Will Wine In Groceries Blaze A Trail For High Gravity Beer? Maybe Not Yet…

High gravity beer isn't as alcoholic as wine, but the pending compromise to allow wine in grocery stores is poised to leave such brews bottled up in Tennessee liquor stores. (Image via flickr/ruben i)

High gravity beer isn’t as alcoholic as wine, but the pending compromise to allow wine in grocery stores is poised to leave such brews bottled up in Tennessee liquor stores. (Image via flickr/ruben i)

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.”

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