It soon will be much easier to sell and make wine and liquor in Precinct 2, and to sell craft beer there.
More than 80% of Precinct 2 voters voted in favor of the measure to allow alcohol stronger than 5% alcohol content, according to preliminary results from the Kerr County Elections Office.
“I’m very grateful that the businesses in Precinct 2 will be able to expand their businesses now,” said Claudia Richards, who ran the campaign to overturn the decades-old law.
People in Center Point and other unincorporated portions of Precinct 2 have been prohibited by law from selling beer stronger than 5% or liquor without going through costly legal hoops. And even with a current legal loophole, wine sales have been prohibited without a winery permit. A sole winery operates in Precinct 2 and can sell its wares on the condition the wine is bottled in Texas and at least 75% of the fermented fruits are grown in Texas.
The results of Tuesday’s election on the matter come after years of efforts by local business owners and residents who have argued that restrictions on alcohol sales have stifled the area’s economy. Several past efforts failed to get enough signatures from voters registered in Precinct 2 to have the measure put up for vote.
The move to loosen restrictions on alcohol sales will also allow more revenue to be collected by the county at its large event center off Texas 27, which is in Precinct 2, as well as sales tax at other businesses. Due to the restrictions, no cash bars have been allowed at the Hill Country Youth Event Center, which has limited the ability of the facility to generate income to help cover its operations.
It could also lead to wineries and breweries opening in the area.
The measure was placed on the ballot following a successful petition drive by the Precinct 2 Prosperity Program that garnered 2,498 signatures from registered voters in Precinct 2 — more than the 2,016 required to put the matter to a vote.
Richards said that businesses could start selling a broader range of alcoholic beverages within 30 days of the vote being certified.