02 April 2011

The Great Texas Beer Desert™ - A Definition

The Great Texas Beer Desert™ is a broad geographic region outside the city boundaries of Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and Houston, and to a lesser extent San Antonio. It is a region few Texas craft brewers explore, dominated as it is by the behemoth distributors for Belgian AB-InBev and South African SABMiller.The region is a vast trackless land, marked only by Bud Light and Coors Light neon signs in stores and billboards along the side of the road.

Recently, the large distributors, in an effort to retain shelf space left by their declining sales of the main brands, have begun bringing out of state craft beers into The Great Texas Beer Desert™.  It is quite easy to find Samuel Adams, or Sierra Nevada in the region, but nearly impossible to find Texas made craft beers, with a few exceptions.

The first Texas craft brewer to venture into the region was Real Ale Brewing Company, who despite the best efforts of ditributors of the Big Three, was able to get three rows on the shelves of juggernaut HEB Foods in most small towns, making them the only Texas owned beer in the store. Their success was aided by the brewer being physically located in The Great Texas Beer Desert™, in the small town of Blanco, Texas

Houston's Saint Arnold Brewing was next to arrive, thanks to a distribution deal with Ben E. Keith Distribution. The most recent Texas craft brewer to make an attempt to distribute into The Great Texas Beer Desert™ was Jester King Brewery of Austin. In March 2011, a few cases of Jester King Dark Metal arrived in Fredericskburg. A possible reason for this is that the brewery is located on the Fredericksburg side of Austin, and several miles from an Interstate highway.

No other Texas craft brewers dare venture into the region for fear of not being able to locate an Interstate and, therefore, their way home.

Oddly, persons not residing in The Great Texas Beer Desert™ often are the first and most vocal complainers about not being able to find Texas craft beer.

 --From Tounge-In-Cheek-ipedia

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:44

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