If Senate Bill 60 passes out of the House, "on-premises" liquor licensees -- meaning restaurants and bars, and restaurants and bars only -- would be free, free to pour any beer they want to, even the 3.2 beer they're now prevented from serving by the state's archaic liquor laws, which lumps them in with liquor stores.
But even if SB 60 somehow gets sidetracked and dies at the legislature this year, there's good news for lovers of Corona Light, which we'd been worried might be so light that it couldn't be served in bars and restaurants. Turns out that it's completely legal to serve Corona Light even if the law doesn't change.
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Crown Imports, which distributes the beer for Grupo Modelo in this country, sent the popular, lighter version of Corona for a test by Brewing & Distilling Analytical Services of Lexington, Kentucky, which was submitted to the state. And according to that report, Corona Light is 3.23 percent alcohol by weight, and 4.09 percent alcohol by volume - which puts it just above the state cap of 3.2 by weight and 4.0 by volume for beer that determines "malt beverages" too light to be sold in bars, restaurants and liquor stores. "Yes, it is legal," says Mark Couch, public information officer for the Colorado Department of Revenue, which is charged with enforcing the state's liquor laws. "By a nose."
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
For the record, Heineken Premium Light Lager and Amstel Light Beer also weigh in above the legal limit, which means that even if the law doesn't change, they can be sold in restaurants and bars, too. (In order to sell all of these light brews in convenience stores and grocery stores, the manufacturers make lighter versions - just as they make 3.2 versions of Bud, Miller, Coors and heavier brews.)