Ring in the New Year by Forgetting About Tennessee’s Crazy High Gravity Beer Laws
On January 1, 2017, the legal definition of beer in Tennessee changes from 5% to 8% alcohol by weight. Meaning that beers with less than roughly 10% alcohol by volume no longer fall into that crazy category known as high gravity beer.
In Tennessee, beers stronger than 5% by weight or around 6.5% by volume were taxed and distributed as alcoholic beverages. For consumers, it meant higher prices and not being able to buy a high grav beer at a grocery or convenience store.
No longer. Although there are a few serious suds stronger than 8% by weight, the vast majority of high gravity beers will magically become regular “beer” in the New Year. You can Kroger for high grav. You will no longer pay the 15% alcoholic beverage tax at restaurants and bars.
The ancient and odd (at least to us) New Year’s traditional tune Auld Lang Syne comes to mind:
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
The new law fails to anticipate a number of details, which we expect will confuse industry members for some time. But, please, everyone say thanks to the Tennessee Legislature for fixing the high gravity beer problem.
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