Due to the lack of a free market where alcohol is concerned, the beer industry in Utah and it's consumers are likely to take a big hit from legislation that pits brewery against brewery.
Last year Uinta Brewing & the Utah Brewers Cooperative reached the state's ceiling on how much beer they were allowed to make and still be considered a small brewery. If they were to reach "large" brewery status, the required markup on their beers would skyrocket. This would slash profits and raise the price of their beers. SB248 was written to raise the ceiling from 60,000 barrels if beer to 100,000. Not a bad thing, right?
Well, it would be great if there wasn't a provision in the same bill that also requires all small breweries to retain the services of a distributor even if their operations are too small to justify the expense. Most of Utah's small breweries (Desert Edge, RedRock, Moab etc) self distribute. Their accounts are too small or too few and the added cost of a third party basically means they'll have to stop sending their beers to bars or pass the price hike on to you.
You see? Everybody looses here. The 2013 Legislature is in its final days, rewriting SB248 to fix all of its problems is likely not realistic. It has already passed in the Senate and is awaiting a vote in the House. It doesn't look good.
Utah's unique laws and culture create a alcohol community that cannot prosper if it's splintered. Nobody outside of Utah's alcohol manufacturing industry is more passionate about locally made beer than me, so when I beg all of Utah's breweries, wineries & distilleries to get their asses in gear and unify into a cohesive guild or interest group, I do it ensure that complete F'ups like this become a thing of the past.