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New Bill Ends State Control Over High Alcohol Content Beer

Submitted by on March 12, 2010 – 9:21 AMNo Comment
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Governor Chet Culver of Iowa signed a bill into law that relinquishes state control over high-alcohol-content beer.

Bars and restaurants will now be able to buy beers directly from distributors without having the state act as a middle-man. Local micro-breweries will also be able to make higher-proof beers for their customers.

Until today, John’s Grocery has served as a state retailer for high-alcohol-content beer. Now, bars and restaurants can buy that beer directly from distributors instead of wholesale from the Iowa City store.

The store manager says he’ll miss that business, but the new state law will expand his beer selection.

“The good thing is by this time next year, I’ll potentially have over 500 new beers,” said Doug Alberhatsky. “And instead of having the best Belgian beer selection in the U.S., I’ll probably have the best beer selection in the U.S.”

Local brew-pubs, like Third Base Sports Bar in Cedar Rapids, are anxious to brew the stronger kind of beer, and the brew master says he knows his customers are excited.

“To get one fresh on tap is really unique especially for Cedar Rapids, and really for Iowa,” said Travis Scheidecker, Brewer at Third Base.  “It’ll be a great selling-point for brew pubs, all brew pubs in Iowa.”

But he says beer enthusiasts must be patient. It takes weeks, even months, to produce higher proof beers.

The brew master at Third Base also says he cannot brew that type of beer until the bar and brewery gets a license to do it, but he doesn’t expect that to be a long process.

Source: KCRG-TV9