The Thirsty Beagle: Top 10 Oklahoma craft beer stories of 2016: No.3

Friday, December 30, 2016

Top 10 Oklahoma craft beer stories of 2016: No.3

It's time for the top three in our list of Oklahoma's top 10 craft beer stories of 2016. I certainly debated which order to rank the top three, so please feel free to sound off with your opinions, too!

On to the countdown...

No. 3

The news: State voters pass State Question 792

What happened: What started as a bill to allow liquor stores to refrigerate alcohol turned into a full-blown re-write of the Oklahoma constitution. To get there, lawmakers introduced a 200-plus-page resolution aimed at updating the state's liquor laws. The resolution was passed and added to the November election ballot, where voters approved it with more than 65 percent support. After the election, a group of liquor stores sued to have the question tossed out by the courts.

Why it mattered: SQ 792 -- set to go into effect in October 2018 -- will have major implications on the way beer is distributed and purchased in Oklahoma. First, the measure moves Oklahoma to a so-called single-strength system, effectively doing away with the need for low-point beer. Second, it allows grocery, convenience and drug stores to sell strong beer up to 8.99 percent ABV. And it does indeed allow liquor stores to refrigerate beer. There are many more changes and many more nuances as well. As for the court challenge, a hearing on the liquor stores' motion for a temporary injunction is set for Feb.14 in Oklahoma County District Court, records show.

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