For the first time, brewers across the state were able to sell their canned and bottled creations directly to consumers on Sunday.
Many of the laws spawned by the state legislative session went into effect Sunday. The specific change for Denton’s Armadillo Ale Works came after Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature to House Bill 672, which rectified what many small brewers saw as an unfair anomaly afflicting the state.
Until Sunday, Texas was the only state in the country that required production brewers to go through a distributor to sell their product to customers on the go.
Bobby Mullins, co-owner of Armadillo Ale Works, said beer-to-go sold in-house will be similarly priced to what is sold in stores, and that no beer-filled cans or growlers sold can be consumed on the premises.
As part of the Sunday festivities at Armadillo, customers were able to buy a limited edition “Wizard Staff” full of 12 cans of beer. Only 25 of the cardboard novelties were made in advance, and the majority of those had been purchased by early Sunday afternoon.
“Basically, since up to this day we weren’t allowed to send any beer out the door, we joked that it was a ‘none shall pass’ deal, and so with the wizard staff today, ‘all shall pass,’” Mullins said.
In addition to the reference to The Lord of the Rings, a popular drinking game involves stacking empty beer cans to make a tall “wizard staff.”
Mullins said the legislative change is big news for their operation in Denton. He said Armadillo will continue distributing beer to stores, but now customers can walk out with six-packs, four-packs and growlers, air-tight jugs for beer often made of glass, ceramic or stainless steel.
In fact, customers can now purchase growlers filled with beers that aren’t ordinarily distributed to local stores.
Jake Davern was one of the early adopters of the change. He made the trip from Corinth with his son to mark the occasion. After just a few minutes inside, he was headed out with a four-pack and growler.
“I just wanted to be a part of it and support them,” Davern said.
While he wouldn’t quite call himself a regular, he said the spot is a popular date-night stop with his wife.
“I wouldn’t say regular because I have kids,” he said gesturing to 4-year-old Jude attached to his hand.
He said he’ll probably make the trip more frequently now that he can dip in and out more quickly to purchase a drink, thus avoiding the fickle boredom of young children.
As he explained that, Jude tugged at his father’s hand, asking if he could play one of the arcade games sitting in the corner.