Rusty Surette, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Beer lovers across Oklahoma will tell you our neighbors to the south have stronger, better beer, but News 9 is finally setting the record straight on this issue.
Most believe the six-point beer you can buy in Texas stores easily trumps Oklahoma's lower 3.2 beer, but believe it or not, there's not much of a difference between the two.
"The difference in the alcohol content is very minor," said the Oklahoma Malt Beverage Association's Brett Robinson. He'll be the first to tell you the difference in alcohol content between the beer sold here and the beer sold in Texas is really insignificant.
The reason: measurements.
In Texas, the alcoholic content of beer is measured by volume. In Oklahoma, the alcoholic content of beer is measured by weight. In fact, Oklahoma is one of only five states left in the nation that measure the alcohol content in beer by weight.
"So, let's say a domestic premium light beer from Texas is around 4 percent," said Robinson. "When you convert that to alcohol by weight, which is how Oklahoma's 3.2 percent beer is weighed, it comes out to be about 3.3 or 3.4 percent. So, it's really insignificant."
This means technically, yes, Texas beer does contain more alcohol, but it's usually less than a one percent difference than the beer in Oklahoma.
There's still, however, the issue of accessibility. Few will argue the liquor laws across the Red River are much more lax than here in the Sooner State.
In Oklahoma, 95 percent of all beers sold to consumers are 3.2 or the low-point beers. Those beers are only allowed to be sold in grocery stores and convenience stores.
In Oklahoma liquor stores, the alcoholic content of beer must be higher than 3.2 and no domestic beers are allowed. Also, the beer in liquor stores can't be sold cold because chillers aren't allowed in liquor stores.
Some lawmakers have been toying with the idea of changing some of our liquor laws and that's making a lot of retailers in Texas nervous. Especially those along the border. They feel the more accessible beer and liquor is here in Oklahoma, and the more we realize there's really no difference between the two, the more money they're likely to lose.