In our opinion: Utah doesn't need heavier beer

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  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 18, 2019 8:30 p.m.

    What is ‘heavier’ beer

    It’s normal beer... typical beer... the beer you find everywhere else on the planet

    Get with the program Utah

  • ErinsBoy531 West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 18, 2019 5:17 a.m.

    This Op Ed makes a lot of assumptions, and infers too much. Does DesNews really believe that if Budweiser left the state, the local brewers could then just brew their own version of Bud? These craft brewers operate on a much smaller scale than that of Bud and Coors etc. Local beers occupy a small percent of the market for beer in the state. Besides, the local brewers are behind this bill. DesNews writes that, laws..."consistent with what is enforced in much of the free world" are to be lauded, while dismissing entirely the traditions and attitude toward drinking alcohol in "...much of the free world". In countries with much stricter drinking laws, the drinking age is much lower, speed limits are much lower, and public transportation is much more prevalent. One can purchase beer, wine and liquor at any shop they so choose. So, to be more consistent with the rest of the free world, we should have a robust transit system. Small roads with 15mph speed limits. A legal drinking age of 18. And beer, wine, and liquor available at every grocery store in the state.
    I agree with the OpED on one point. DesNews, you are right. We are not surprised by your decades long position.

  • ErinsBoy531 West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 18, 2019 4:41 a.m.

    This Editorial Opinion shows its lack of experience and naivety with alcohol. That includes the consumption and purchasing of it.
    The bill that has passed committee is to let the changing landscape in beer production to be made available in local grocery stores. Utah currently limits the beer available in grocery stores to 3.2% alcohol by weight. Any beverage more than 3.2% - be it wine, liquor, or other spirit- is currently available to purchase in a State Liquor Store. This bill allows local retailers to stock and sell beer that is 4.8% alcohol by weight (which by the way, is not very "heavy"). Beers and other beverages that are above that level are still going to be available at State Liquor Stores.
    Local breweries have expressed they can't fill the void.
    If your concern is for underage drinking or public drunkenness, Moderate - Salt Lake City on 02/14 said it best.
    "Determined reckless teens are going to get beer regardless of where it is sold and regardless of the percentage of alcohol."
    Anyone of legal age can buy alcohol OF ANY STRENGTH right now. Utah already allows "heavy beer". Let local retailers keep the revenue. The State won't be able to keep up with the demand.

  • unitedelectric PROVO, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 5:24 p.m.

    This op ed is a perfect example of why we should not allow people who do don't fundamentally understand an industry to regulate it:

    "The free market has a way of filling a supply void when demand still exists."
    * This is not a free market. This is a communistic command and control economy for alcohol in Utah. Also all Utah brewers combined would not be able to produce 10% of the volume of the big beers.
    "Utah drinkers who may be used to consuming a certain amount of beer and staying within that limit would find themselves impaired much sooner with heavier beer."
    * Bud Light would be 4.2% abv, less than 5% more alcohol. Also, we already consume beer with unlimited alcohol percentage you just have to buy it at the liquor store.
    - It is instructive to note that this bill did not come about because of a groundswell of concern among drinkers in Utah.
    *False. It is here because the producers and retailers will not be able to supply the market.
    - No one has yet provided any credible evidence that Utah consumers are being harmed in any way by the 3.2% restriction.
    *Nobody has yet provided any credible evidence that Utah consumers are being harmed in any way by the 4.8% restriction.

  • explorer686 davis, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 9:21 p.m.

    Yes, we do need heavier beer, along with the lottery, recreational marijuana. This is my opinion. Thank you.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 13, 2019 2:56 p.m.


    "Historically, alcohol has had very destructive consequences. Probably more than anything else.

    Does Utah really need heavier beer?

    Where's the common sense?"

    Historically, guns have had very destructive consequences. Probably more than anything else.

    Does Utah really need more guns?

    Where's the common sense?

  • Taylor99 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 2:38 p.m.

    Not everyone needs big religion to act like an adult. Like a host of other issues, worry about yourself and not what other adults do - you'll be plenty busy regulating yourself. Not all of us are scared of acting responsibly.

  • Billy Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 1:42 p.m.

    I don't drink alcohol and never will. Before I read this article I didn't even know that Utah had a lower legal alcohol percent for beer than all but one other state. But I really don't see the problem with increasing the limit to match most other states and what the manufacturers want. The growing libertarian in me has lead me to more and more adopt a "live and let live" mentality. Just because I don't drink alcohol doesn't mean that I should try to make it so the people who do drink should have to drink inferior beer.

