Alcohol

Folks drink at the Barton Springs Beer Hall.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUTX

Debaucherous evening last night? You're probably dealing with veisalgia right now.

More commonly known as a hangover, this unpleasant phenomenon has been dogging humanity since our ancestors first happened upon fermentation.

Craft Distillers Fight To Preserve A Valuable Tax Break

Dec 10, 2019
Gabriel C. Pérez/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Fifteen years ago, there were three distilleries in Texas. Today there are 158. But craft distillers say they are facing a potential setback that could cripple their ability to grow. They want Congress to extend a temporary tax cut that has significantly cut their cost of doing business.

Spencer Selvidge for KUT

If you're feeling lazy and you're looking for booze this holiday season, you're in luck. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission announced Thursday it's going to allow third-party delivery of alcohol from restaurants, liquor stores and grocery stores.

Sun exposure is the leading risk factor for developing melanoma. And there's evidence that alcohol consumption is linked to an increased risk of skin cancer, too.

Part of the explanation is that when people drink, they tend to be more lackadaisical: They're less likely to apply sunscreen and more likely to spend too much time in the sun, be it at the beach or pool. But this isn't the whole story.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

bill filed late last week in the Texas Legislature could allow liquor stores to sell on Sundays. 

Currently, stores are prohibited from selling then – as well as on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. House Bill 1100 from state Rep. Richard Peña Raymond would allow stores to sell from noon to 10 p.m. Sundays.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard:

On Election Day in Stanton, just north of Midland, Ron Black was skeptical that a particular measure on the ballot would pass.

“Well, I think at first it was - uh, nobody thought it would go through because they’ve tried it so many times, you know? I can’t tell you how many times it’s gone to the ballot,” he says.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

If you’ve ever been to a Walmart in Texas looking for liquor, you’ve noticed that, by law, they don’t sell it. Beer and wine, yes, but not spirits like tequila or whiskey.

And that’s because of a somewhat arcane law that allows privately owned corporations to sell liquor, but prevents public traded companies from doing the same. But now, that could change. Walmart sued to challenge that rule, and on Wednesday a federal district judge sided with the retail giant.

Colter Sonneville has become an evangelist for drinking in public in Austin.
Austin Price / KUT

Colter Sonneville had a hunch that it might be legal to walk down the street with an open beer in most of Austin’s residential neighborhoods. It started when he noticed some big signs around Chicon and East Cesar Chavez streets.

“The sign says, 'No alcohol consumption on public streets/sidewalks and pedestrian way designated area,’” he says. “‘Open glass containers prohibited.’”

Stefano Corso/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Editor's note: This story uses first names only because of an ongoing case with Child Protective Services.

Since at least the 1970s, researchers in Texas have been calling substance use a "family affair." A study by the Texas Research Institute's Drug Abuse Clinic compared two groups of families similar to each other in every aspect – from socio-economic status to ethnic background. The only difference was that one group had at least one family member who was an addict. The study found fathers dealing with drugs were critical and arrogant, mothers were disenfranchised and children were bitter and resentful.

That was in the '70s, but the story is not so different today.


Bill Lile/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Walmart sells everything from guns to grapefruit. But right now, it can't sell liquor – at least not in Texas. The mega-retailer is going to court to change that, but liquor store owners are fighting the effort, alongside the state of Texas.

Some of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's rules preventing Walmart from selling liquor date back to the end of Prohibition. But the big-box store corporation argues the rules amount to unconstitutional discrimination.

 


Gabriel Cristóval Pérez / KUT

Alcohol is so ubiquitous in Austin you’d be hard-pressed to find a place where you can’t get a drink. We aren’t talking just about restaurants and bars here. Think of coffee shops, taco stands, bakeries, hair salons, festivals, farmers markets – even workspaces, in some instances.  

For most of us, this is just part of living in Austin. It might even be part of what you love about the city — part of Austin's charm, right? This is a place where you can kick back and grab a beer with friends practically anywhere. But what if you are trying to be sober?


flickr.com/atmtx

Austin police are wrapping up another no refusal weekend. That means people stopped for suspected drunk driving can have blood drawn if they refuse a breathalyzer. But drivers aren't the only people that have to make sure they're following the law: Bars could be liable for overserved customers as well.


Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

People struggling with alcoholism can trace their addiction to a population of neurons in the brain that, when stimulated, influence whether one drink leads to two.


Could Liability Insurance for Bars Curb Drunk Driving?

Mar 17, 2015
Photo courtesy flickr.com/ kevharb

This legislative session, Arlington Rep. Chris Turner pre-filed a bill that would hold bars responsible for the behavior of over-served customers, requiring all bars in the state carry minimum liability insurance.

While Turner’s bill may seem onerous to some bar owners, he argues his proposal to require bars to have insure bars would insulate owners from lawsuits and, ultimately, curb drunk driving.

There was once a time when it was easy to throw around the term "craft beer" and know exactly what you were talking about. For decades, craft was the way to differentiate small, independently owned breweries – and the beer they make – from the brewing giants like Coors, Budweiser and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

If you order a mixed drink in Texas tomorrow, you might see the price on your bill higher than what you’re used to. That’s because of a new state law that goes into effect on Jan. 1.

In Texas, if a bar sells you a mixed drink, it has to give 14 percent of what you pay back to the state. And that tax doesn’t show up on your receipt.

If the bar only sells beer and wine, it doesn't pay that tax. In that case the customer pays a sales tax of 8.25 percent. And that does show up on the receipt.

Tomorrow – on Jan. 1 – a new law goes into effect, which changes that. 

flickr.com/the_photographer

An Austin beer emporium may be forced to change the name of its line of brews.

First opened in 1986, South Austin’s Whip In has evolved from a convenience store into a “Dhabapub” offering Indian cuisine and 72 beers on tap. It’s also launched an in-house line of beers: Namaste Brewery.  But this week, Whip In announced it was being asked to surrender the Namaste name.

Expert bartender David Alan was born and raised in Austin and remembers the years when bar patrons were perfectly comfortable with their margaritas and Lone Stars. Alan watched the city's drinking scene flourish over the past few years as craft cocktail bars opened and new distilleries took root.

Now, he's got a book to document the best of the best. Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State hit bookshelves Tuesday, and Alan came to KUT to talk about spirits of the Capitol City.

Tamir Kalifa, Texas Tribune

Although the crowd of clubs and concert halls on Austin’s famous Sixth Street is just a few blocks from the state Capitol, the worlds of live music and policymaking seldom meet.

But this session, lawmakers are considering subsidizing live music.

Caleb Miller for KUT News

The House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures met Wednesday to take a look at streamlining the alcoholic licensing and permitting process.

According to the Texas Tribune, interim Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) director Sherry Cooke told the committee that her agency wants to consolidate the processes for beer and liquor licenses.

The issue is that there are two separate processes for receiving a beer license and liquor licenses. Some of the applications for those permits can be processed through TABC, but others have to involve county courts.