Cuvee Coffee celebrates return of its crowlers, no longer illegal in Texas

Cuvee Coffee Bar’s crowler machine has been reinstated behind the bar after a lengthy court battle with the TABC.

Even when a Texas judge ruled in November that retailers like Cuvee Coffee could sell crowlers, founder Mike McKim wasn’t convinced that the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission would simply let the ruling stand.

But, it seems, victory has come at last: Cuvee’s crowler machine, which had been confiscated during the early stages of a long battle between the coffee company and the TABC, was returned at the end of last month. Now, the East Sixth Street coffee shop and beer bar wants to celebrate.

On Thursday, stop by Cuvee Coffee Bar to toast to the win at the Crowler Independence Party running from 6 to 11 p.m. There will be a limited number of free crowler koozies, a boot-stomping live music performance from the Mismatch, food from Slab BBQ, a photobooth and, of course, a menu of draft-only Texas beers.

According to Cuvee, “April 27th now marks Crowler Independence Day, the official day we recognize the legality of crowlers and the independence gained in court.”

Crowlers — 32 oz. aluminum growlers that look like supersized cans — are filled up with draft beer and then sealed using a crowler machine on-site; from there, customers can take the beer to go to enjoy later. Although the TABC argued that only manufacturers of beer (breweries and brewpubs) could can beer, Texas Administrative Law Judge John Beeler ultimately ruled that the government agency hadn’t succesfully defined why crowlers were illegal but growlers were not.

“TABC witnesses agreed that beer could be sold to customers in just about anything except crowlers,” according to his decision. “The sale of beer in buckets, mayonnaise jars, or even tennis ball cans, for off-premise consumption is permitted.”

Being able to use growlers and crowlers are appealing to customers because they can have beer only available on draft, versus also in cans or bottles, at home. Crowlers in particular are popular because they are recyclable and already a familiar vessel, albeit in a larger size.

Here are the draft-only beers Cuvee is tapping on Thursday:

  • Lone Pint’s Zythopile Ella IPA
  • Blue Owl Brewing’s Saison Puede
  • Friends & Allies Brewing’s House D’Orange (tart orange ale)
  • Zilker Brewing’s Parks & Rec Pale Ale
  • Hops & Grain’s Maibock
  • Real Ale Brewing’s Axis IPA
  • Karbach Brewing’s Here Comes the Sun (Belgian-style tripel)
  • Pinthouse Brewing’s Electric Jellyfish IPA

For more information, visit facebook.com/CuveeCoffeeBar.


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