  • Brett AA Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 12:17 p.m.

    The argument that this is just “Utah culture” and “how we do things here”, so people should get over it and respect it, is just plain silly and a distressing argument. It used to also be “Utah culture” to deny women the vote and interracial marriage was illegal. Appealing to “it’s just how we do things” has been used to justify many actions from people and government that we now are embarrassed about. Worse, it is intellectually lazy because it makes no attempt to show our actions or policies are logical or based on evidence. Utah needs to decide if it wants to be seen as a democracy or a theocracy and act accordingly.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 11:48 a.m.

    Nonames said: "Let's respect Utah culture."

    What your really saying is lets respect a theocracy, let the church dictate how non-members live their lives, if you don't like it move to another state, but don't come here expecting to find American Values, we have LDS values, and try to enforce them thru law. Got it.

    Please quit equating all drinking to drunkeness, if everybody who drank was a drunken louse this would be an actual problem, it isn't.

    The majority of folks drink responsibly, just because your faith tells you not to, that is your choice to obey, quit forcing those not of your faith to "obey" your religious dogma.

    This isn't a choice for Utah, the choice has already been made, the industry isn't going to cater to one states puritan views. So grow up Utah's representatives and let the people make the choice, not some paternal father figure telling adults that they aren't capable of making decisions.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Feb. 13, 2019 11:47 a.m.

    Historically, alcohol has had very destructive consequences. Probably more than anything else.

    Does Utah really need heavier beer?

    Where's the common sense?

  • Whazzzzzzzupppp Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 11:18 a.m.

    "Heavy" beer? Is that even a thing? I can't help but be reminded of "heavy" water, and I start wondering about the deuterium content of the beer.

  • water rocket , 00
    Feb. 13, 2019 10:27 a.m.

    This is more of an issue of how close to the precipice people think they can get without falling over. There is an old story about a wealthy man wanting to hire a carriage driver. He interviewed three applicants. The first said he could drive within two feet of the edge of a cliff and feel perfectly safe. The second said he could drive within six inches and still feel safe. The third said he didn't know, and would stay as far away as possible. The third applicant got the job. Today we hear the argument that mild beer is like driving within feet of the edge of irresponsible drinking and still be safe (and for some, this may be true). Then there are those who insist in the "right" to drive closer to the edge of drunkenness and still feel safe, but where they go, others with less control might follow and meet with disaster. Then there are the wise ones, who simply say that they will stay as far away from the "edge" of disaster as possible. Mock the wise and safe ones if you will, but that doesn't make your position a safe choice.

  • Rubydo Provo, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 10:22 a.m.

    Jesus turned water into wine. Alcohol is divine.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 9:40 a.m.

    Utah, or anywhere else, does not benefit from more highly intoxicated people. As a popular Dutch beer advertises, When you drive never drink. It does not say, Become impaired responsibly.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 9:45 a.m.

    When someone from the USA visits other nations and is upset that they do things a bit differently than we do, we call that person an "ugly American." I think our friends on the left are the most sensitive to respecting foreign cultures, and especially foreign cultures that might be described as more primitive, less advanced, or closer to nature.

    Ironically--hypocrically might be a better word--these same folks have no qualms about moving to Utah and complaining endlessly that we have a different culture, with some different laws, than they were used to California or in the Bos-Wash corridor.

    Unfortunately, Utahns are too polite to simply shut this down the way New Englanders do when a New Yorker shows up and complains about the subway not running all night. "This ain't New York!" is the curt and unapologetic response one hears in Boston to such complaints from NYers. Utahns need to do likewise, "This ain't California."

    There are 48 States with legalized gambling, about 48 that sell heavier beer in grocery stores, ~45 where LDS have very little socio-political influence, a growing number with legalized recreational pot, 1 with legalized prostitution.

    Let's respect Utah culture.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Feb. 13, 2019 9:43 a.m.

    This argument works better for prohibition then a low limit. Makes the 3.2 seem pretty arbitrary.

  • Strider303 American Fork, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 9:27 a.m.

    I support keeping beer @ 3.2%. Alcohol is mood altering and for some, percentage claimed may vary, addictive. Hence AA,and 12-step programs, see also MADD.

    I have seen the effects of alcoholism up close so I vote with my experiences and say we keep beer sales as they are, no increase in percentage of alcohol by content or weight. Customers can always buy wine or distilled spirits to get high or a buzz on if beer is too weak.

