Utah Booze News podcast: ‘Beer Santa’ is almost here, but we’re running out of bar licenses

SALT LAKE CITY — Heavier beers are almost here.

Listeners of “Utah Booze News: An Alcohol Policy Podcast” produced by FOX 13 and The Salt Lake Tribune have been documenting the disappearance of 3.2 beer from grocery and convenience store shelves across the state. With only a few days left, it’s pretty much empty shelves.

That will change on Friday, when beer at 5% alcohol-by-volume can legally be sold in Utah. Meanwhile, Utah’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is seeking to get rid of its stock of beer destined for a new life in the free market.

At the monthly meeting of the DABC commission, there was frustration from businesses and commissioners over the highly coveted bar licenses. There were seven applicants and only two licenses — and there won’t be any more bar licenses available in 2019. To make matters worse, there may be only three bar licenses available in all of 2020.

Commission Chairman John Nielsen expressed his frustration about the situation.

“We have to weigh, of course, the policy implications as to what the legislature feels is appropriate in terms of allowing the number of bars,” he said. “But I think clearly the other side of that is we ought not to prevent people from earning a living and serving the public because there is that demand there.”

Listen to the whole interview on the podcast.

Listen on iTunes | Art 19 | Stitcher | Spotify | Google Play | iHeartRadio

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