Minnesota Now One of Only Two States That Still Sells This
It used to be more prevalent, but now Minnesota is one of only two states in the country that still sells this. Know what it is?
It's 3.2 beer-- 'near beer' as we called it when I was in college in UW-Eau Claire back in Wisconsin. It's a special beer that's brewed with a much lower alcohol content, and it's still the only beer that supermarkets, grocery stores and convenience stores here in Minnesota are allowed to sell.
If you want the high-octane stuff, you gotta buy it at the liquor store. Along with Minnesota, Utah is the only other state that still has a 3.2 beer law on the books. States like Colorado and Oklahoma just got rid of their similar laws at the end of 2018.
And, as this AP story points out, it makes one wonder just how long the big breweries, like Budweiser, Coors and Miller Lite, are still even going to produce 3.2 beer. Minnesota's 2017 law that allowed liquor stores to be open on Sunday have cut into 3.2 beer sales.
Which is easy to explain, right? Before, when liquor stores were closed on Sunday, if you needed to pick up a case for the Vikings game, you'd just buy the 'ol 3.2 beer at your local grocery store because it was your only option.
Now, though, with liquor stores selling all those other beer options-- including craft beers whose alcohol content is double or triple 3.2 beer-- and being open on Sunday, 3.2 beer sales are flatter than a day-old Miller Lite.
Having lived in Wisconsin until only 7 years ago, I can't say I've ever bought any 3.2 beer-- that's because back in Wisconsin, not only were liquor stores open 7 days a week, but your local grocery and convenience store all legally sell beer with its usual alcohol content.
Have you bought any 3.2 beer at a grocery story lately?