SALT LAKE CITY — On November 1, Utah will dump 3.2 beer for heavier brews.
But the transition may not be easy. Because grocery and convenience stores cannot stock the stronger stuff before the law changes, there may be a lag between 3.2 beer disappearing and 5% (alcohol by weight) moving in.
Speaking on the latest episode of “Utah Booze News: An Alcohol Policy Podcast” produced by FOX 13 and The Salt Lake Tribune, Sal Petilos, the executive director of the Utah Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control outlined exactly how 3.2 beer is going to go away, and what will replace heavier beers in state-run liquor stores.
“There’s a bit of a technical snag in terms of logistics. The legislature anticipates a flip of the switch. There may be a period of time that some grocery and convenience stores may not have 5.0 beer because technically speaking, they can’t store it nor can they sell it until Nov. 1,” Petilos said.
Petilos acknowledged consumers might see a delay.
“That’s what industry tells us,” he said.
Petilos also told FOX 13’s Ben Winslow and the Tribune’s Kathy Stephenson who will be appointed to sit on the “Beer Task Force” to determine whether Utah should go to even heavier alcohol content in grocery/convenience stores.
Sen. Jerry Stephenson, R-Layton
Sen. Don Ipson, R-St. George
Rep. Timothy Hawkes, R-Centerville
Rep. Steve Waldrip, R-Eden
Andy Zweber, representing beer distribotrs
Peter Erickson, representing the Utah Brewer’s Guild
Gilbert Gonzales, representing national brewers
Dave Davis, representing retailers
Nick Hales, community member
Also on the podcast, Lagoon is set to open a Biergarten next week.