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Grocery stores prepare for full-strength beer sales

Many stores have already added space to the refrigerated section to make room for full-strength beer.

A change in state law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2019, giving grocery stores and convenience stores the right to sell full-strength beer along with the lighter, 3.2 versions.

In preparation, many stores have already added space to the refrigerated section.

“We have our 3.2 selection here, it’s about 14 doors,” said Adam Williamson, a King Soopers spokesperson, showing off the shelves at the store on Federal and 104th. In less than two weeks, an entire side of one aisle will have beer sales.

“We go from 14 doors to 52 doors selection of full-strength beer,” he said. “This is what our customers have asked for, and it’s a big change and it’s a change that’s long-awaited.”

Liquor stores are prepared for changes, too. At Kalamath Liquor in Denver, Aaron Mayers said the team will be focusing on relationships with small craft brewers.

“Because they’ll get affected as much, so if there can be partnership or incentives, that be great,” Mayers said and added it helps that his store isn’t located next door to a grocery store.

“You’re always going to need somewhere to go to get hard liquor and it’s not like that’s going away,” he said.

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