TABC manages to reduce label wait times for breweries

Beer section at Whole Foods Market's 365 in Cedar Park (KXAN Photo/Calily Bien)
Beer section at Whole Foods Market's 365 in Cedar Park (KXAN Photo/Calily Bien)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — For a brewery, getting their product on store shelves in a quick and timely manner is just smart business. But the process of getting labels approved by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission was taking nearly 40 days at the beginning of this year.

To address the backlog, TABC redirected resources and managed to reduce the overall wait time for all beverage times. In June, the processing time for label approval applications with no errors was 5.74 days.

In April, KXAN reported how Gov. Greg Abbott’s hiring freeze affected 20 positions at TABC, one of which was a beer and wine label approver. When Abbott announced the freeze in January, he said he hoped to save about $200 million in anticipation of a budget shortfall.

Texas law requires all alcoholic beverage sold in Texas to have its container label approved by TABC before it can be introduced to the market. TABC says, since 2011, there has been a 300 percent increase in the number of labels it has to approve.

“We understand the importance of timing when it comes to breweries getting their seasonal products on store shelves,” said Thomas Graham, TABC’s director of marketing practices. “Moving forward, we will commit to finding new ways to increase efficiency and make it easier for industry members to get their products to Texas consumers.”

While the state agency has made headway on their label backlog, the agency is still trying to get on the right track after the recent onslaught of high-level resignations. On Tuesday, TABC commissioners appointed decorated military officer Adrian Bentley Nettles to lead the agency. 

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