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Hops & Grain becomes latest Austin brewery to make switch to sell beer to-go

Hops & Grain can now sell beer to go directly from its East Austin taproom.

Want to enjoy a pint of the brewery’s limited Texas Honey IPA and then take home a six-pack of easy-drinking River Beer? That’s possible now with Hops & Grain’s switch from a manufacturing brewery license to a brewpub license, which an increasing number of Texas breweries are doing for that very reason: to sell beer to taproom visitors to take home with them.

As of this week, people can now buy cans of River Beer, A Pale Mosaic and the One They Call Zoe and bottles of Volumes of Oak Belgian-Style Saison, the latter of which might make a pretty sweet last-minute Christmas present for the beer lover in your life (or, you know, you could probably just keep it for yourself, too). Growler fills are also available for any of the 16 beers on tap.

Starting in January, there will be a lot more to take home — Hops & Grain will introduce crowlers and have new can offerings sold weekly by the can or in mix-and-match cases of anything on hand. Some new cans we’ll see? The Double Dry-Hopped Pale Mosaic, as well as a new pale ale called Terpene Tango APA.

It’s been a long time coming for Hops & Grain, whose owner, Josh Hare, had wanted to make the move from manufacturing brewery to brewpub as early as 2013. He detailed the journey of that process in a blog post — noting that becoming a brewpub limits the amount of beer that can be made but allows for to-go beer sales. Other local breweries like Adelbert’s have made the switch for the purpose of those sales.

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“The advantage in selling beer to go, for me, is that you are able to offer customers the full brewery experience that is becoming not only the norm across the U.S. but an expectation. And if you can't offer that experience to folks that visit your brewery, I firmly believe that you're at a disadvantage,” he wrote in the post.

Texas law currently prohibits manufacturing breweries from selling beer to go from their taprooms, even though all other states, as of this year, now allow that practice. Texas breweries were hoping the state legislature would change the law this year during the session but instead had to fight against another bill they saw as a stinker for the industry.

Hops & Grain is also opening a facility in San Marcos, and it will be a brewpub from the start.

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This post has been corrected to reflect that all other U.S. states permit breweries to sell beer to go.

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