SALT LAKE CITY – Utah grocery and convenience stores that sell beer must apply for an “off-premise” beer license, according to a new law passed by the state legislature. Previously, licenses were controlled by local jurisdictions, but now the state will run oversight.
The new licenses will subject them to new regulations from Utah’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC)—the same department that oversees regulations for every bar and restaurant that serves alcohol. With this newest piece of legislation, the DABC expects to see thousands of new license applicants, since nearly 2,200 stores will be affect by the new requirement.
New rules include a mandatory employee training on illegal sales and limit beer displays to two areas in a store with signage clearly warning that people are purchasing an alcoholic beverage. It’s the biggest reason why the law came into creation: There were complaints that businesses were displaying ciders and flavored malt beverages in areas away from beer coolers.
Currently, Utah liquor stores outside of state jurisdiction only sell beer with 3.2% or lower alcohol by weight. Recently, major breweries are threatening to stop producing 3.2 beer brands, since many drinkers deem it “weak” and other states have revoked the rule.