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Friday, April 29, 2011

Privatizing Liquor Store is an Option?

What would you rather have, a privately run liquor state liquor store that will tack-on upwards of 30% more for your beer wine & liquor - or the current state run liquor system?

Some lawmakers are actually considering these options to save money. The proposal in question aims at getting Utah out of the business of running liquor stores. Instead, the state would control the supply of liquor at the warehouse level, but it would essentially franchise the retail liquor sales to private operators.

Now that all sounds fine and dandy until you realize that these proposed store operators are going to have to make a buck just like any other small business owner.

Utah currently imposes an 86 percent markup on liquor and wine. The state could continue to take that markup — which would mean an increase in retail price — or, with the reduced overhead from not running stores, could shrink the markup, maintain profits and let franchises keep a portion of the sales.

Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden, who presented his proposal to the state's privatization board Wednesday, said he is uncomfortable with the state profiting from liquor sales at all, but it is impractical to think the state would give up control over the distribution.

And I think that's the rub. Unless Utah is 100% committed to getting out of the liquor business, Utah's consumers will continue to get screwed both in price and availability.

What do you think, is this a practical idea? Is it worth it paying more for your beer in exchange for a privately leased liquor store?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

3rd Annual Evanston Brew Fest

If Pioneer Day is not your thing and "Beer and Pie Day" festivities are too small, I have a great alternative for you.

The 3rd Annual Evanston Brew Fest is happening on Pioneer Day Weekend and will offer Utah's counter culture victims an opportunity to celebrate our own brand of Pioneers; Craft Brewers.

This is a great town to hold a beerfest. It's proximity to the Wasatch Front provides a quick & easy drive, the city has plenty of lodging, the town is full of bars and most importantly it doesn't have Utah's bullshit beer restrictions. You could actually get a high abv Utah beer on tap! Wahoo! Not to mention other great regional craft beers to sample. We'll keep you up to date on all the particulars, who's going to be pouring etc, but for now just mark Saturday, July 23, 2011 on your calendar.

The Fest runs from 1:00 pm until 10:00 PM on Main Street in Downtown Evanston. Microbrews from 1:00 - 6:00 pm and then street party until 10:00 PM!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bad Business and Politics in Utah

Who the Hell is running this state? I just don't get it!

Just in case you've missed it thus far, the state legislature had directed the very profitable Department of Alcohol Beverage Control to cut $2.2 million from their annual budget. The DABC found the only way to comply was to shut down a dozen liquor stores across the state and cut the remaining store's hours.

Then came the public outrage. Suddenly these lawmakers, who couldn't give one tenth of one shit about these liquor stores closing were suddenly outraged that the DABC couldn't come up with a better way to cut the money.

Now, with two days to go before the recommended liquor stores are to shut their doors comes new word that House and Senate leaders may be willing to sign off on a one-time $1.4 million appropriation to keep the stores in business – at least until next February.

So let me get this straight... four months ago they (DABC) were forced to cut $2.2 million and now they get a gift of $1.4 million from the very people that took the money away in the first place.

Now I ain'ts the most educated of folk, but my "cifer'n" skills show that to be an actual budget cut of $800,000. On April 5th of this year Senator Mike Wadupps said, "They're not being treated different than any of the other agencies of government, but they're asking for a different treatment. They're not the favored stepchild,"

Well, Mike. Apparently they do need to be treated differently, These aren't children who throw tantrums because they're not being treated fairly. They're department who are supposed to not whine and do as their told. Right?

This beast (DABC) that the state has created has to be run like a business not a department in some kind of neo-prohibitionist religious organization. You don't penalize arms of your business for making you/us a shit-load of money.

Senate President Michael Waddoups told FOX 13 News Monday afternoon he will “absolutely” sign off on the $1.4 million appropriation. If the stores are saved the DABC will not have to layoff the employees that currently work at the stores.

Keep your eyes on these legislative douche-bags. I guarantee this will come around again in 2012, and their going to try to pull the same ol' shit that didn't work-out so well this year. In the name of over-consumption of course....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A New "Direction" for Uinta

I've been suck'n down Uinta beers for most of my adult life. There was always something comforting about seeing their trademark bottle cap logo. Simple and to the point, Like Tabasco. I see it, I recognize it, I know what to expect. Now Uinta has introduced a new logo to complement the same ol' beer we've known for so long and I'm a little sad.

