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by Mike Laur
October 21, 2015
We've been through this many times before. Grocery stores want to sell full-strength beer, wine and spirits, 'cuz it means profits to them. Craft beverage producers and liquor store owners in Colorado don't want to change the current laws, 'cuz it will hurt their business and their customers. Hey, that's US!

The future of craft may be at stake.

We wrote a story about the issue in 2009. Here'e Part One...

And here's Part Two about why this is a Bad Idea.

It's been voted down every time for a barrel full of good reasons, but the out-of-state grocery corporations think they know what's best for Colorado consumers. Last time this came up, Safeway wrote the law proposed by Larry Liston and Buffy McFadyen in the state house, and we wrote about it in 2010. This time it appears that Spaceway, King Stoopers and WallyWorld are ganging up, ready to pour millions into their one-sided campaign to make more money at the expense of Colorado local business.

Keep Colorado Local released this info today, which we are passing along to you. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BREWERS, VINTNERS, AND DISTILLERS!!!!

Independent Colorado Businesses Committed To Fighting Out-Of-State Corporations' Campaign To Sell Alcohol In Chain Stores

DENVER - Members of Keep Colorado Local on Wednesday said they are committed to fighting changes to Colorado's liquor laws, as out-of-state corporations announced plans to pad their profits at the expense of Colorado small businesses.

Kroger, Safeway and Walmart are teaming up to spend millions of dollars to change Colorado liquor laws, a move that would have dramatic, negative impacts on the state's 1,600+ mom-and-pop liquor stores and more than 400 independent craft brewers, distillers and vintners.

The Keep Colorado Local coalition includes trade groups, businesses and individuals representing independent liquor stores, craft breweries, wineries, distilleries and other local businesses from throughout the state. They have teamed up to oppose the sale of alcohol in chain stores in order to defend small businesses, preserve public safety, and protect Colorado's craft culture.

"The chain stores aren't satisfied by our state's leaders turning them down at every turn for the past two decades," said Carolyn Joy, owner of Joy's Wine and Spirits. Her father opened their family-owned businesses in Denver over 50 years ago. "Our state's liquor laws have helped to grow local economies and changing them would have a devastating impact on small businesses like mine, our employees and their families."

Out-of-state corporations have tried unsuccessfully to alter Colorado's liquor laws through legislation at the State Capitol six times since 2008.

A front group for out-of-state chain stores on Tuesday announced plans to pursue legislation or a ballot initiative that would change Colorado's current law to allow the sale of beer, wine and liquor at an estimated 1,500 grocery and convenience stores.

"Expanding sales for chain stores would nearly double the number of outlets selling alcohol and is a direct threat to small businesses like mine that are located in existing shopping centers," said Kim Schottleutner, owner of DTC Wine & Spirits in Greenwood Village, and president of the Colorado Licensed Beverage Association.

An economic study prepared the last time out-of-state chains pursued this idea determined such a change would force more than 700 local liquor stores to close within the first three years and result in the loss of 10,000 jobs and $240 million in revenue to local businesses in the first five years.

"Liquor law in Colorado encourages breweries to grow like nowhere else and have made us the envy of the rest of the country," said John Carlson, Executive Director of the Colorado Brewers Guild. "Craft brewers are able to get their beer on the shelves of local liquor stores quickly and easily because they have the cooler space and the staff of local stores are their friends and neighbors who are invested in the community's success. Colorado brewers enhance and grow the local economy."

Members of KCL said they are prepared to defend Colorado's culture and remain committed to protecting what's been built in our state.

This is a very important issue to Colorado. We'll keep reporting more about this - stay tuned.
Staff Pic
Grocers say it's about choice, but it's really about profit - selling more high-margin alcohol products in their stores. They say that they're being hurt by selling only 3.2% ABV products that nobody wants to buy. Question: If 3.2 is such a crappy product, then why do they devote so much expensive shelf space footage to products that don't sell?
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