Friday, June 15, 2012
Kansas: Come On, Get Happy (Hour)
Posted by Patrick Mullin
Kansas finally took a step forward into the 1900's by passing a series of new liquor laws that will soon benefit bars, liquor stores and customers alike.
For starters, happy hour will return to Kansas bars and restaurants after a 27 year hiatus. Drink specials no longer have to be offered for an entire day, which will allow establishments to draw more traffic with extra deals and incentives to come in after work. I'll be interested to see how some bars handle this, whether they will replace their daily drink specials or supplement them. For example, will Barley's still offer $3 IPAs/$4 DIPAs all day on Wednesday, or change that to a happy hour special?.
But the other new law that I am even more excited about (and isn't getting quite as much attention from local media) is that liquor stores will finally be able to offer customers samples of beer, wine and liquor. This obviously sets the stage for Kansas liquor stores to hold beer tasting events, and I have my fingers crossed that they will take advantage and give more customers the chance to explore craft beer.
Once again, I'll be curious to see how the liquor stores on the Kansas side approach this new opportunity. Will Gomer's start doing weekly tastings like Gomer's South does? Will any be motivated enough to do a large scale tasting event like Berbiglia did during American Craft Beer Week? Or will most of them just keep on doing business as usual and not integrate any new beer events?
Though Sam Brownback is still pretty much the worst person ever (I hope he doesn't tell my principal I said that), I'm happy to hear that Kansas is making progress in their prehistoric liquor laws. Despite the Kansas House's concern that happy hour will turn us all into reckless, felony-committing binge drinkers (we're pretty much already there), I think it's pretty obvious that these changes will benefit everybody, and allow establishments and retailers to have more freedom in how they run their businesses.
These laws go into effect July 1st, so keep an eye out at your favorite Kansas bars and liquor stores to see what kind of changes they will be making.
See you at Happy Hour!