The new logo; as you can see is a symbol that closely represents the meaning behind the name “Uinta”. The logo depicts a mountain range circumscribed by a compass dial highlighting the East and West coordinates. If your familiar with the Uinta Mountain range at all, you know it's unique because it's the only major East-West running mountain range in the continental United States.

The Compass is a tool which represents Uinta Brewing in several ways. The Uinta family prides itself on its sense of direction and focus on brewing quality, consistent beers.

I get it. As Uinta expands their brand across the U.S., they need to let people know who they are and where they/we come from in a simple way. And that's smart. People in Georgia can barely pronounce Uinta (you-in-tah) let alone know it's meaning.

After eighteen years worth of brand-identity it's going to take a little while for the new images to make their way into the market. Change sucks. I know after time I'll get used to the new logo, maybe a Cutthroat will help. What do you think of it?


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2011 Beehive Brew Off

-Link to winners list-
It's competition time! The date for the 2011 Beehive Brew-Off has been announced. August 20-21 will be the judging days with awards being given out on the 21st.

Entries will be accepted August 1-15. One entry consists of three (3) bottles. To assure the anonymity of brewer, bottles must be standardized to the current AHA competition requirements: 12 oz bottles with no paper or inked labels, raised glass brand-name designs or any identifying or distinguishing marks on the bottle or cap identifying the brewer. Be sure that you enter your beer into the proper style category. Styles accepted include all styles listed in 2008 AHA Category Descriptions. Entries become property of The Beer Nut and will not be returned.

The Beehive Brew-Off is open to all recognized beer categories. The 2008 edition of the BJCP Style Guidelines will be used to judge entries. It is the brewer's responsibility to determine the correct category/subcategory to enter their beers, and to provide additional information where required. Depending on the number of entries and category distribution, categories and subcategories may be combined or separated for judging and awards purposes. These judging table breakdowns will
not be available prior to the competition and will be determined by the
competition committee once all the entries have been processed. Five bucks per entry. Entries will be received at

The Beer Nut
1200 South State St.
Salt Lake City, Utah

Please contact The Beer Nut for any questions at (801) 531-8182 or jamie@beernut.com.

Some of this info could change, so keep checking back here or check the Forum.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The 2nd Annual Festival of Flavors

Southern Utah's best excuse to get up into the mountains and sample local beer, wine and spirits, is a go!

The 2nd Annual Festival of Flavors will be held once again at Brian Head Resort and will be hosted by the Grand Lodge and Cedar Breaks Lodge.

The festival will feature beer and wine from many of Utah's breweries and wineries, possibly even Utah's two newest wineries, Hive and Kiler Grove.

Food, music and lodging will also be available.

Festival of Flavors will be held August 12th & 13th, 2011. I missed last year's festival, but everyone I talked to who did attend said it was a great event.

More info to come.


Friday, April 15, 2011

A bottleing Line for SOP

It's been brutally slow around here this week, but there is some light to close out this Friday.

Shades of Pale Brewing: Utah's newest brewery has announce the purchase of their long awaited bottling line. 45 days from now their custom bottler should arrive and start pumping out 22 oz bottles of SOP.

The first bottled beer is still up in the air, it will likely be Jack Wagon Wheat, Publican Pale Ale or Perfect Stranger Kölsch. If you can't wait until then, Bistro 412 and Good Karma (both in Park City) are current selling SOP's Jack Wagon Wheat.

Personally I'm eager for a new pale ale. I'm sure it'll be worth the wait.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Squatters Pequeño Imperial

Ah Mexican beers. Many beer geeks are prone to poo-poo them others simply don't acknowledge them at all, which is a shame because they are a true North American beer style.

There have always been fermented alcoholic beverages in North & South America but it wasn't until the Spanish conquest of Mexico that European beer hit the scene.

Beer in Mexico had a tough time catching-on, unlike it had around the rest of the world. Ingredients were generally expensive, combined with highly regulated alcohol consumption laws and competition from native beverages... it took decades for breweries in Mexico find a market.

It wasn't until a large influx of German immigrants to Mexico in the 1900's that beer finally started to find a rhythm south of the boarder.

Almost all beer produced in Mexico is Pilsner style. But the introduction of Bohemian style beers through the giant brewery Cuauhtémoc would define Mexican Pilsner beer as the Pilsner.

Mexican beer is distinctive for its lager-like properties, being generally light-bodied with a mild taste low hop profile and is meant to be drunk cold.

