Tuesday, October 27, 2015
The Death of Utah's 3.2 Beer May Be Near
Recently Oklahoma has been creating a buzz in the beer industry as Oklahoma's legislature is in favor of new legislation that would do away with their states 3.2 beer laws. Currently, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Utah and Minnesota still have 3.2 beer laws on the books with Oklahoma consuming most of the 3.2 beer produced. If this Oklahoma law were to pass next year, it could change the dynamics of how the big breweries make and market their 3.2 suds.
With a huge segment of their market disappearing, there is a real possibility that the mega breweries might have a change of heart in producing “small batches” of 3.2 beer just for the three remaining states that rely heavily on them. That would mean they would have to change their laws or go without.
In the case of Utah, it's anybody's guess on what would happen if there was no more 3.2 beer to be sold. In my opinion, our Mormon lead legislature would not suddenly open the flood gates and let all of the high point beer flow into grocery, convenience stores and bar taps. It is more likely that they will raise the 3.2% ABW cap to 5% to 5.5% ABV ceiling, then take away a current drinking liberty that we now enjoy. This would open up some options for out of state draft beers to enter the market and allow some locally made higher alcohol beers onto tap handles as well. But these are all theories that exist in my tiny mind.
It could be an interesting turn of events that could reshape Utah's alcohol landscape much sooner than people (my self included) had originally envisioned. We'll keep an eye on what develops on Oklahoma and pass on relevant updates.
Here are a few article from Oklahoma one the proposed laws
What are your thoughts, is this game changing or just a flash in the pan? Please share.
Image courtesy - Pat Bagley/Salt Lake Tribune