Changes in the liquor laws
On October 1, a whole bunch of new liquor laws went into effect that loosened restrictions on where and how you can buy your favorite suds. Frankly, the amount of changes can make your head spin. Here is what you need to know:
- The headliner that everyone has been talking about is that wine and beer can be “full strength” or 6 percent like our neighbors down south.
- Grocery and convenience stores can sell beer and wine from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. ANY day of the week.
- Liquor stores can sell chilled beer and chilled wine (if you’re into that).
- Liquor stores can sell other items other than just alcohol – think mixers and snacks – but it has to be under 20 percent of sales.
- Small breweries can crank their production 65,000 barrels instead of the measly 25,000 they were capped at previously.
- Breweries can now operate their taprooms until 2 a.m. instead of closing the doors at 9 p.m. which means you no longer have to miss out on your football!
- Some really great news for those of you who enjoy spiked grape juice, wineries can now ship directly 30 nine-liter cases per person.
- An owner can now own two entire liquor stores instead of one.
- Small wineries (15,000 gallons annually) can now ship and sell directly to restaurants and retailers rather than a wholesaler if they would like to.
- You can now drink your choice of alcohol at movie theaters as long as they have the appropriate license.
- Good news, advertising happy hours and specials is now legal.
- SB 211 allows counties to hold elections to see if liquor stores can be open on Sundays.
- Finally, clerks selling high-point beer and wine at grocery stores now have to be at least 18 instead of 16; however, to work at a liquor store you still need to be 21 for selling the hard stuff.
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