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Monday, June 17, 2019

Be Prepared for No 5% Beer on November 1st

When the ABV in Utah's beer make the climb from 4.0% to 5.0% in November be prepared for the inevitable hiccup that will accompany it. If your planning on walking into your favorite grocery or C-store November 1st, and plan on grabbing some newly amplified brews, you may have to wait a few days.

Due to an oversight, the state of Utah has made no plans to allow grocery stores to stock-up their inventories in preparation for the big switch. Basically: it will be illegal for stores to possess 5.0% beer until the actual day of the switch.

This will create a massive overload on stores, distributors and breweries that self distribute. Just imagine the cluster fuck of people clambering into stores expecting to buy new brands or newly reformulated beers, only to be met with the same selection or empty shelves.

There are basically two ways to avoid this. First: Amend the law (in special session) to allow for a grace period for grocery stores to stock up for the switch. Second: Allow the stores a week to stock up with a promise from the DABC to not to prosecute during that proceeding week (assuming stores don't try to sell it). Option two seems less likely, given it would set a precedent in 'looking the other way'.

I guess this post is meant to prepare you for the disappointment of no new 5.0% beers on November, 1st - and less about torches and pitchforks headed towards capitol hill. Let's face it, poorly written alcohol laws are a mainstay of Utah, like fry sauce and carrots in green jello. We'll keep an eye open on this to see if a fix is put into place.


Photo Courtesy Westword/Johnathan Shikes


Bob Palin said...

While this oversight is unfortunate it's hardly the end of the beer world! A month after the change everything will have been sorted out and forgotten. The lack of 5% beer will also allow stores to clear their stock of 3.2% beer. I see no need to annoy our great and all knowing rulers (ahem) with this matter, there are bigger and better beer battles to be fought.

Mikey said...

Agreed. As long as they know that consumers are aware and have concerns, will hopefully motivation them to have this transition happen correctly right the first time. Prost!

Tony Russo said...

Is it 5% or 4%? Everything I'm able to find online says $, but I figure you guys know best.

Tony Russo said...

Sorry. Everything I found online says "4"

Bob Palin said...

It's 4% by weight (ABW) which is 5% by volume (ABV).

Tony Russo said...

Thanks. That baffled the hell out of me.

Mikey said...

The State of Utah likes to measure Alcohol by Weight. It's an outdated system that is rarely used any more. To keep it simple, I (and most of the world) always go with the Alcohol by Volume measurement. Cheers.