High gravity beer could soon be sold at Tennessee grocery stores

High gravity beer could soon be sold at Tennessee grocery stores

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Lawmakers say since allowing wine in grocery stores, it's hard to rationalize why high gravity beer can't be sold too and this would be another compromise for everyone involved. Lawmakers say since allowing wine in grocery stores, it's hard to rationalize why high gravity beer can't be sold too and this would be another compromise for everyone involved.
"It's going to offer us the ability to sell more beer absolutely, because we're going to have more channels now through which to sell it," said Senior Craft Beer Manager Jeremy Walker. "It's going to offer us the ability to sell more beer absolutely, because we're going to have more channels now through which to sell it," said Senior Craft Beer Manager Jeremy Walker.
We could really double our SKU count overnight. There's that many beers available to us that we just don't carry," said Casual Pint owner Nathan Robinette. We could really double our SKU count overnight. There's that many beers available to us that we just don't carry," said Casual Pint owner Nathan Robinette.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - If you're looking to pick up a case of high gravity beer in Tennessee, you may not have to wait much longer for those bottles to be carried in retailers besides liquor stores. That's because lawmakers plan on discussing changes to the recently passed wine in grocery stores law.

Lawmakers say since allowing wine in grocery stores, it's hard to rationalize why high gravity beer can't be sold too and this would be another compromise for everyone involved.

On Tuesday, Tennessee lawmakers could essentially change the meaning of craft beer.

"Right now high gravity beer is defined as 5-percent weight in alcohol content. What we're going to do is raise that up to 8-percent," said Representative Ryan Haynes.

It's a move so that more beer can be offered in grocery stores, the measure would also allow breweries to have one joint license to brew and serve alcohol.

Wholesalers, like Eagle Distributing say it's a good idea. "It's going to offer us the ability to sell more beer absolutely, because we're going to have more channels now through which to sell it," said Senior Craft Beer Manager Jeremy Walker.

At The Casual Pint near Market Square, owners say if this change happens it will be a boost to their bottom line and add to the already 400 different types of ales and lagers stocking the shelves.

"We could really double our SKU count overnight. There's that many beers available to us that we just don't carry," said owner Nathan Robinette.

For those who love a cold one, they're hoping for good news too.

"Part of drinking beer is drinking high gravity beer. It's not like beer just stops at an arbitrary limit," said Sean Lindsay.

If passed, this measure would go into effect in 2017.

Lawmakers also plan on discussing possible restrictions like keeping high gravity beer stocked separately or not storing it in coolers.

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