Crafting a plan

Coastal Bend Distilling produces and bottles Lucky Star Gin, Live Oak Vodka and Col. Fannin's Whiskey in downtown Beeville. 

Beeville’s own hometown distillery is joining with the Texas Winery PAC and Texas Craft Spirits PAC in urging Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas state leaders to provide relief for an industry that has been decimated by prolonged shutdown orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kenneth Bethune, the managing partner of Coastal Bend Distilling, said recently that he believes state leaders need to make changes to help an industry that has an enormous economic impact on the state.

“We are generally in favor of all of the regulations that are not equitably applied to be removed,” Bethune said. “It certainly is not healthy for our business if things don’t get better.”

Bethune’s comments echo those of nearly every distillery and winery owner in the state of Texas.

Together, the Texas Winery PAC (TW-PAC) and the Texas Craft Spirits PAC (TCS-PAC) announced campaigns aimed at facilitating changes in the industry to help the struggling wineries and distilleries across the state.

The two PACs are “working to share their vision of a Texas with laws that promote, rather than inhibit, the growth and prosperity of the craft spirits and wine industries,” read the release that announced the campaigns.

The Texas Craft Spirits PAC partnered with the Texas Whiskey Association, the American Craft Spirits Association and the Texas Distilled Spirits Association to launch a campaign that will “raise money to advocate for common-sense regulations that will give Texas distillers the contactless, direct-to-consumer sales options they need to stay in business.”

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