Utah Brewery Map

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Kansas Looking to Axe 3.2 Beer

It now looks like Kansas will be looking at weather or not it will stay in the 3.2% beer game.
That state's legislature is considering House Bill 2282, which would allow grocery and convenience stores to sell stronger beer. Legislation could come in May or June, dealing another blow to the low ABV suds.

As we've discussed in previous posts, Oklahoma's decision to do away with 3.2 beer will likely impact Utah, which would then be one of only two states in America to sell the low gravity suds. As more and more states get on the bandwagon, the beehive state (which will soon be the largest consumer of 3.2 beer) may have it's fate decided by those large breweries that make and sell them.
Colorado is currently phasing them out and they should be gone by 2019. Minnesota allows 3.2 beer to be sold in grocery and convenience stores.

The Utah Legislature says that it won't even consider looking at doing away with 3.2 beer until next year's legislative session at the earliest. But if the Kansas vote goes through they may have no choice but to address it. If those in charge of legislating Utah's alcohol laws are smart, they should be preparing now, so that they have all of their ducks in a row come next year. Let's be honest, they will probably "half -ass" the whole thing, as they do with most alcohol legislation.

In my opinion they will likely raise the cap in grocery stores to 5.5% - 6.0%. And then (because you don't get anything without loosing something) I predict they will put an arbitrary cap on the ABV of beer in sold liquor stores or something equally draconian.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. We need to keep shining light on this topic so we're not blindsided when the decisions are finally made behind closed doors.

On a lighter note, you have one more day to vote for Utah's best high point beer in the Utah Beer Challenge. the ballot is on the right side of the page.


Image courtesy: Forum Media


kent said...

Considering this state's apparent love of being the odd man out on anything alcohol law related, I could see them letting grocery store alcohol sales dwindle to nothing with limited availability of 3.2 beer.

Think of how many children could be saved by their not having to walk down the beer aisle on their way to buy the Monster energy drink their craving...

holly said...

I am not sure that's it's fair to say the legislature is 'half-ass' when it comes to liquor laws. I think full-ass is more accurate.

It's possible that limiting the places where beer can be sold in grocery stores was actually a preemptive move on their part with the idea that they'd soon need to allow higher ABV beer in grocery stores. Of course, that won't stop them from demanding another 'concession' when they/if they do actually allow higher ABVs in grocery and convenience stores.

I'd be surprised if they go above 5% for grocery stores.