The battle over full strength beer is not over.
After being turned down by lawmakers in their request for permission to sell full strength beer, a spokesman for the supermarket and convenience store group said they will now look at other options, including a ballot initiative.
"Consumers are the real losers of that vote," said Sean Duffy, of the Rocky Mountain Food Industry Association. "We had an opportunity to have lower prices, more selection and more competition in the marketplace, which is now a complete monopoly for beer."
Duffy said the request to sell full-strength beer was in reaction to last year's decision by lawmakers to allow liquor stores to open on Sundays.
"The Legislature really did pick winners and losers... and they decided to pick liquor stores," Duffy said.
That decision has taken a big toll on convenience stores which are only allowed to sell 3.2 beer.
"One hundred percent of these franchisees are losing almost 90 percent of their beer sales," said Fareed Siddiqui, market manager for 7-Eleven.
Now, the food group said it may consider other options, among them, a ballot initiative.
"The way we do that under our system is go straight to the consumer and ask them if they'd like to have at least real beer, but probably more than that," Duffy said.
Duffy said if the association decides to push for a ballot initiative that would allow full strength beer sales at supermarkets and convenience stores, members may also try to include wine and spirit sales on the measure.
We asked shoppers at the Albertson's Supermarket at Broadway and Alameda how they felt about that proposal.
"I lived in San Diego prior to living here," said Terry Bickel. "They allow liquor sales in drug stores, grocery stores and liquor stores, and they don't seem to have a problem sharing."
Shopper Joe Sego said, "I would probably vote for it, if it was just the wine and beer." He added that people who want hard liquor can just go to the liquor store.
Jeff Glanzman told 7NEWS that grocery and convenience stores should have the right to sell whatever products are manufactured.
"If it cuts down on the business for the liquor stores, they're just going to have to lower their prices to a competitive level and call it even," Glanzman said.
Duffy said if the association decides to push for a ballot initiative, the earliest they could do so is next year.
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