Utah Expected to Lift 3.2% Beer Limitations

Local brewers fighting for more alcohol by weight
Photograph: Shutterstock

SALT LAKE CITY -- The target on the back of low-alcohol beer got a little bigger in Utah, after a state Senate panel unanimously supported a bill to allow grocery and convenience stores to sell beer with up to 4.8% alcohol by weight.

The state's Senate Business and Labor Committee backed the bill Feb. 7 after a public hearing on the matter.

Supporters say the change would be good for retail sales and the state economy. Many local brewers, however, are speaking out against the bill, saying a new 4.8% limit isn't enough to allow them to create flavorful craft beers, according to a report from KUTV.

The bill will now go to the full state Senate for a vote.

Utah is the last of two states, along with Minnesota, that limit retail beer sales to products with 3.2% alcohol. Full-strength beer became acceptable in Oklahoma in October and in Colorado on Jan. 1. Kansas will allow the sale of beer with up to 6% alcohol in retail in April.

A legislative battle on the issue is also expected in Minnesota this year.

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