Low-alcohol 3.2 beer sales drop in state

Published 7:53 am Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ST. PAUL (AP) — It’s the last call for St. Paul’s only 3.2 bar, and the owner is ready to turn out the lights.

“I’m 75. It’s too late for me,” said John Weber, taking a break from mowing grass at the Beehive Tavern in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood. “There is no money in it anymore.”

The Beehive once was among dozens of Twin Cities bars serving the low-alcohol beer. But sales of 3.2 beer are as flat as a week-old opened bottle of Pabst, and Minnesota is one of only five states that still sells it.

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That means the future of 3.2 bars like the Beehive is bleak. The low-alcohol beer is also sold in gas stations and supermarkets, where sales have been hurt by the recent addition of Sunday liquor sales. And tastes have changed, making 3.2 Minnesota’s most endangered brew.