Build Partnerships RSVP to humantrafficking@oag.texas.gov and use this meeting information to join: Zoom link Webinar ID: 916 0684 8016 Password: 876461 To learn more about TABC’s efforts to fight human trafficking in Texas, visit our Stop Human Trafficking page.

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Jan 7, 2021

TABC Protecting Texans During 2021 Paisano Season

TABC expects moderate to heavy traffic at Texas’ Ports of Entry during Paisano season this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The rush typically lasts Jan. 1 to 13, when thousands of travelers return to the U.S. after visiting their families in Mexico during the winter holidays. TABC’s regulatory compliance officers (RCOs) are working to protect Texans by enforcing alcohol laws and taking COVID-19 precautions at the state’s 30 ports of entry. They include 28 border land crossings and two Galveston seaports. While numerous travelers this year followed the CDC’s coronavirus recommendations to stay home, the federal government is allowing essential travel between the U.S. and Mexico. TABC is taking many precautions to protect travelers and RCOs during the pandemic, including wearing facial coverings, conducting business outdoors and having travelers stay in their vehicles. TABC keeps Texans safe and supports the state’s general revenue fund during Paisano season by: Making sure travelers returning with alcohol and tobacco products are of legal age to possess the products in the U.S. Stopping potentially dangerous, improperly labeled or excess alcoholic beverages or tobacco from crossing into the U.S. Collecting state-mandated taxes and fees on alcohol and tobacco products. Last year, officers stamped nearly 1.8 million containers of alcohol and tobacco, and stopped more than 34,000 containers of illicit or excess alcohol or other items from crossing into Texas. TABC sees the most Paisano traffic in Laredo and Eagle Pass, where the locations of highways in the U.S. and Mexico are convenient for many travelers. In Laredo alone, RCOs collected nearly $470,000 in revenue last year during Paisano season. Learn more about the rules and restrictions for bringing alcohol and cigarettes into Texas on TABC’s Ports of Entry page.

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