DEBC seeking handout to sue TABC

Discussion in 'US - South' started by nathanmiller, Sep 16, 2015.

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  1. nathanmiller

    nathanmiller Meyvn (1,189) Oct 7, 2009 New York

    After their last attempt at getting a kickstarter handout, looks like the guys at Deep Ellum have turned to the next best thing: Indiegogo, where they'll get to keep all monies raised even if their goal isn't met. So far DEBC and John Reardon have already raised over $12k that, you know, might end up being used to fight TABC.

    To be clear, perhaps this lawsuit will end in victory for Deep Ellum. Also to be clear, the last lawsuit that a brewer brought against TABC was not successful, and, furthermore, led to the lawmakers in the most free-market-friendly legislature in Texas history feeling put off, such that no progress was made last session. Here's hoping the same doesn't happen this time, after all, some shakeup is certainly needed. The idea of dock sales is such an important one, and such a valuable one, that I certainly hope this ends in victory.

    But I won't pretend to be surprised that Deep Ellum is seeking for customers to pay for the right for Deep Ellum to sell more to customers.
  2. jbeezification

    jbeezification Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2012 Texas

    These guys are douchebags.
    elWhite, kmello69, cfh64 and 8 others like this.
  3. sethsticles

    sethsticles Initiate (62) May 6, 2014 California

    I'm glad you're pointing this out. I'm sure all the hipster DEBC fanboys (there are a lot in Dallas, too) are going to hand over their velcro wallets soon enough for the "cause." The top seven contributing breweries then form a panel on how to appropriately spend the money? How about all the breweries that want to participate just pool all of their money together to begin with without including consumers? I don't recall other Texas breweries look for handouts when they have brought suit against the state. Classy!

    "hey, we're so noble to do a favor for youuuu the consumer that we think youuuu should pay for it!"

    Anyway, as @nathanmiller said, this isn't progress, it's impatience.
  4. Dogleg

    Dogleg Initiate (0) Apr 4, 2014 Pennsylvania

    cfh64, BethSays, willandperry and 5 others like this.
  5. drummermattie02

    drummermattie02 Initiate (0) May 10, 2009 Texas

    Kind of makes me want to just say fuck it and figure out a way to smarmily crowd-fund lasik for myself. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
  6. Techichi

    Techichi Zealot (543) Sep 25, 2012 Texas

    When I first heard there was going to be a "Deep Ellum Brewery"...I knew they would be douche bags.
  7. Clarkson

    Clarkson Initiate (174) Feb 26, 2013 Texas

    Random thoughts:

    I'm no DEBC fanboy, but good for them for trying to get things changed for all TX breweries.

    I remember JK sued the TABC - was this the unsuccessful lawsuit that led to no progress being made last session? They won the "malt liquor" argument, but I think there were additional parts of the lawsuit.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the silent partners of DEBC lawyers?

    Why don't the lawyers of TX craft beer get together and sue (Jeffrey Stuffings, Michael Peticolas, et. al)
  8. nathanmiller

    nathanmiller Meyvn (1,189) Oct 7, 2009 New York

    Peticolas sued shortly before this recent session to be able to sell their distro rights. The lawmakers took it as a slap to the face.
    elWhite, Clarkson and aschwab like this.
  9. aschwab

    aschwab Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2009 Texas

    I don't get why they are not asking other breweries for help on this (or if they have, why not mention it) as opposed to reaching out to the public first.

    I am fully supportive of anyone doing this (in whatever means they feel like), but the counter argument has some valid points.

    Even if AB did this, I would be supportive.

    Granted, the clear winners are the breweries (who they mention in their article who will make more money).

    2nd would be the consumer.
    gtermi and Clarkson like this.
  10. aschwab

    aschwab Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2009 Texas

    Maybe they should stop being drama queens about it.

    If they are that petty, they likely will only vote where their money is coming from anyways. I am guessing they just used that as an excuse to vote the way they did.
  11. Clarkson

    Clarkson Initiate (174) Feb 26, 2013 Texas

    So some of the "bigger" breweries (SA, Rahr, Lakewood, JK, anybody else who is a brewpub or has already sold distro rights) have nothing to gain.
  12. Trelvis

    Trelvis Initiate (0) Feb 26, 2015 Texas

    Harsh responses.

