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      Peaking interest in microbreweries and brewpubs in Amarillo

      Craft breweries and brewpubs are a growing interest in Amarillo.

      Some might credit that to bills passed last year allowing breweries new ways to sell their product.

      The bills are considered to be some of the most extensive beer law updates in 20 years.

      Long Wooden Spoon is one of Amarillo??s newest microbreweries, and owner Jared Read hopes to distribute his craft beer to retailers across the panhandle.

      ??Nationally, you??re seeing a trend toward more craft microbreweries and you??ll see that trend grow,?? Read said. ??There??s debate on whether it??s going to end soon, or whether it??s going to continue to grow or stagnate and it??s just hard to tell. But in Amarillo it??s a prime time to converge on that and we can get better beer, better quality, better taste.??

      Colin Cummings is president of Yellow City Co-Op Brewpub, a soon-to-be brewpub in Amarillo. Cummings said the distribution laws now help microbreweries, but the distributor still has the upper hand.

      ??The ways the laws changed were actually pretty helpful,?? Cummings said. ??The way they changed last year, some of the restrictions continue to exist thought, deal mostly with the relationship between distributors and manufacturers because Texas is in a three tier system like most states. So you have manufacturers , distributors and retailers. So the laws really protect distributors at the expense of retailers and manufacturers.??

      Read said he hopes legislatures will reform laws in the future to regulate breweries in similar fashion to wineries.