3.2 beer disappears as full-strength beer comes to Colorado grocery, convenience stores

DENVER -- New laws kicked into effect on Tuesday morning with the start of 2019 and the biggest one is at grocery stores.

Starting Tuesday, 3.2 percent beer is no more as full-strength beer can now be sold at grocery stores across the state.

It has taken 85 years -- before Prohibition was repealed -- for Colorado to get rid of the watered-down beer.

On Tuesday morning, workers at grocery stores across the state began swapping out 3.2 beer for full-strength suds.

"It's a fabulous day," said David Coors, president of A.C. Golden Brewing Company. "Pretty remarkable if you know the history of the beer industry. Our family has been brewing beer since before Colorado was a state.

"And here we are now seeing another great change to legislation where consumers can find beer all around town at their local grocery stores.

At Albertsons and Safeway stores, more than 50 local craft breweries will have their products on the shelves along with the big breweries.

"I think it benefits brewers big and small as well as consumers," Coors said.

Convenience stores and gas stations will also be able to sell full-strength beer.

The change in beer sales will not bring an end to liquor stores, which are still exclusive to selling wine and hard alcohol across the state.

The same bill passed by the Colorado General Assembly in 2016 that allowed 3.2 beer to disappear limits how many grocery stores can sell wine and liquor.

Over a 20-year period, grocery stores will be able to have 20 locations where all kind of alcohol can be sold. It won't be until 2036 until grocery stores will become equivalent to a liquor store.

Other changes across Colorado for 2019 include the entry fees at all 41 state parks increase $1.

Colorado residents who cannot prove their lawful presence in the U.S. can now use Social Security numbers to get a driver's license.

And the state's minimum wage will increase by 90 cents to $11.10 an hour.

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