Here at the Collegian, we â€“â€“ those who are of legal age â€“â€“ love beer. We love stouts, porters, pale ales, IPAs, ESBs and pilsners. Some nights we love five beers, 10 beers, 20 beers in a row. You might think, then, that we would love beer in our convenience stores and grocery stores.
Not the case.
Last week, Coloradoâ€™s House Finance Committee killed a bill that would allow the sale of full-strength beers in the stateâ€™s convenience stores. Another bill is currently on the table that could allow the beers in grocery stores.
At face value, it seems like a great idea. With our favorite beers in convenience stores, many of us wouldnâ€™t have to even find a sober driver for the next beer run. If full-strength beers make their way into grocery stores, we can buy them along with our favorite brand of plastic cups.
So, whatâ€™s the big fuss about allowing beers in convenience stores? Itâ€™s more than just making sure the local liquor storeowner doesnâ€™t lose a few bucks.
One of the things that makes our city and our state such a great place to live is a thriving beer culture. Hundreds of microbreweries and brewpubs sell their products around the state. Part of what gives these businesses a chance to thrive is their presence on liquor store shelves.
Few of us would have tried New Belgiumâ€™s new Ranger IPA or Oâ€™Dellâ€™s Red Ale if we hadnâ€™t happen to notice them next to favorites like Fat Tire or 5 Barrel. This diversity of selection is what encourages local brewers to experiment and release the small batches that locals have come to depend upon for variety.
If grocery stores start selling full strength beer, however, donâ€™t expect to see the new Lips of Faith on the shelves. And convenience stores? Forget it.