    Anti-social behavior i.e. drunk driving and domestic partner and child abuse seem to be associated with consumption of alcohol. Perhaps a tax on these items to fund adequate remedial efforts and treatment of victims would be in order. Based upon the amount of alcohol by weight or volume.

  • Zabilde Riverdale, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 9:28 a.m.

    First off, I'm LDS, I've never had a drink in my life and have no desire to do so. I'd also prefer to keep 3.2 beer in the stores.

    That said this Opinion piece is full of flawed logic and it's time to face the music. Utah is not a dry state. We aren't pushing to be a dry state. We allow our citizens to consume alcoholic beverages and hope that they will do so responsibly.

    3.2 beer is going to go away. It simply is. It's not a matter of what we want. The brewers have said enough. It's not worth their effort, not now that we will be the only 3.2 beer state left. We don't need to change where wines or other alcohols are sold. But lift the concentration of beer to the national standard. This is on par with the idiotic Zions Curtain. It's time to let it die. When there were several states also mandating it and supporting a broader demand it made sense to stick to it. But it's time. 3.2 is going away, if we don't allow it then those who want a responsible buzz with have no choice but to go to the much harder options where drunkeness and the resulting irresponsible behaviors it brings come much quicker.

    Lift the limit.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 13, 2019 9:23 a.m.

    @Thomas Jefferson

    "Religious conservatism is hypocrisy. They cant help it."

    Exactly. Case in point: If this same editorial were written about how there's no need for "heavier" guns, religious conservatives would be going nuts.

  • World_Peace Salt Lake, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 8:56 a.m.

    Back in the pioneer days The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints would profit greatly from selling alcohol. Brigham Young owned his own distillery.

    It's baffling to me that this same Church is trying to prevent local business from doing the same thing.

  • Dennis Harrisville, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 8:37 a.m.

    Your opinion is wrong. In fact, the entire population of those that oppose everything "beer" is wrong. When are the people of Utah going to stop being puppets and enjoy life as it was intended?

  • stevo123 Driggs, ID
    Feb. 13, 2019 8:23 a.m.

    It is far past time that the State of Utah ( a bastion of free enterprise) to be in the beer business. Adopt the Idaho model and sell beer and wine in stores, there little anarchy in our fine State.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 8:18 a.m.

    "More worrisome, teenagers prone to reckless behavior also would find themselves inebriated much faster. As a result, they would become much more of a danger on the roads, and their developing minds would be more prone to the long-term damage studies have linked to underaged drinking"

    Is Utah allowing underaged drinking? How odd. In truth, that scenario is against the law. The paragraph is written as if this is a common and legal behavior simply to fear monger.

    Determined reckless teens are going to get beer regardless of where it is sold and regardless of the percentage of alcohol. The editors suggest placing burdens on retailers and customers because of the rare actions of a handful of lawbreakers.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 7:56 a.m.

    May be if we grew up drinking wine with dinner, we could of learned to drink sensibly. Instead of making rules against drinking at all.

  • sgallen Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 8:00 a.m.

    I look at state control of certain facets of our lives as the price of living in Utah. It’s nice here, the people are friendly. The church has an outsize influence, but it’s not likely to change soon. Yeah, it’s frustrating, but we might as well enjoy life for what it is.

  • Brett AA Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 7:48 a.m.

    This editorial has many problems. First, the editorial board provides no evidence to support their statement that 3.2 beer leads to less drunk driving. Worryingly, when I speak to friends who drink they report choosing hard liquor more frequently because 3.2 is such a waste of their money. So the law might be having the opposite effect. Second, it says they are okay with “responsible drinking”, but they don’t seem to think drinkers can be responsible with 4.8. Additionally, it is unfortunate the board seems so indifferent to the idea of alcohol drinkers having far less options if national brewers pull out of Utah. That is not a good faith policy that is respectful of our friends and family who drink. Finally, if the policy is to allow responsible drinking while minimizing the negative effects of alocohol, then having laws that don’t harass or making drinking a pain would be keeping with that statement. You could then focus laws on tough penalties for irresponsible behavior such as drunk driving, etc.

  • 3grandslams Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 7:39 a.m.

    I agree with this article. Plus I did not agree with the argument that higher alcohol content beer would allow drinkers to get drunk quicker without drinking as much, i.e they’d consume less calories. That’s a horrible trade off when considering the well documented social ills of alcohol consumption.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 7:29 a.m.

    "The free market has a way of filling a supply void when demand still exists."
    The free market wants to sell me a NORMAL beer. You are intentionally manipulating the free market.

    "increasing the alcohol content by 50 percent would come with negative social costs"
    Another unsupported claim.

