Stocking full-strength and craft beer in stores push sales to record levels.

Most believed that selling more beer in more locations would increase sales, not many anticipated a 20% increase. In January, the first month of full-strength beer in grocery and convenience stores, sales exploded!

The January sales total was derived from the Colorado Department Of Revenue taxes collected. It uses taxable gallons to determine the amount sold. Based on that data Colorado collected taxes on about 9.8 million gallons of beer sold in January. That number is a whopping 1.6 million more gallons than was sold in January of 2018!

You might think the news of the increased beer sales would be welcomed for everyone that makes and sells the stuff. You'd be wrong. Smaller breweries are fearful that large corporate chains like Safeway or City Market, where shelf space is a premium, would limit the choice of beers and favor the big guys. The independent makers are concerned chains will eventually stop stocking the smaller craft beer brands.

Liquor store owners are concerned that the big box stores and supermarkets are now selling "real" beer. Only time will tell if the predicted demise of small breweries and local liquor stores will be collateral damage in the era of beer being sold "everywhere." Back in Missouri where I'm from beer, liquor, and wine has been sold in supermarkets and at Walmart for decades and all seem to be co-existing just fine.

On January 1st of 2019, the law restricting full-strength beer sales to your local liquor store ended paving the way for to stuff to be sold in grocery and convenience stores.

Credit: Colorado Public Radio