by Chet Hardin
Rep. Larry Liston's beer bill made it's way out of a House committee, narrowly, on a 7-6 vote, reports the Denver Post.
Three previous attempts to move a bill forward that would allow grocery stores to sell full-strength (good) beer all died in committee, so this is sort of a breakthrough. Now we get to see where our legislators stand on the issue, on which Bristol Brewing Co. co-founder Mike Bristol opined in this week's Indy.
From the Post:
"Now, we'll at least be able to have a debate that we've never had before," said Rep. Larry Liston, R-Colorado Springs, the bill's sponsor.
Liston conceded, though, that supporters of the bill had "a lot of work" to do to get the necessary 33 votes for it to pass in the House.
Part of the plan could be an attempt to sweeten the pot for liquor store owners. Liston added amendments to allow them to sell certain kinds of food and to own multiple liquor stores.
Three bills in prior years to allow convenience stores and groceries to sell full-strength beer failed, dying at the committee level without ever being considered on the floor of the House or Senate.
Under decades-old law, only liquor stores and restaurants can sell full-strength beer, while convenience stores and groceries are permitted to sell only low-strength beer, commonly known as 3.2 beer.