Fans of high gravity beer are hoping to follow in the footsteps of a push to make selling wine legal for Tennessee grocery stores.
Making it easier to find the kind of beer that packs more punch may take both a groundswell of outside pressure and complex negotiations.
It took seven years for the wine-in-grocery-stores push to get to the brink of passage. Backers say a big factor was the public kept calling for it.
Cameron Sexton is sponsoring a bill to make high gravity more beer available:
“Kind of like what they said with wine-in-grocery-stores—As long as we can bring people to the table and start the discussion about it we’ll be able to take a look, regardless of how long it would take.”
Some members had hoped for a shortcut: They tried to simply tack on high gravity beer with the wine-in-grocery-stores bill, but it was rejected for fear it could upset the deal’s delicate balance.
There are also concerns that passing the wine-in-grocery-stores compromise will complicate the high-gravity-beer push this spring. In his failed bid to add it on as an amendment, Rep. Craigh Fitzhugh told colleagues in the state House, “I know that this is a subject that we’ve been with a long time, and once we get through these subjects, we don’t like to return to them.”