OKLAHOMA CITY — Starting November 1st some of Anheuser Busch’s higher point products including Budweiser, Black Crown, Rolling Rock, Shock Top and even Lime-A-Rita’s will be on the shelves of liquor stores.
Consumers have always gone to great lengths to get these brands.
Freddy Lamport of “BierGarten Wine & Spirits” said, liquor stores will be able to sell high-point Budweiser products.
Terri Maxwell says, “I go out of state to go buy it!”
Some have only heard of them.
Doug Rodwell says, “I’m willing to give it a try. I like a good cold beer!”
Local liquor stores are just as excited to have the higher point Budweiser products on their shelves. Michael Berry, manager of Grand Cru Wine and Spirits, says it’s been a long time coming.
“We’ve always been frustrated that they haven’t brought it to Oklahoma, the full strength, whether it’s Budweiser, Shock Top or the Lime-A-Rita’s,” says Berry. “We would be happy to sell it.”
John Maisch with Oklahoma’s ABLE Commission says even though these products have always been legal, Anheuser Busch has been opposed to selling them in Oklahoma since the 70’s.
“Fast forward 36 years later someone with Budweiser made that decision to go ahead and come back into the state,” says Maisch. “It probably is a business decision.”
He says Anheuser Busch likes to control the quality of their beer from brew master to consumer. Instead of having exclusive agreements with local distributors to ensure quality, Oklahoma law says brands cannot pick and choose. They have to sell to all nine distributors and relinquish that control. A decision that has even Maisch celebrating.
“Beer gets old after a few months. If you don’t have one single distributor checking that product you are really relying on the packaged stores to be sure that product remains fresh,” says Maisch. “Is it a win or a loss for consumers? Probably a win!”
John Maisch, the ABLE Commission’s out-going counsel has also heard talk from within about wine in grocery stores and doing away with low point beer.
Keith Diggs, Regional Vice President Anheuser-Busch, made this statement on Sept. 9, “In response to consumer demand, select additional Anheuser-Busch products with greater than 3.2% ABW will be made available in the state of Oklahoma pending regulatory approvals.”
It’s a sign that Oklahoma could be moving towards more modern liquor laws.