HB349's original intent was to make it easier for beer distributors to get a wider range of products out to costumers, by bypassing the DABC warehouse all together. The bill would also give buyers the ability to negotiate prices, instead of buying the state of Utah's set rate for high ABV beer that we all pay. This could mean better prices beer in the state.
But as I mentioned earlier, the part of this bill that has everyone in tizzy is the promise of high ABV beer on tap. This would create a whole new market for beer in Utah. Without the 4.0% restriction brands from all over the world could be making it's way into Utah. Your favorite Portland brew could be on tap a your favorite watering hole in as soon as 6 months.
There is a downside however. Local breweries that have made it their business by selling established 4.0% brands such as Cutthroat Pale Ale and Polygamy Porter will loose their state imposed monopoly on the taps. If you go to any decent be bar in town you'll notice that the majority of beers on tap are local. And frankly, that's the way it should be.
Will the local brewers tweak their recipes to make higher ABV beers to compete? Will local brewpubs be given the ability to make stronger stuff on tap for customers? The bill at this point is just too vague and convoluted to say.
For this reason many (including myself) think this bill will never make it in to law. Even though it has passed favorably in the House.
Bar owners that knew about the bill have been sitting on this hopping that it would slide beneath the radar and pass into law. That's why it's gotten so little play in the press in this unprecedented liquor reform session at the Capitol.
Hb349 is huge for Utah, what are your take on it?