Letter: Don’t fall for cunning campaign

Don’t be fooled by those “Your Choice Colorado” ads. No, it’s not a group of concerned residents who want full-strength beer and wine in grocery stores. Wal-Mart, Safeway and King Soopers are seeking to bolster their profits and get in on the craft-beer industry. The ads claim buying beer in grocery stores will save you time, create 22,000 jobs and increase craft sales by $125 million annually. These estimates come from a University of Denver economist who was funded by — you guessed it — Wal-Mart, Safeway and King Soopers.

A study in 2011 by Summit Economics portrays a more realistic outcome if the law were to be changed. Forty-two percent (more than 700) of independent liquor stores would close. More than $250 million in annual wages would be lost. Colorado retailers return an average of 52 percent to the local economy, whereas national chains return an average of 14 percent. Where do you want your money to go? Is the convenience of buying your bananas and beer at the same place worth puncturing our local economy?

Colorado is an incredible incubator for craft industries. Can you imagine how hard it would be for companies like Aspen Brewing to grow in a market dominated by national chains? This is why your favorite breweries do no support changing the law! It is the relationships between local brewers, vintners and distillers with educated liquor vendors that creates such a thriving environment for small operations.

When it comes time in November, don’t squash our amazing craft-beer culture. Don’t give in to corporate propaganda. Don’t make it easier for teenagers to steal alcohol. Keep Colorado local!

Andrew Wickes