Small brewers seek to expand market in Texas

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Craft beer brewers are asking Texas lawmakers to expand the market for their products.

Owners of brewpubs and small breweries made their case Tuesday to the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce.

In a recent report, an industry trade group counted 37 breweries and 41 brewpubs in the state. They say the state's current alcoholic beverage laws give an unfair advantage to big national distributors.

Republican Sen. Kevin Eltife of Tyler has filed bills that would let small breweries sell beer during tours and let brewpubs sell their beer in retail stores.

A lobbyist for the trade group Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas spoke in favor of a rival bill.

Republican John Carona of Dallas, the committee chairman, told the parties to work out a deal by next Monday.

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