The heat and drought of this summer is making it hard for some of us to concentrate, but other citizens are made of sterner stuff.
Two important advocacy groups of sprung up in the world of food and drink. Open the Taps is a statewide group calling for the end, or at least the modification, of Texas’ current “3-tier” beer distribution system, which prevents brewing companies from selling their product directly to consumers. The system forces brewers to choose between selling their product in their own brewpubs, or at the breweries, and selling it in retail stores. It ain’t right; it’s un-American, and certainly un-Texan, if you believe all our “land-of-free” propaganda.
The movement, if that’s not too grand a term, started in Houston, we’re proud to say, with a July gathering at Moon Tower Inn. The Dallas branch will have a launch party at The Common Table on August 27; the San Antonio branch will open with an October 22 meeting at Freetail Brewing, known in these parts as the brewpub that got away.
From beer we turn to pets. Many a Houstonian, ourselves included, have returned from vacations, taken our dogs out of their lonely kennels, and wished we could take our best friends to restaurants with us, like they do in Paris, France. It turns out that Houston regulations are strict (pets and food can’t be in the same space) and slow to change, which again belies our image of being unfettered, go-go capitalists.
Even other Texas cities have passed ordinance changes that allow patrons to bring their dogs with them onto patios. Now the movement has reached Houston. Even Mayor Parker, who presumably has some very important issues on her hands, has written a letter supporting city council passage of a “dogs on patios” ordinance.
The ordinance is being pushed by the group Paws on Patios.