Liquor stores bracing themselves for the end of 3.2 strength beer


It’s last call for 3.2 beers and for the first time in the state’s history convince stores and grocery stores will now sell full-strength beer. The law goes into effect January 1. 

It’s all part of a 2016 move by lawmakers, allowing stores like King Soopers and Whole Foods to add a wider selection of cold ones to their aisles. Opening a never before seen challenge to liquor stores across the state.

“It’s going to be a huge impact especially for the smaller independent stores, they’re going to go out of business,” said Jackie Seybold, co-owner of Big Bear Wine and Liquor in Pueblo.

Seybold’s staff have been preparing for the change for a while. They say it’s all about serving convenience and flexibility to customers. They’ve added a drive-thru option, informational kiosks and a reward system.

“I’m going to make it easier for you, you’re not fighting the crowd or the lines,” said Seybold.

Her liquor store is home to a 1700 square foot beer cave, housing hundreds of different craft beers and more. They say, that wide-selection will help them keep up with the new competition.

“Us independent retailers, we know our customers, we know what they like,” said Seybold.

While it’s still unknown how much of an impact this beer law change will bring to them, they are bracing themselves for it to tap a major change in sales.

“It’s going to translate in loss of payrolls and loss of jobs. It’s just math, it’s simple,” said Seybold.

Customers say despite the change they’ll remain loyal to their liquor stores.

“They just won’t have the selection that liquor stores will,” said Michael S.

King Soopers says a few of its beers will still be 3.2.

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