No Full-Strength Beer for Supermarkets, Convenience Stores

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Denver (AP) State Lawmakers have rejected a proposal to allow convenience stores and supermarkets to sell full-strength beer late following the protests of liquor store owners, who said the measure could drive many of them out of business.

The House Business Affairs & Labor Committee voted 7-4 late yesterday against the proposal after listening to more than seven hours of testimony. Democratic Rep. Joe Rice of Littleton said Colorado's current liquor laws don't make sense. But he said the state should take a comprehensive look at them instead of trying to make piecemeal changes.

Right now, convenience stores and supermarkets are largely limited to selling 3.2 percent beer. But they say sales have tanked since liquor stores started staying open on Sundays under a law passed last year.

Lawmakers rejected a similar proposal last year due to opposition from liquor store owners and some craft brewers.

Some brewers said they fear supermarkets would stock their shelves with big-market names rather than take chances on new or distinctive beers.

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