beer

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Starting Monday, full strength beer – up to 6 percent alcohol content – will be available in grocery and convenience stores across Kansas.

For many decades now, the only beer you could buy in Kansas grocery and convenience stores was limited to 3.2% alcohol. 

But on Monday, that 3.2 beer will be a thing of the past.

“It's a big step for the groceries and the state of Kansas,” says Dennis Toney, an executive with Ball’s Food Stores. “We’ve all wanted this for quite some time.”

Kansas is one of the last states to do away with this Depression-era alcohol, which looks likely to soon die out altogether.

Back in 2010, there were high hopes in Colorado that locally grown hops, the plant that gives beer a bitter or citrusy flavor, would help feed the then booming craft beer market. In just six years, the industry sprouted from almost nothing to 200 acres, according to the trade association Hop Growers of America.

Stephen Koranda

The self-proclaimed largest craft brewery in Kansas is shutting down. Tallgrass Brewing, based in Manhattan, will close its doors, at least temporarily.

Tallgrass Brewing was founded in 2007 and expanded in 2015. Tallgrass has been distributing beer in 18 states, according to the company’s website.

When reached by phone, an employee at the Manhattan facility confirmed that the brewery is suspending operations immediately. She said she couldn't provide any other details.

.deeneg / flickr Creative Commons

Legislators in the state that made saloon-smasher Carrie Nation famous have approved a bill to allow self-serve beer taps and longer hours for bars and taverns.

The Kansas House approved the measure Tuesday on a 94-28 vote. The Senate approved it Monday on a 34-4 vote. It now goes to Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer.

Kansas is among a few states that do not allow self-serve beer taps in restaurants and bars. The move to legalize them was spurred by the prospects of a new restaurant in downtown Topeka, blocks from the Statehouse.

Ruins Pub

Ryan Cavanaugh has a vision for downtown Topeka: a restaurant and pub called Brew Bank, where customers can access a wall of 20 electronic, self-serve beer taps as a way to mingle and try local brews.

“It’s just about a community experience,” he said. “For the patrons to be able to try all of these beers and try them responsibly in small amounts is just an exciting thing.”

The devices let customers use an electronic card to dispense brews.

“Let’s face it,” Cavanaugh said, “the technology’s just really cool.”

.deeneg / flickr Creative Commons

Wichita State University has changed its policy on beer sales to align with other universities in the American Athletic Conference.

.deeneg / flickr Creative Commons

Kansas cities may soon be able to designate districts where patrons can move among bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, drinks in hand.

Both the House and Senate have passed versions of a bill that would allow areas similar to Kansas City, Missouri's Power and Light District, where patrons can leave bars with their alcoholic beverages and move around a common area. Lawmakers are working toward a resolution between the two versions.

Paul Joseph / Flickr Creative Commons

Kansas grocery and convenience stores will be able to sell regular beer starting in 2019 after a years-long effort to get full-strength brews into the stores.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill Tuesday allowing grocery and convenience stores to sell beer with up to 6 percent alcohol by volume. They can now sell cereal malt beverage with 3.2 percent alcohol by weight. In exchange, liquor stores will be able to sell cereal malt beverages and more non-alcoholic products, such as shot glasses, mixers, lottery tickets and tobacco products.

Paul Joseph / Flickr Creative Commons

A years-long effort by Kansas grocery and convenience stores that want to sell more alcoholic products culminated in a compromise on Friday when lawmakers agreed to allow them to sell full-strength beer and allow liquor stores to sell more non-alcoholic products.

Uncork Kansas, a group representing grocery and convenience stores, has been advocating for the stores' ability to sell full-strength beer, wine and liquor in a state that the temperance movement led in part by famed bar-raider Carry Nation kept dry for nearly 70 years. National prohibition lasted just 14 years.

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