Seems it should be against the law to have so much liquor under one roof in the state of Utah.
There are walls of wine cases stacked to the sky, box upon box of Geyser Peak wines here, Ste. Chapelle there.Whisky, vodka and tequila as far as the eye can see. It's what might be considered a horrifying amount of hooch by some of the state's religious and conservative residents.
But many areas of Utah are coming into their own as metropolitan areas.
Statistics show that as the population rises and more people migrate to Utah, more locals are enjoying alcoholic beverages. Restaurants, clubs and liquor stores are selling more.
And in an effort to better serve businesses and customers, the state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is expanding the state-run warehouse that is the clearinghouse for all beer (above 3.2 percent alcohol content), wine and liquor that come to Utah.
"We believe this is going to improve the service level quite a bit," said Dennis Kellen, DABC operations manager.
A new $1 million "club and restaurant" warehouse opens in June adjacent to the main warehouse. When it does, business people with beer and liquor licenses will be able to do "one-stop shopping" for the alcoholic beverages they sell to customers.
"It's a whole new direction than what we've been able to do in the past," Kellen said.
It will be quicker service for the people who own and manage restaurants and less burdensome for employees at the state's 35 liquor stores, who spend a lot of time pulling restaurant orders from the shelves.
The building replaces the smaller club and restaurant warehouse at 33 E. Cleveland Ave., where a properly licensed restaurant or club officials can pick up some items but has to go elsewhere for a specialty wine, Kellen said.
Licensees will be able to call in orders to the 18,000-square-foot new store and pick up their goods two hours later. The club and restaurant warehouse has access to all stock in its parent facility.
Things already run smoothly at the 110,000-square-foot, state-run general warehouse adjacent to DABC offices on 900 West at about 1600 South.
An intricate security system that "keeps honest people honest," according to Killen, protects $6 million worth of alcoholic inventory.
Every day at 5 a.m., about 13 DABC trucks rumble onto roadways toward 35 state liquor stores heavy with alcoholic beverages. All day, workers pull stock from shelves stacked two stories high and make neat piles of Paul Masson, Jack Daniels Sour Mash Whiskey and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale beer to be carried onto the Utah market.
Video cameras record workers' every move. Every bottle is accounted for - if one breaks, the bottle neck, with cork intact, must be retrieved and inventoried.
It is a scrupulous system that has been rewarded by a "spillage" rate - which includes theft, breakage and other missing or absent bottles - of less than one-tenth of 1 percent, according to Killen.
"Yes," he said. "We take this very seriously."