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Raising a toast to more beer options in Missouri

By James C. Weyand, Hannibal, MO
I’m a craft brew type of guy. My group of friends and I are frequently searching local stores for something a little different than the average Bud Light. It is a quest for new and highly rated Stouts, Porters, IPAs and other artisan crafted beer.

It’s not just a drink to me – it’s a hobby, a passion and part of life.

When I first read that Anheuser-Busch was working to change the state’s laws on growlers and refrigerators, I was skeptical. However, after actually reading Sen. Schmitt’s legislation, I’ve realized the bill has many key points that would provide hops-loving nerds like me many more options.

Put simply, this legislation helps small mom-and-pop gas stations get a cooler that they can fill with whatever they like, including craft brews. This will be a particular help in rural Missouri, where options and profit margins are much more limited.

In Missouri’s convenience stores, beer sales are the second biggest seller. For grocery stores, beer ranks fourth. At 92% of the state’s convenience stores, customers can buy cold beer and 21% of beer shoppers leave a store without purchasing anything if their brand is not cold or out-of-stock. SB 919 helps fix this situation!

The state’s leading convenience store association, retailers and grocers support legislation, as does my local beer distributor. They work hard to push out craft brews and hold tastings locally every Friday night. The Show Me Institute has also submitted testimony supporting SB 919 and its free-market benefits.

The legislation also deregulates some antiquated beer laws, including allowing the filling of growlers in convenience and grocery stores.

Please join me in raising a toast to Sen. Eric Schmitt and more beer options in Missouri!