Cheers to strong beer! Kansas groceries, gas stations start selling product

Local

Kansans can buy full-strength beer at grocery or convenience stores, and liquor stores added some products to their shelves too.

The new liquor law, signed by former Governor Sam Brownback, went into effect at 6 a.m. today.

The law allows convenience and grocery stores to sell beer with up to 6 percent alcohol by volume.

Before legislators changed the law, stores could only sell beer with 3.2 percent alcohol. 

QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh visited Topeka for months, trying to get the law passed.

“Finally, it’s time to get out of prohibition,” he said. “I’m thrilled we can join the rest of the country now in selling strong beer.”

The law also allows liquor stores to sell non-alcoholic products such as tobacco, sodas, mixers, chasers and snacks. Aside from tobacco, the products cannot exceed 20 percent of gross sales for the store. 

Liquor store owners said the change will give customers a more convenient experience.

For example, tobacco was previously sold in a separate shop in the store. Now it’s behind the counter.

“We are embracing it because I think convenience is important,” said Shelly Breault. “They can come to one store now and get their cigarettes, their limes, their tonic water, their soda .”

In different ways, both sides will have a more convenient experience for customers, which is something both management teams said was the end goal. 

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