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Texas Lyceum’s November Conference to Explore History, Taste and Future of Texas Beer, Wine and Spirits


Industry pioneers and government officials to pull back curtain on workings and challenges of the complex system that puts alcoholic beverages in consumers’ hands


The Texas Lyceum’s upcoming conference, “Raising the Bar on Texas Spirits,” is scheduled to be a bit ‘stronger’ than most. Held in Dripping Springs on Nov. 5-6, the conference will dive into the history and workings of Texas’s alcohol beverage industry and feature tastings of Texas-produced spirits. Some of the topics covered in discussions with well-known industry pioneers and government officials will include: the history of making and distributing alcohol in Texas, the industry’s roughly $25 billion annual economic impact on the state, the roles of governmental bodies and laws regulating the industry, changing consumer trends and preferences amid COVID-19, and current issues and policies affecting manufacturers, distributors and retailers.


  • Dripping Springs, TX
  • Register for virtual attendance; In-person attendance sold out
  • *In-person media attendance requests will be handled on individual basis – please email Shaelyn Stone directly.


  • Thursday, Nov. 5 – Friday, Nov. 6
  • *Virtual attendees can select which portions of the event to attend from the schedule below.


Thursday, Nov. 5

  • The Role of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC)
    • General Bentley Nettles, Executive Director, TABC; Moderator Blair Watson, Brown Distributing
  • Fireside Chat: The Godfathers of Texas Beer, Wine and Spirits
    • Brock Wagner, Saint Arnold Brewing Company; Dan Garrison, Garrison Brothers; Susan Auler, Fall Creek Vineyards; Moderator Tam Hawkins, Texas Lyceum Class of 2018

Friday, Nov. 6

  • History of Texas Alcohol Beverage Industry
    •  Harry Schuhmacher, Beer Business Daily, Craft Business Daily, & Wine and Spirits Daily
  • Economic Impact on Texas
    • Glenn Hegar, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
  • How to Make a Regulatory Model Designed in the 1930s Work in 2020
    • Lance Lively, Texas Package Stores Association; Charles Vallhonrat, Texas Craft Brewer’s Guild; Stephanie Houston, Ruminate Distilling; Todd Kercheval, Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Texas; Keith Strama, Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas; Moderator Mark Shilling, Big Thirst Consulting
  • From Beer-to-Go to Cocktail-to-Go, Now What?
    • Gregory Lamantia, Favorite Brands; Joanna Salinas, Still Austin Whiskey Co.; Michael Graham, Austin Beerworks; David JaBour, Twin Liquors; Kareem Hajjar, Hajjar/Peters, LLP; Kelsey Steufert, Texas Restaurant Association; Moderator John Kroll, Texas Lyceum Class of 2009
  • The Last Mile: Getting the Drink in Your Hand
    • Alphonse Dotson, Dotson-Cervantes Wines; Mike Cameron, Devils River Whiskey; Dya Campos, HEB; Adam Wright, Kelsey Steufert, Texas Restaurant Association; Spindletap Brewery; Moderator Dewey Brackin, Brackin Schwartz & Associated
  • The Future of the Industry – Next Battle Grounds from 87th St, William Chris Vineyards, Rick Donley, The Beer Alliance of Texas; Moderator Mia McCord, TCCRI


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