Kansas debating stronger beers

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TOPEKA, KS -- The state of Kansas has never really made the jump from being a "dry" state to one that allows full-strength beer to be sold in supermarkets and liquor stores.

Now, both houses of the state legislature are considering bills that would end the requirement that beer sold in such outlets may not have an alcohol content greater than 3.2%.

Senate President Steve Morris said similar bills have failed before and he foresees well-organized resistance again from businesses seeking to avoid competition.

The weak beer, also known by the rather unappetizing name of “cereal malt beverage,” came into vogue as a way to sold legally, then as an exception to selling to people under age 21.

However, advocates for the change point out that the market for 3.2 beer, first introduced in 1937, largely disappeared in 1985 when the state raised the minimum drinking age to 21.

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