Stronger beer bill passes the Senate

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Beer lovers are cheering passage of bill that will allow stronger beer to be sold in stores across Vermont.

The specialty beers, with an alcohol contest of more than 8 percent, are now only available in liquor stores. The bill, which was passed by the Vermont House last year and the Senate this week, would allow the beer to be sold at grocery and convenience stores statewide.

The owner of Otter Creek Brewery in Middlebury Morgan Wolaver says now only 30 to 40 percent of the state’s 75 liquor stores carry the specialty beers.

Wolaver says he plans to launch a stronger brew after Governor Jim Douglas signs the legislation loosening the distribution restrictions.

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