A bill is making its way through the New York State Senate this week that could soon save you an extra trip to the store.

Every state has its own very specific laws about purchasing and consuming alcohol. While some states are more lenient when it comes to where you can buy liquor and wine, others are very strict.

There are 17 Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) states. Those looking to purchase certain types of alcohol in those states must do so through government-run locations. Some states allow grocery stores to sell beer and/or wine and only control hard liquor sales, while others only allow beer, wine and liquor to be sold at state-operated locations.

While New York doesn't have state-run liquor stores, we do have our own wacky laws when it comes to purchasing alcohol. While beer is able to be sold at convenience stores, grocery stores and beer distributors, wine has been limited to licensed liquor stores. However, that is expected to change soon.


Changes Coming to Wine Rules in New York

We told you at the beginning of last year that Governor Hochul was expected to make a provision in the 2024 budget to open up sales of wine to grocery stores. That didn't happen, mostly because liquor store owners have been opposing the move. They've been loudly arguing that the change would hurt business because they'd face more competition.

On Wednesday, a new bill that paves the way for wine sales in grocery stores made its way to committee. Senate Bill S6786 would legalize the sale of wine in grocery stores that now fall under a new definition.

The bill has a provision that would only allow grocery stores that generate 65% or more of their revenue from food sales to sell wine, eliminating places like WalMart and Target. Convenience stores would also be ineligible because the law would also define a supermarket as a store that's over 5,000 square feet.

The bill, sponsored by State Senator Liz Krueger of Manhattan's 28th district, explains that the current restrictions of wine sales dates all the way back to prohibition.

While many laws have been updated to reflect modern times, consumers are still stuck making multiple trips to different stores for groceries and wine. This anachronistic model provides no consumer protections, but instead protects an entrenched monopoly that is to the detriment of convenient access for consumers. If consumers can be trusted to buy beer in supermarkets, they should be given the option to also purchase wine with their groceries as well.

It's unclear just how much support the bill currently has. Liquor stores are expected to heavily lobby against the bill when it comes up for a vote.

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LOOK: Best Beers From Every State

To find the best beer in each state and Washington D.C., Stacker analyzed January 2020 data from BeerAdvocate, a website that gathers user scores for beer in real-time. BeerAdvocate makes its determinations by compiling consumer ratings for all 50 states and Washington D.C. and applying a weighted rank to each. The weighted rank pulls the beer toward the list's average based on the number of ratings it has and aims to allow lesser-known beers to increase in rank. Only beers with at least 10 rankings to be considered; we took it a step further to only include beers with at least 100 user rankings in our gallery. Keep reading to find out what the best beer is in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C.

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