Liquor Store Owners Fight the Demise of the 3.2 Beer In Minnesota

, Liquor Store Owners Fight the Demise of the 3.2 Beer In Minnesota

It’s come down to this…Minnesota is now the last state in the US with laws mandating that only 3.2% beer can be sold in grocery and convenience stores and one legislator wants to change it.

But not everyone is happy about that…

The infamous ‘3.2 Beer,’ that low alcohol relic of a post-prohibition mentality and state laws that prohibit anything but beer with drastically reduced alcohol level to be sold in grocery and convenience stores is dying…

, Liquor Store Owners Fight the Demise of the 3.2 Beer In MinnesotaIn September, 2019, Oklahoma, the nation’s largest consumer of these low-buzz remnants, abandoned them.

Last November Utah did as well, leaving Minnesota as the last holdout hanging on to the archaic law and low ABV beers that mass-market brewers have largely stopped producing.

The definition of a 3.2 beer can be misunderstood…

3.2 beer actually refers to “alcohol by weight” rather than the more commonly used alcohol by volume, (ABV) designation, which is the industry standard when referencing a beer’s strength.

The reality is that 3.2% beer is a 4% ABV brew when referenced by volume but still, it’s an increasingly rare commodity that’s hardly cost-effective for mass-market breweries to make, especially when it is just producing them for Minnesota.

State Sen. Karin Housley told CBSN Minnesota that the law is outdated (yah think?) …

“The manufacturers are like, ‘You know what, it’s too expensive for us to even make it. We’re not gonna make it just for Minnesota.’ So they’re now pulling out of the 3.2 beer business. So the grocery stores and the gas stations don’t even have a product anymore.”

, Liquor Store Owners Fight the Demise of the 3.2 Beer In Minnesota

(MN Senator Karin Housley)

Liquor store owners however are fighting any changes to a law that has afforded them a mini-monopoly for decades.

Dan Campo who owns South Lyndale Liquors in Minneapolis explained to CBS that he fears some smaller liquor stores which depend on beer sales will struggle to exist if the law changes.

But State Senator Housley disagrees…

“Thirty-nine other state have passed this. They do sell beer and wine in their grocery stores and they’re able to coexist along with the liquor stores in those states,” she said. “They have to continue to compete in the free market which is what we’re all about. We want free market competition for our stores and businesses.”

Housley thinks her bill will receive bipartisan support.

The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association which advocates on behalf of the state’s licensed beverage retailers, is on the other hand, strongly opposed to changing the existing law which effectively controls access to beers over 4% ABV.

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, Liquor Store Owners Fight the Demise of the 3.2 Beer In Minnesota
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