Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Time for Colorado to grow up!

I think it is time Colorado, and plenty of other states grow up a little bit when thinking about their liquor laws.

I know that this is a bold and somewhat political statement, but I think it needs to be said!
Colorado had “Blue Laws” preventing alcohol sales on Sunday for most of my life. Whenever the issue came up, smaller liquor store owners would piss and moan that they cannot afford to stay open on Sunday and only the larger stores will benefit. They claimed that it would put them out of business if they had to be open on Sunday.

 Well, guess what? The are not required to be open on Sunday. Some stores choose to be closed, but the ones that are open, make money just like they do every other day of the week! Funny how that works!

Colorado has looked at allowing liquor sales in grocery stores several times over the last few years. You can purchase 3.2 beer at the grocery store, so I ask why you can’t buy a full strength beer or wine?

Mostly because the liquor store owners are afraid that it will put the small stores out of business!

This fear even has some craft brewers opposing the idea. They think that if small stores go out of business they won’t have anywhere to put their beer. (Apparently they don’t realize that the grocery stores could carry their craft beer as well as wine and spirits!)

I sometimes wonder how a business can survive when the people they have in charge, have no idea of how their customer base works.

I for one, have much better luck finding craft beer at the HUGE liquor stores. DaveCo and Lucas and Tipsy’s all have far better selection of the small local Colorado brews than the corner store. So I don’t see where the brewers think that they will not have shelf space.

I think that average people will purchase average beer at the grocery store. Craft Beer types will still seek out their brews from beer mongers across the state.

The best part will come when an average beer drinker picks up a craft beer at the supermarket to try something new, decides he likes it, becomes a craft beer nerd and starts seeking out better beer at other retailers.

Colorado Liquor laws are so screwed up, it’s amazing! Our new sign at the state border could read “Welcome to Colorado, smoke weed, but don’t buy wine at the supermarket... And if you own a liquor store, you better not try to sell a deck of cards, or we will put you out of business!”

Stupid Colorado Liquor regulations include: Liquor stores cannot sell anything not directly related to the consumption of alcohol. You can not own or operate more than one liquor store. A liquor store must have a food service license if it bags ice to sell, and law enforcement officers (Cops) may NOT hold a liquor license.

And what’s up with Texas? New Belgium had to change the label on 1554 because Texas requires anything over 5% to be labeled “Ale” or “Malt Liquor”... So, They changed the label. WTF! This is one of the stupidest laws ever! The product didn’t change. The way you buy it didn’t change. Nobody’s impression or expectation changed. Just called it ale instead of lager.

I think we need to step back and simplify the laws. We need to work harder at keeping alcohol out of the hands of children and off the roadways. We need to spend our time and money on education instead of bickering about weather a beer is an ale or lager or if you have to make a second stop to pickup a 6-pack on your way home.

In short... I think we need to grow up!

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