DENVER (AP) – Convenience store owners are accusing Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper of siding with restaurants and craft brewers in a dispute over testing beer for alcohol content.

A trade group representing convenience stores accuses Hickenlooper, a former restaurant owner and micro-brewer, of “backroom cronyism” because state regulators eliminated a rule that would have required all brewers and importers to report the alcohol content of their products.

The rules now say that state officials may test beer, but they don’t require it.

Hickenlooper tells The Denver Post he was simply trying to streamline regulations and cut red tape.

The Colorado-Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association, the convenience store trade group, rejects that explanation. The group accuses Hickenlooper of helping a special-interest group that helped Hickenlooper get elected.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)