Brewers Push for High-Gravity Beer in Grocery Stores
By Jason Lamb
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – We've all heard about the debate over wine in Tennessee grocery stores, but what about specific kinds of beer?
Even though you can buy most beer in grocery stores, if the beer has high alcohol content, a liquor store is your only option.
But a group of Tennessee brewers is hoping to change that with a bill filed in the state legislature.
The Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild is behind the proposal to change the definition of beer in Tennessee, so that beer with between five and 12 percent alcohol content can be sold in grocery stores, instead of only liquor stores.
Rep. Cameron Sexton of Crossville and Sen. Mark Green of Clarksville are sponsors of the bills in the state legislature.
Craft brewers point out that those high gravity beers oftentimes have less alcohol than wine, so they say if wine could soon be allowed in grocery stores, all beers should be too.
"We just feel like with wine and high gravity beer -- one's made with grapes, one's made with barley -- there's not a huge difference there, let's go ahead and have the debate," said Linus Hall with Yazoo Brewing Company and the president of the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild.
The Senate bill currently in the State and Local Government committee.