Tribpedia: Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, or TABC, is the state agency that regulates the state's alcoholic beverage industry. It takes in more than $200 million annually in taxes and fees. It was established in 1935 as the Liquor Control Board.

The Alcoholic Beverage Code authorizes the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to:

  • Grant, refuse, suspend or cancel permits and licenses ...

TABC commissioner nominee appears before Texas Senate panel

Kevin Lilly of Houston, a nominee for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), appears before the Senate Nominations Committee on May 1.
<p>Kevin Lilly of Houston, a nominee for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), appears before the Senate Nominations Committee on May 1.</p>

Kevin Lilly is one step closer to becoming a commissioner at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission — an embattled state agency that’s been in the Legislature’s crosshairs over controversial spending practices in recent months.

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission&nbsp;Executive Director Sherry Cook prepares to testify before the House Committee on General Investigating &amp; Ethics on April 13, 2017.
<p>Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission&nbsp;Executive Director Sherry Cook prepares to testify before the House Committee on General Investigating &amp; Ethics on April 13, 2017.</p>

Embattled TABC chief Sherry Cook is stepping down

Amid a controversy over travel to fancy resorts and other spending controversies, the head of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Sherry Cook, announced she was stepping down from her job effective May 23.

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission&nbsp;Executive Director Sherry Cook appears before the House Committee on General Investigating &amp; Ethics on April 13, 2017.
<p>Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission&nbsp;Executive Director Sherry Cook appears before the House Committee on General Investigating &amp; Ethics on April 13, 2017.</p>

TABC on hot seat over trips and spending controversies

For more than three hours, top TABC officials were grilled by House members for misusing state resources, taking trips to Hawaii on the taxpayers’ dime, mixing vacation with state duties, misreporting who has been assigned which state-owned vehicles, and cozying up to the very industry they’re supposed to be regulating.

This graphic humorously references a trip that top state liquor regulators took to the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators in 2015 at a cost of more than $7,000 in taxpayer money. The illustration was created by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission during work hours on a state computer with input from top agency officials, records show. Pictured from left to right are TABC Director Sherry Cook, Licensing Director Amy Harrison, Analyst Jesse Valdez and then-TABC technology contractor Jim Andrews. &nbsp;
<p><span>This graphic humorously references a trip that top state liquor regulators took to the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators in 2015 at a cost of more than $7,000 in taxpayer money. The illustration was created by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission during work hours on a state computer with input from top agency officials, records show. Pictured from left to right are TABC Director Sherry Cook, Licensing Director Amy Harrison, Analyst Jesse Valdez and then-TABC technology contractor Jim Andrews. &nbsp;</span></p>

House delivers rebuke to TABC, cuts travel budget

The Texas House on Thursday voted unanimously to cut the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's travel budget and restrict its use of money from outside groups.

State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs and Ramon Romero Jr., D-Fort Worth. The lawmakers have filed amendments aimed at cutting off the TABC's out-of-state traveling privileges and the agency's reliance on outside groups to host conferences in Texas.
<p>State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs and Ramon Romero Jr., D-Fort Worth. The lawmakers have filed amendments aimed at cutting off the TABC's out-of-state traveling privileges and the agency's reliance on outside groups to host conferences in Texas.</p>

Jet setting liquor regulators could see wings clipped by lawmakers

All the jet-setting and partying by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, as depicted in an internal flier the agency produced, would come to a screeching halt under budgetary amendments filed Tuesday by state Reps. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs and Ramon Romero, D-Fort Worth. 

Mike McKim is on the front lines of state alcohol regulators' attempts to ban "crowlers," or tap beer sold at bars in cans. After more than a year and a half of legal battles, the TABC returned his crowler machine on Thursday and he resumed crowler sales on Friday.
<p><span>Mike McKim is on the front lines of state alcohol regulators' attempts to ban "crowlers," or tap beer sold at bars in cans. After more than a year and a half of legal battles, the TABC returned his crowler machine on Thursday and he resumed crowler sales on Friday.</span></p>

Austin bar ends battle with TABC after agency returns crowler machine

A local Austin coffee bar has been fighting the TABC since 2015 for the right to sell crowlers, aluminum cans filled with draft beer and sealed with a pull tab lid. Legislators are trying to prevent similar conflicts in the future.

This graphic humorously references a trip that top state liquor regulators took to the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators in 2015 at a cost of more than $7,000 in taxpayer money. The illustration was created by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission during work hours on a state computer with input from top agency officials, records show. Pictured from left to right are TABC Director Sherry Cook, Licensing Director Amy Harrison, Analyst Jesse Valdez and then-TABC technology contractor Jim Andrews. &nbsp;
<p><span>This graphic humorously references a trip that top state liquor regulators took to the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators in 2015 at a cost of more than $7,000 in taxpayer money. The illustration was created by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission during work hours on a state computer with input from top agency officials, records show. Pictured from left to right are TABC Director Sherry Cook, Licensing Director Amy Harrison, Analyst Jesse Valdez and then-TABC technology contractor Jim Andrews. &nbsp;</span></p>

Liquor regulators partying on taxpayers' tab

Texas alcohol regulators know how to party: records show they've spent tens of thousands of dollars to travel to swanky resorts where liquor flows and industry lobbyists abound.

Wiggy's Liquor, August 7, 2010 in West End, Austin, TX.
Wiggy's Liquor, August 7, 2010 in West End, Austin, TX.

Wal-Mart Sues Texas for Right to Sell Liquor

Wal-Mart is allowed to sell beer and wine at 546 Texas stores, but state law keeps it from selling hard liquor. On Thursday, the company filed a federal lawsuit challenging that rule in the interest of a "fair and level playing field."

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Matt Bitsche, chief engineer and head brewer at Infamous Brewing Company, inspects a pint of beer for clarity, aroma and overall carbonation in the glass, Jul. 12, 2013.
Matt Bitsche, chief engineer and head brewer at Infamous Brewing Company, inspects a pint of beer for clarity, aroma and overall carbonation in the glass, Jul. 12, 2013.

Craft Breweries Seeing New Doors Open

Texas' craft brewers are facing the biggest legislative overhaul the industry has seen in 20 years. News laws are letting them expand sales of their products. This story is part of our monthlong 31 Days, 31 Ways series.

Tim Stevens pours an Agave Wit at Uncle Billy's Brew & Que.
Tim Stevens pours an Agave Wit at Uncle Billy's Brew & Que.

Craft Brew Bills Raise Questions Over Alcohol Code

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Craft breweries and the Texas Beer Alliance, which represents major-brand beer distributors, joined forces to lobby the Senate Business and Commerce Committee on Tuesday, but not all distributing groups are on board. 

TABC Changes What it Means to Be a Beer

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For years, beers sold in Texas have had to have special labels if they contained a certain amount of alcohol. After a rule change finalized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission last month, brewers can now just call a beer a beer.