To honor Utah's Latino community and to help celebrate Cinco De Mayo Squatters has brewed up a tributary special edition Mexican Style Lager called Pequeño Imperial.

They took American craft beer exuberance, united it with the traditional crisp and refreshing Mexican lager styles. Add some trendy craft brewing "super sizing" and you get a beer fitting of the name Pequeno Imperial.

Pequeño Imperial will have an ABV of 6.5% and will be made available around the first of May.

It is common to serve light Mexican beers in North America and Europe with a wedge of lime on the bottle and/or squeezed down the neck. The practice is less common in Mexico, outside the tourist areas. From the conversations I've had while visiting Mexico, this is all just gringo bull shit. It's simply to keep flies off the bottles rim and for disinfecting.

Try it without the lime. If you've gotta have one, I'm sure something can be worked out.


Friday, April 08, 2011

Sharia Law in Utah

So yesterday one DABC Douch-Bag announced that he wants beer gone from gas/convenience Stores. While all this is going this is going on some State Legislators are suddenly backtracking on their positions that mandate the DABC close liquor stores due to the Legislatures imposed $2.2 million budget cut.

Senate President Michael Waddoups says he does not want to see any state liquor stores close or their employees laid off. He says the DABC needs to come up with a new business plan to minimize costs without cutting jobs and closing doors.

Now you'll notice none of this was said during the legislative session. It's only now after droves of pissed-off constituents have threatened their cushy elected jobs, they finally listen.

Lawmakers dolled out $100,000 to hire a consultant to come up with an alternate business plan for the DABC.

"They've got time to get this business plan done, to hire their consultant, to find out the what the best way to do. They don't have to close stores on April the 28th, they shouldn't close stores on April the 28th. I think they failed their duty in this instance," said Waddoups.

Waddoups proposes that if the DABC has no other solution but to close stores and force layoffs that they should consider raising the liquor prices by 1%.

Oh, and there's a new poll.


Thursday, April 07, 2011

A Propossed Ban on Convenient Store Beer!

As we all know the urge to consume a beer immediately after purchasing is so strong that we as beer consumers will do anything, kill anyone who prevents us from enjoying our sweet mistress, the 3.2 beer. Luckily there is man among us who is capable of saving us from ourselves and our inability to make rational decisions.

At the March 24th DABC meeting, DABC Commissioner Gordon Strachan hinted that he may soon propose a ban on selling all beer at Utah convenience stores. Strachan made it very clear how he feels about beer being sold at gas stations and convenience stores.

Because Strachan may only have a few months left as a DABC commissioner, sources say that he could bring up this ban at the DABC's April 28th hearing. Judging by his comments at that March DABC meeting, Strachan apparently feels that it's simply too easy to buy a big, cold beer and then simply drive away, "I have long been an advocate of the fact that beer should not be sold at gas stations."

However, Commissioner Strachan faces some obstacles. Not only is there a lot of opposition to his ban, but there are also questions about how much authority DABC has in this matter.

The sale of low point beer makes up nearly 40% of sales for these store. Many say that they can't stay in business without a beer license. A ban like this would absolutely devastate most gas stations and convenient stores, not to mention the hit to our small local breweries.

Pure and simple; this is a tiny, little man who wishes to show his "masters" that he's a good and obedient little sheep.

Here's the story that KTVX did last night.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Salt City Brew Supply

Home Brewers Rejoice. There will soon be a new option to aid in you beer/wine making addiction.

Salt City Brew Supply will soon be Salt Lake County's third retailer for homebrewing enthusiasts. Set to open around the first of May, SL Brew will offer equipment and ingredients for home brewing beer, wine, and coffee roasting.

SL Brew will be located at 750 E. Fort Union Blvd. in Midvale near Hoppers Brewpub.

That two new homebrew shops to open up along the Wasatch front in the past six months. I guess there's something to this whole "love of beer" thing in Utah after all. Eh?

Good luck to Ross and Cody on their new venture.


Friday, April 01, 2011

New Beer Friday 4/1/11

Ok, I dropped the ball on you all today. There's new stuff at the Bayou and I'm just being informed about them.

Boulevard Dark Truth Stout: Coffee and chocolate dominate. Plenty of dark bready notes followed by some dark rum and fig qualities. Caramel and toffee present as well. Floral and grassy hop notes round things out. The finish is drying.

Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball: Tastes like malt and fig, some chocolate. Finishes with some alcohol and some citrusy hops. It could probably mesh a bit better. Still, it's pretty good.

Both are here at the Bayou.