In an emergency meeting called this morning, TABC Commissioners voted in favor of a set of emergency rules to loosen the requirements necessary for retailers (including brewpubs) to obtain a Food & Beverage Certificate for the purposes of qualifying as a restaurant and re-opening in compliance with Executive Order GA-28.
TABC's stated background and purpose for these amendments:
The emergency amendments to §33.5 would enable retailers who sell alcoholic beverages for on premises consumption to more easily qualify for a food and beverage certificate. The amendments remove some of the more difficult and costly requirements for qualification for the food and beverage certificate so that these businesses can qualify without making major changes to their business models or investing in expensive equipment. Making the food and beverage certificate available to more businesses encourages them to operate in a manner more akin to a restaurant, serving food as well as beverages."
Under the updated rules, retailers must still offer multiple entrees. However, commercial cooking equipment is no longer required, offering commercially pre-packaged items will count as food service, and clarifications enshrine that third party food trucks do indeed count as food service.
In the meeting, it was stated that these changes will take effect TODAY. So, if you are a brewpub who has previously been denied a Food & Beverage Certificate for not having an in-house kitchen or haven't yet applied because the requirements were too difficult or costly to comply with, hopefully today's changes will offer some measure of increased flexibility.
Below, you can read the emergency rule changes that were adopted this morning, as well as TABC's August 7th industry notice which contains the application form for the Food & Beverage Certificate, as well as the Retailer & Producer affidavits for industry members seeking those alternative routes to reopening.
Information provided from the Texas Craft Brewer's Guild