MANHATTAN — Strong beer is coming to grocery and convenience stores beginning April 1.
The new law was signed in 2017 by former Gov. Sam Brownback which will allow retailers to sell beer with an alcoholic content of 6 percent. Currently those retailers can only sell beer that has 3.2 percent alcohol. From a grocer’s perspective it means they can offer a larger variety of alcohol products. Liquor stores expect more of a hit to their bottom line, according to Kevin Neitzel, who owns and operates Manhattan liquor store The Fridge.
Liquor stores will see increased competition from those other retailers. Neitzel says he understands why lawmakers pushed to add the higher volume beer, even if it means some 200 liquor stores in Kansas close.
Neitzel says because the law allows liquor stores to sell new items that were previously barred, they too will take advantage and compete with the larger stores.
While grocery stores and convenience stores can sell the stronger beer, liquor stores beginning Monday can start selling cigarettes, lottery tickets, mixers and ice, something that was prohibited previously. Neitzel says liquor stores have to get creative because the big box stores can lower their prices.