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Oklahoma liquor stores getting higher point domestic beer

LAWTON Okla_ Certain brands of high-point beer are coming soon to shelves in Oklahoma liquor stores.

Starting November 1st, Anheuser-Busch products that exceed 3-point-2 percent alcohol content will be available at liquor stores, bars and restaurants that have an able commission license.

 Domestic higher-point beer hasn't been sold in Oklahoma since 1976 because of a law in the state constitution that controls franchising agreements.  That law hasn't changed, so it's not clear what prompted this particular beer-maker to reverse its course after all this time.

 The anti-franchising issue has kept Anheuser-Busch, Miller and Coors from selling their strong products in Oklahoma since 1976.

These companies don't want to sell through distributors that don't have contracts, and under article 28 of the Oklahoma Constitution having a contract is illegal.

 "So that's the reason we don't have strong because they can't franchise. Give exclusive distribution rights to any particular wholesaler," said JP Richard.

 In order for the beer companies to sell their higher point products in Oklahoma they would have to have two separate liquor licenses.

 "They have to have two corporations. One that sells under the three point and one that sells the six point. Which is, the only one that comes out ahead is the Oklahoma tax commission," said Mike Underwood.

 It's still not clear if the other beer makers will follow Anheuser-Busch's lead, but Richard said he expects he'll see a slight bump in his sales.

 "If Anheuser-Busch comes in here and said we're going to offer all our package line in strong, where do you think the consumers will come buy their beer? They won't go to the convenience store anymore or the grocery store because that's still three point two. They'll come to the package store," said Richard.

 Richard said getting the new products will help but it's not a big leap forward because Anheuser-Busch isn't bringing in all of their normal products just a few new ones.

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