    If craft beer drinkers want the laws changed, why would you not support the cause? Put your money where your mouth is. Im not a "Deep Ellum Fanboy" but I am a fan of changing the antiquated laws.
  13. sethsticles

    sethsticles Initiate (62) May 6, 2014 California

    According to the Indigogo they are reaching out to other breweries but doing so while they also reach out to the general public by offering up a "perk" reserved for fellow breweries. See any perk valued at $500+

    I'm for changing the laws too. I'd love nothing more than the ability to go to a brewery and get a growler fill or take home packaged beer. I take issue with a brewery only willing to put up $10K of their own money to fight this and instead rely on the general public to help fund the remaining $90K for the lawsuit. Bring other breweries into it privately. There are enough breweries in Texas to go above and beyond the $100K that they are trying to raise.
    elWhite and nathanmiller like this.
  14. tasteslikefrog

    tasteslikefrog Initiate (0) Jun 14, 2012 Texas

    it will be a good day when Deep Ellum goes out of business. absolute pathetic brewery.
    brock125, cfh64, dkw0063 and 4 others like this.
  15. gtermi

    gtermi Initiate (0) Apr 21, 2010 Texas

    I completely disagree. They make a lot of good beer and a nice brewpub that is enjoyable to visit. They are kind of assholes with some of their actions, but at least they are trying to make a step to improve the laws, even if the way they go about it is all wrong. I use to be their biggest hater because of their customer service, but to say that a brewery that makes good beer needs to go out of business because of their annoying actions just doesn't make sense to me. A good example is Three Floyds, where they are kind of smug assholes about how "great" they are, but I will still buy some of their beers because I enjoy it.
    chrismann65, Wayne17, ABW and 2 others like this.
  16. Bluestar

    Bluestar Initiate (0) Mar 5, 2012 Texas

    So... And I know this is a really simplistic thought that has already been stated above but...

    Can someone explain why I need to give my money to a brewery to support a law change that benefits the brewery 1st, and maybe me second? (with the far-fetched assumption that maybe buying beer direct from the brewery will be cheaper than picking it up at a retail store? - something tells me this won't happen with DEBC, but might with others)...

    Secondly... with DEBC's track record, why would I want them leading the charge? If I was willing to hand over my money for something that benefits breweries more than it does consumers, I would rather nominate one of the more reputable brewers in the state to handle the process than DEBC.... and one that is friendlier and more personable when I come to visit....

    anyway, that is all. Sure, I'd like the law changed too and I'm pulling for you - but seeming how y'all tend to see 98% of the benefit from this law change - I'll save my money to spend at the brewery picking up a six pack to go when you succeed.
  17. aschwab

    aschwab Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2009 Texas

    Why would SA, Lakewood, (larger breweries/not brewpubs) have nothing to gain? I would think that selling from the brewery would not involve a distributor like it works for brewpubs. JK has a distributor, but they do not need to go through it to sell on site, so why would SA/Lakewood?

    I would think places like SA would have quite a bit to gain.
  18. SmellyPete

    SmellyPete Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2014 Texas

    This is a joke, right?
    DEBC gives TX craft beer a bad name with stuff like this.
    brock125 likes this.
  19. aschwab

    aschwab Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2009 Texas

    People are happily willing to support JK and give them money to help bring Cantillon in with not a single complaint, but if it is Deep Ellum, threads turn to shit shows. JK is putting a chunk of money in for it, but they are also charging $50/ticket for a reason.

    Sure, it helps the brewery first, but the convenience factor for me and being able to get limited release bottles straight from a brewery is a huge advantage that I would be willing to support.
    ABW, Avelasquez80 and Clarkson like this.
  20. drummermattie02

    drummermattie02 Initiate (0) May 10, 2009 Texas

    They're also giving the rest to a non-profit that purportedly* furthers the cause of craft beer improvement in Texas. Deep Ellum a) is not a non-profit and really should not be crowd-funding a lawsuit that benefits them, it looks terrible^ and b) has a history of asking for handouts for things that benefit themselves. If you need money, get legit investors; if your legit investors don't want to give you money, there's probably a reason.

    * - only because I don't actually know the inner workings of Open the Taps

    ^ - I would say the same thing if it was JK or Saint Arnold... odd, by the way, you don't see Saint Arnold asking for handouts... wonder why that is?
    nathanmiller, elWhite, kwill and 8 others like this.
  21. Cowboys9

    Cowboys9 Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2009 Texas

    "No, I won't support your efforts to better the laws in our state because I hold an emotionally charged grudge against you for that time you offended me. Yes, I know this effort is at no cost to me and has the potential to benefit everyone state-wide but I don't care. Let me be angry with you."
    saint_, Trelvis and Clarkson like this.
  22. Clarkson

    Clarkson Initiate (174) Feb 26, 2013 Texas

    They have already sold their distro rights- and they are not going to compete with their distributors (now partners).

