beer | KUER 90.1


A pallet stacked with black lager beer affixed with a neon green 5% sticker.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Utah beer makers and drinkers alike are anxiously awaiting Nov. 1, when the limit on brews sold on tap and in grocery and convenience stores switches from 4% alcohol by volume (3.2% alcohol by weight) to 5% ABV. 

Photo of beer fridge. / TrongNguyen

A push to raise the limit on beer in grocery stores is back at the State Capitol after legislation hit some turbulence last week.

Austen Diamond for KUER

Updated 3:30 p.m. MST 3/6/19

A bill to raise the alcohol limit of beer sold in grocery and convenience stores from 3.2 percent alcohol by weight to 4.8 percent met stiff resistance in a House committee Wednesday morning and was changed substantially before getting the green light.

The closest that Travis Rupp came to getting fired, he says, was the time he tried to make chicha. The recipe for the Peruvian corn-based beer, cobbled together from bits of pre-Incan archaeological evidence, called for chewed corn partially fermented in spit. So, Rupp’s first task had been to convince his colleagues to gather round a bucket and offer up their chompers for the cause.

photo of 3.2 beer label.
JT Nebeker for KUER

A proposal to allow stronger beer in grocery and convenience stores received preliminary support from the Utah Senate on Monday.

Photo of beer in store.
Courtesy Taylor Smith

It might soon be harder to find your favorite can of beer at the grocery store, but a Utah lawmaker is working to allow stronger brews to be sold in store by changing the legal definition of beer.

Some national beer companies are considering dropping weaker brews, which means Utah beer drinkers could see fewer options at the grocery store.

Republican Sen. Jerry Stevenson on Tuesday told KUER he is working on a bill regarding the sale of low-point beer sold in grocery and convenience stores.

More states are turning away from requiring low-point beer—or beer with 3.2 percent alcohol by weight—in grocery and convenience stores. Lawmakers, store owners and the state’s liquor control agency are wondering what will happen to Utah’s beer market if big breweries like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors decide to end production of low-point beer because demand is shrinking.

Brian Grimmett

A couple of alcohol related bills managed to make their way through House committees Wednesday including one that would eliminate Utah’s so-called “Zion Curtain.”

HB228 eliminates provisions in Utah law that requires restaurants to keep open liquor bottles and the actual mixing of drinks out of public sight. Republican Rep. Gage Froerer voted in favor of the bill. He says the current law is an unnecessary obstacle.