2019 Bills

SB 132: Allowing Regular Beer in Grocery and Convenience Stores

This bill passed the Senate 27-2 and the House 61-14. 

Libertas Institute supports this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it is aligned with our principles and merits support.

You may have noticed that some of Utah’s alcohol laws are out of date.

Current protectionist policies allow government-owned liquor stores to sell beer above a certain alcohol limit, but not grocery and convenience stores. As of this April, Utah will be one of only two states that restrict grocery stores to selling 3.2% alcohol.

We believe it’s time to move away from these arbitrary policies that were created just after prohibition ended over 85 years ago. and Senator Jerry Stevenson’s SB 132 moves things in the right direction by allowing grocery and convenience stores to sell beer with up to a 4.8% alcohol content.

The market has shown that the demand for 3.2% beer has fallen and that other products between 3.2% to 4.8% should be made better available to the public.

  • Killer Kowalski

    Oooohh! 4.8? Yes, it’s an improvement, but there are plenty of beers that will still be prohibited. Let’s cut to the chase. This is a silly compromise.

    • Jared Young

      It’s important to keep in mind that 3.2% and 4.8% are not using the standard alcohol content measurement. Those are Alcohol by Weight numbers. That is NOT the standard measurement of alcohol content. Almost all alcohol content percentages are represented in Alcohol by Volume. Since alcohol is less dense than water, using the weight measurement gives a lower number. To translate 3.2 and 4.8 to the standard measurement we’re actually talking about going from 4%ABV to 6%ABV.

      For reference, regular (non-Utah)

      Budweiser is 5%ABV

      Bud Light is 4.2%ABV

      Corona Extra is 4.6%ABV

      Guiness is 4.2%ABV

      Heineken is 5%ABV

      Miller Genuine Draft is 4.6%abv

      Very few mass market beers will be prohibited. Really almost none.

      This legislation is about mass market beers. There will still be MANY craft beers that fall outside the new limit, but this bill is intended to keep the ratio of DABC beer sales compared to grocery and convenience store beer sales close to what they have been, because the DABC stores can’t handle the increse in traffic.