Starting Monday, you’ll see stronger beer at the grocery store

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Water bottles sit on shelves that will soon hold beer in Dillons. New liquor laws allowing grocery stores to sell beer that are 6 percent alcohol go into effect Monday. (Rafael Garcia | Collegian Media Group)

No, it’s not an April Fool’s joke. Starting April 1, shoppers will be able to buy full-strength beer at grocery and convenience stores.

Currently, those stores are only allowed to sell beer that is 3.2 percent alcohol. Under the changes that take effect Monday, they will be allowed to sell beverages that are up to 6 percent alcohol.

With the changes to the law, grocery and convenience stores across the state have started stocking up on a broader selection of beer. At Manhattan’s Westloop Dillons, a refrigerated shelf full of bottled water is the future home of a larger beer selection.

“Nearly all of our stores in Kansas have received additional refrigerated cases to allow for expanded selections of beer to include craft beer, imported and domestic beers,” Sheila Lowrie, a Dillons spokesperson, said in an emailed statement. “We will feature many new local craft beers from Kansas in most stores, to include brands like Wichita Brewing Company [Wichita], Walnut River [El Dorado], Defiance [Hays], Three Rings [McPherson] and Free State [Lawrence].”

As part of the change in state alcohol law, liquor stores will now also be allowed to expand sales of non-alcoholic products such as soda, mixers, chasers and ice, to up to 20 percent of their total sales. Chris Robinson, employee at Beer Goggles, said the change will allow the store to integrate all of its sales into one cash register system, rather than having to use different systems for alcoholic and non-alcoholic products. He said the store will likely keep a larger stock of non-alcoholic items now.

Jacob Peterson, senior in park management, said he typically goes to Beer Goggles because of its size.

“I like the smaller size, it’s not overwhelming,” Peterson said. He also said he probably wouldn’t change his beer purchasing habits.

“I don’t really go to grocery stores to buy beer, mostly because the idea of getting carded while I’m buying milk, eggs and all that is kind of weird to me,” Peterson said.

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Rafael Garcia
I'm Rafael Garcia, and I'm a 2019 K-State graduate in journalism and former editor-in-chief of the K-State Collegian. I believe that much of the world's problems come from a lack of understanding of other people, but by telling other people's stories and finding the good in the world, I think we can increase our understanding and appreciation of each other. Questions, comments, concerns, news tips? Email the Collegian team at news@kstatecollegian.com.