Beer law changes small town culture, in my view
Starting April 1, Kansans age 21 and older can now purchase beer with alcohol content up to 6 percent at convenience stores and grocery stores.
This may be cause for celebration for some, and it may seem like a small deal for others, especially if you live in big urban areas.
But in smaller communities, such as ours, it seems like a bigger deal. Maybe it’s just me. This new beer law, in my view, represents a change in our Kansas small-town culture and also represents a shift in how our smaller communities view not only beer but wine and liquor, too.
You may believe the change is long overdue, but I kind of liked the beer laws the way they were. The change is not going to help the mom-and-pop small liquor stores, even though the new law states that these liquor stores can now sell new things like snack items, limes, corkscrews and cigarettes. Do we really want kids going into to liquor stores to get some candy or snacks?
In the past, convenience stores and grocery stores could sell only “3.2’’ beer – beer with up to 3.2 percent alcohol content. Now they can sell beer with higher alcohol content.
The change in the state’s beer law was promoted by the “Uncork Kansas’’ lobbying group, which is financed with a lot of assistance from “big box’’ businesses that will benefit the most.
This lobbying group continues to promote another change in the state law that would allow the sale of wine and liquor at convenience stores and grocery stores, too. Missouri, Nebraska and Colorado already allow wine and liquor to be sold in convenience stores and grocery stores.