For the week of July 4th my wife Kate and I took our boys back east to Lake George. We needed to stock the house so we headed to the grocery store where we were immediately reminded that we were back in New York, not Kansas, and you can buy beer in the grocery store. Depending on what state (or country) you live in this may seem strange but in Kansas …you can’t buy beer from the grocery store. You can buy 3.2 beer. 3.2 beer is a “beer” containing 3.2% or less alcohol per volume. Its a small step above non alcoholic beer and a constant reminder that Kansas has the strictest liquor laws in the United States.
Basically, Kansas was so wild during the days of Cowboys & Indians that the knee-jerk reaction was so massive to the firewater in Kansas it is almost laughable (just not jovial drunken laughter). Kansas prohibited alcohol in 1880. When the nationwide repeal took place in 1933 Kansas waited til 1934 to repeal and began the sales of 3.2 in 1937. Then in 1948 Kansas banned the sales of alcohol til 1987. 1987!!! Kansas attempted to ban any sales of alcohol on Sundays but it was deemed unconstitutional by the Kansas Supreme Court in 2003. 2003!!! In 2012 bars were allowed to start having happy hour. That was 2 years ago! Seriously Kansas? Seriously? For the full story, read here.
Okay…I just had a drink to calm down. Long Trail. Vermont beer purchased from a New York grocery store. Mmmmm…grocery store beer.
With all that in mind, you can imagine the look of joy on my face when I saw real beer in the grocery store! Beeeeeeer!!! Now, New York has its own issues and can’t sell beer in liquor stores. Kansas, you have to get your beer from the liquor store. When I travel to Oklahoma for business they give you 3.2. beer at the bar…meaning you’re paying full price for N/A beer! As an avid beer-drinker, that to me is unconstitutional. Shouldn’t it be half price? My father has told me stories about how airlines would suspend beverage service when planes flew through Kansas airspace…the “Air Capital of the World.” The park by my house has a sign prohibiting “Cereal Malt Beverage” which I always thought was hilarious but now know Kansas has deemed Cereal Malt Beverage (CMB) as anything above 3.2% alcohol by volume. So…beer.
Who knew? I’ve been drinking cereal malt beverages all my life. I have a cereal malt beverage belly. Its cereal malt beverage o’clock.
Kansas is where I chose to raise my children because (if you are a constant reader) of “good dirt.” With the wonderful people of Wichita, access to great lifestyle amenities, and the Kansas prairie right out my back door…there also comes sacrifices. My politics differ, my religious beliefs differ, and my belief that if Kansans have the right to openly carry guns I should have the right to buy beer from the grocery store any day of the week at any hour. In New York I could buy beer from the grocery store or bodega any time. California I bought 92+ rated wines from the corner store along with beer, candy bars, and sunblock. Kansas…3.2 beer, meat and cheese.
Colorado is next door selling weed and we can’t sell beer?
Firewater! Firewater bad!!!
No…firewater gooooood. Beer gooooood. Maybe Westboro Baptist Church would calm down if they could just buy beer from the grocery store. Probably not but we can dream, right? Maybe Governor Brownback just needs a beer? Anti-gay bill issues? Straight up beer in the grocery store! So as my New York family sets off fireworks in celebration of Independence Day with their grocery store bought beers while my Colorado neighbors smoke legally sanctioned pot with their Rocky Mountain craft beers…my Kansas friends sip 3.2 beer and have their cereal malt beverage rights infringed upon. Seriously Kansas…can we just have a drink? 1880 is over and Carrie Nation died over 100 years ago. Let’s start with baby steps. Firewater good…3.2 beer bad.
Its Cereal Malt Beverage O’clock somewhere. Bottoms up!
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