    DEBC has been pissed because they didn't sell their distribution rights in time. Jealous of you will of those who did.

    Let's replace DEBC with JK in this discussion and people would empty their wallets. JK is doing that to help a single foreign brewery put, DEBC has already put $10k and is leading the charge on helping out all TX breweries.

    Douches they might be, but I don't see anyone else doing anything about it right now.
    Avelasquez80 likes this.
  23. aschwab

    aschwab Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2009 Texas

    Do you really think those breweries would not be selling their beers from their taprooms if they could? It does not change any distribution thing, they would jump on that opportunity.
    Clarkson likes this.
  24. aschwab

    aschwab Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2009 Texas

    While I am not a fan of some of DEBC history, this money is going towards fighting a lawsuit and not lining their pockets. It also benefits every brewery in TX.

    I really think if this was literally any other brewery in TX, no one would be sitting here complaining about them asking for help.
  25. Bluestar

    Bluestar Initiate (0) Mar 5, 2012 Texas

    For the record: I would make the same compliant if it was JK doing the same thing as DEBC is currently doing.

    I am not going to give a donation to a business to fight laws that benefit them first, and may have a far-out benefit to me in the future (and albeit the benefit to me still results in a strong cash benefit to DEBC).

    That being said, even if I could travel to JK for the event, I would not be buying a $50 ticket for a glass, 4 oz pour, and the possibility to maybe get a bottle (which would be more $ again). The cash value isn't there for me. Do I appreciate what they're doing? Sure, but I understand that JK will benefit more from this than everyone else. Good PR, doing something everyone appreciates, and (let's not kid ourselves) most of the cantillon that actually enters this state will probably wind up in their hands, which will only serve to increase their popularity and profit margins. All good things for JK and I'm happy for them, but I'm going to be selfish and keep my money.

    However, that is my opinion. Others may not share it, and Jeff and the crew at JK are genuinely nice people that seem to go out of their way to be personable and helpful... so I just wanted to keep that opinion to myself. That, and I'll probably get jumped on now for saying anything that others may perceive as hateful to JK (which it is not in no way shape or forum).

    DEBC does not come across the same way, at all. And I don't think anyone here reading this thread would argue with that. So much of PR and running a business is molding a public image, and DEBC just has not done a good job. You have to interpret stuff like this from their past actions - unfortunately that's just how this thing works.

    I hope my post didn't come across as "angry", I didn't mean for it to. For the record, I am still pulling for them I hope they build a case and win...

    But because this case mainly benefits the brewery first and won't affect my ability to walk across the street and pick up a 6 pack from the huge selection at my local retail outlet, I see no need to give them my cash. Especially seeming how they will recoup their investment 10-fold should they achieve their goal and win such a lawsuit. I have an issue with giving people handouts to support change that will result in a future cash flow for them... doesn't matter who's asking...
  26. tx_beer_man

    tx_beer_man Initiate (169) Jan 22, 2013 Texas

    Screw this garbage brewery. I doubt change will happen and if it does, I won't thank them
    Beernerds likes this.
  27. Cowboys9

    Cowboys9 Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2009 Texas

    You're losing sight of the effect a "DEBC win" would have. Would DEBC be able to directly sell to its brewery patrons? Yes. Would Lakewood? Yes. Would Austin Beer Work? Yes. Would every other brewery in Texas? Yes. Everyone would be recouping their "investment." It would also open the door for tiny, suburban operations to flourish. This is about things much bigger than DEBC gaining the ability to sell directly to consumers, which it seem lots of people are wrapped up in.

    I have no problem with them asking for help to fund their litigation. It's not compulsory. Litigation is very expensive. This will be an expensive fight that they'll likely lose.
  28. Monkeypuker

    Monkeypuker Initiate (0) Sep 4, 2013 Texas

    Why so much hate?

    On a separate note, it looks like a lot here are confusing the issue to be that DEBC alone will benefit if that law passes. The bigger picture here (breweries able to sell direct to consumer) is getting lost only because it is DEBC that is spearheading this effort. Had it been JK doing the same thing, I'm sure there would be none of this noise.
  29. Persdawg

    Persdawg Initiate (198) Mar 12, 2015 Texas

    Outside of this lawsuit stuff, how did DEBC manage to piss so many people off?
    I feel like I can almost recall...but I can't.
  30. jbeezification

    jbeezification Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2012 Texas

    Everybody makes a lot of good beer. There are hundreds of good breweries out there who make good beer and aren't entitled assholes.
    BethSays likes this.
  31. BethSays

    BethSays Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2015 Texas

    Like a lot of the people here, I feel conflicted about this because I absolutely want to see beer-to-go sales from Texas production breweries, but am NOT a fan of how Deep Ellum does business. It's just really hard to support any movement led by them, especially when they're asking the general public to fund it. Now couple in the fact that Grapevine Craft Brewery has joined them and that's no alliance I'd want to be part of.

