November Conference dives into history, current impact, recent changes and future of the lone star state’s alcohol beverage industry
Dallas – (Nov. 6, 2020) – The Texas Lyceum’s November conference wraps up for attendees today as they finish exploring a hot topic for the year of 2020 – alcohol. Held in Dripping Springs, “Raising the Bar on Texas Spirits” took attendees on a journey through the history, current challenges and changes, and future of Texas-produced alcohol, with insight from government officials as well as manufacturers, distributors and retailers from across the state.
“In a year where bars were off limits and to-go margaritas became the new normal, it seemed natural to spotlight Texas’ alcohol beverage industry – specifically, the role it plays in our state’s economy and understanding how drinks get in the hands of Texans,” said Laura Dixon, president of The Texas Lyceum. “Our goal was to elevate Texas’s rich history with alcohol, and to dig into topics that affect us and our fellow businesspeople in this booming industry.”
Over the last decade, producers of notable Texas spirits have become international household names, the number of craft breweries in Texas has increased to over 340, and distilleries to over 130, winning numerous international awards for excellence in the process.
Held in the Texas Hill County – the second largest wine tourist destination in the U.S. – the two-day conference dove into the industry’s nearly $25 billion annual impact on the state’s economy, the role of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, how the regulatory model established in the 1930s works nowadays, and what the industry is bringing to the table during 2021’s Legislative Session and beyond.
“It was fascinating to learn about the ‘battle grounds,’ so to speak, that the industry is currently facing and expects to face in the future with the legislature, and to hear it from so many different perspectives within the industry itself and from the regulation side of things too,” said Amy Blakely, meeting chair for The Texas Lyceum. “I hope all attendees leave the conference with a newfound appreciation and interest in Texas-based alcohol businesses, as well as our elected leaders that help champion for them.”
“Raising the Bar on Texas Spirits” also explored consumers’ changing trends over the past decades and even more recently during the pandemic, as well as how Texas evolved from selling bottled beer at grocery stores to now offering cocktails-to-go from restaurants. “The Godfather of Texas Beer, Wine and Spirits” was a fireside chat that featured well-known brand names like the Garrison Brothers, Saint Arnold Brewing Company and Fall Creek Vineyards to discuss the landscape of alcohol production in Texas.
“The Texas Lyceum is proud to gather experts together to help the rest of us understand what issues and matters we need to be paying attention to and participating in as residents of our great state,” said John Edwards, meeting chair for The Texas Lyceum. “Our words and actions have the potential to drive agendas, which means we need to take responsibility to be informed on topics we plan on engaging with.”
About the Texas Lyceum
The Texas Lyceum is a forty-year-old leadership organization focused on identifying the next generation of top Texas leaders who have demonstrated leadership in their community and profession, together with a deep commitment to Texas. For more information, please visit www.texaslyceum.org.