When lawmakers agreed this spring to let grocery stores sell wine, many thought they were done for the year legislating which stores can sell what alcohol. Maybe not, though. A bill to also let grocery stores sell high gravity beer is close to passing.
Right now beers stronger than 5 percent alcohol by weight are confined to liquor stores in Tennessee, but the measure would relax the threshold to 8 percent. Linus Hall of Nashville’s Yazoo Brewing Company says it’s not clear exactly how many high gravity beers would become more available, but the answer is a lot:
“We haven’t actually done a study what’s in Tennessee, but I know our compadres down in Mississippi went through this issue about two years ago and by setting it at 8 percent by weight, they said that covered about 90 percent of the beers they were looking to get in the state.”
There is one caveat if the bill passes – it wouldn’t take effect until 2017. Hall says that’s so the changes would settle out about the same time grocery stores are able to start selling wine.