    I would love to know how the folks at The Texas Craft Brewers Guild and Open the Taps feel about this whole thing, as well as Jester King, Freetail, etc. They have the experience navigating the Texas legislature and the TABC, and I'd be interesting to know if they think this lawsuit is helpful or detrimental to progress of beer laws in the state.
    nsheehan likes this.
  32. aschwab

    aschwab Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2009 Texas

    The only issue with JK and Freetail are that they are not production breweries but brewpubs. I think they would both prefer to have production breweries to sell, though, but it is not as big of an issue to them currently. I am sure if production breweries could sell, the new Freetail brewpub would get a brewery license...but I somewhat doubt JK since they would only be able to sell their own beer.
  33. BethSays

    BethSays Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2015 Texas

    Totally understand that those two breweries wouldn't benefit from beer to go sales, but I do think it's telling that, in an industry that's all about community and support, only one brewery has chosen to rally behind Deep Ellum so far, and all of the more vocal members of the Texas craft beer industry, along with its advocacy groups have said...nothing.

    It just begs the question, is the silence because nobody wants to publicly take sides, because this lawsuit could backfire on support for the industry's interests, or could it be that we'd be seeing a whole lot more support if this movement was led by a brewery with a better reputation...
    nsheehan likes this.
  34. pwsoldier

    pwsoldier Devotee (452) Apr 26, 2007 Minnesota

    That was exactly my reaction when I first saw the indiegogo page, and to be fair I didn't realize at the time that DEBC was behind it.
  35. tx_beer_man

    tx_beer_man Initiate (169) Jan 22, 2013 Texas

    Nobody will help DEBC. Why would anyone want to work with a scub brewery? Any other brewery could do a better job gaining support.
  36. Clarkson

    Clarkson Initiate (174) Feb 26, 2013 Texas

    Sure do. Lakewood's new taproom didn't come from hustling Temptress in East Dallas. It came from the profits of the distributor who hustles it all over the metroplex to every account hey have in the big truck with Lakewood Brewing on the side of it.

    Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
    Avelasquez80 likes this.
  37. BethSays

    BethSays Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2015 Texas

    On that note, interesting passage from yesterday's Houston Chronicle story on this, Saint Arnold's Brock Wagner on the record as not joining lawsuit.

    Brock Wagner, founder and owner of Houston's Saint Arnold Brewing Co., has been active in many of the legislative efforts to amend the beer laws, and he agreed that the interests of consumers and the small craft breweries have been overwhelmed by the deep-pocketed lobbies with a vested business interest.

    Wagner said he continues to support dock sales. And although he is not joining the Deep Ellum lawsuit, he said he sympathizes with the effort.

    "You have a lot of very frustrated small businesspeople in this state," he said. "Not to mention consumers."
  38. sethsticles

    sethsticles Initiate (62) May 6, 2014 California

    I have visited too many out-of-state breweries that allow to-go sales of packaged beer and have a huge distribution footprint - including Texas, to believe this would be the case. I don't think anyone on here is saying that breweries would stop using distributors. When breweries gained the ability to build a taproom and charge by the pint I found (most) breweries have priced their pints within $1 of what most bars charge for the same volume. When that happened, you didn't see any breweries stop distributing their beer because they could sell it at their taproom for more profit nor did you see any bars stop carrying a beer because it was cheaper at the brewery.

    Regardless of how I feel about the lawsuit or going through Indiegogo, DEBC has some valid points when it comes to how distributors are impacted. Specifically, the more money a brewery has (read: makes in the taproom from direct sales), the faster they can expand to make more beer thus having more product for a distributor to push around. Economically speaking, this is good for everyone; however, the way it's being approached is not the right way to do it IMO.
    Heretic42 and aschwab like this.
  39. BenOdeski

    BenOdeski Initiate (0) Jul 1, 2014 Texas

    didn't Stone crowdfund a brewery?
  40. spaceycasey

    spaceycasey Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2009 Texas

    Open The Taps' members list "To-Go Sales From Breweries" as their #1 priority... and OTT gets it's money from donations by beer drinkers in order to achieve it's agenda... so aside from Deep Ellum being involved... how is this any different?
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