    "Utah drinkers who may be used to consuming a certain amount of beer and staying within that limit would find themselves impaired much sooner with heavier beer."
    Proving you have zero expertise on the subject but will force your religions opinion on us anyway.

    "More worrisome, teenagers prone to reckless behavior also would find themselves inebriated much faster. "
    Or more likely it will drive them to not bother with beer and just get liquor.

    "No one has yet provided any credible evidence that Utah consumers are being harmed in any way by the 3.2 percent restriction."
    No one has yet provided any credible evidence that 4.5% beer would do any harm. Certainly not this opinion.

    " Even if major companies were to withdraw from the state...the free market would quickly fill the void."
    Again proving you dont know what a free market is.

    Religious conservatism is hypocrisy. They cant help it.

  • drich Green River, Utah
    Feb. 13, 2019 7:24 a.m.

    I agree, however utah better start making its own beer because beer companies are eliminating three point two beer.

  • J. Smith Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 7:21 a.m.

    Your rational can only lead any reasonable Utahan to believe you are doing the bidding of the Mormon Church............

  • What in Tucket Provo, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 7:21 a.m.

    Alcoholic drinks are not beneficial in any way according to the latest medical recommendations. The old one glass of wine a day is out. If you drink you accept the risks.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 7:23 a.m.

    Full of fallacies.
    "It may seem unsurprising for this editorial page to take such a position, given that this newspaper is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that the church has publicly opposed this effort."
    We know. The church feels like it can throw its weight around...because they can. Both here in print and on the hill.
    "But in fact it is consistent with the editorial position this paper has pursued for decades"
    The Taliban has been forcing women to wear berkas for decades. Does that make it a good idea? This wasnt a reason, it was a LACK of a reason.
    "which is to urge laws that allow for responsible alcohol consumption while minimizing social harm."
    And this doesnt do that.

    "That position has been partly responsible for Utah having among the lowest rates of impaired driving fatalities in the nation"
    Conjecture. You have no proof of that.

    "Meanwhile, we assume local brewers wouldn’t mind if the big companies left the state, leaving them with a larger market share."
    So Utahs conservative voice wants the government to pick winners and losers? Hypocrisy.

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 7:09 a.m.

    When 3.2 beer is no longer available, who i s going to fill the void?

    Our State run liquor stores are inadequate to accommodate the beer sold in all the places 3.2 is available. The State run monopoly ruins good beer already by no keeping it cool. I know, those who don't imbibe don't care, but taste is actually important, most don't drink to get drunk, contrary to popular local myths, but enjoy their beverage, like a soccer mom in a drive thru soda window.

    Utah is not a theocracy, the rest of the nation isn't a drunken apocalypse because beer, regular beer, not watered down teatoddler nonsense.

    If Utah is so paternal as to do this, then our surrounding states will continue to receive the tax revenue from so many things that Utah citizens would rather buy local, but we won't be forced to follow the dominate religions ideas on abstinence.

    This makes sense, quit with the fear mongering, this is literally "normal" not some grab for stronger alcohol.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 7:03 a.m.

    "More worrisome, teenagers prone to reckless behavior also would find themselves inebriated much faster."

    This is already illegal. Plus, studies show most underage teens get liquor from adult homes, not grocery stores. This is like saying that most teens that get handguns from their parents homes is dangerous, so let's outlaw clips and magazines over 6 rounds because kids may be harmed. It's a foolish and weak argument. And, will you please stop calling it "heavy beer". It's beer in 48 other states. "High point" beer, above 4.8% will still have to be purchased in liquor stores. 3.2 beer is not being made any longer by many brands. The church preaches "agency". How about practicing it as well? Church leaders and its members are forbidden to drink alcohol. Fine, practice your "values". Keep out of non-members business. Non-members don't try to pass laws effecting church rules and policy. Perhaps it's time to start.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 7:02 a.m.


  • itsreasonable Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 6:42 a.m.

    As a taxpaying citizen of Utah I believe I should be able to purchase (and manufacture to sell) beer in whatever alcohol content myself and my friends want to consume. I don't drink and drive or break the law in any way by doing this. Remember, alcohol is legal. This issue should not be decided by any church mandate to it's members but through civil dialogue which seems to be lacking in so much of out citizenry today.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Feb. 13, 2019 6:39 a.m.

    I agree with the opinion. I buy 'normal' beer out of state. Negra Modelo always tastes better that way. How can the theocracy be maintained by allowing normal behavior by adults?

  • IcemanCometh SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 6:36 a.m.

    "The answer to any such perceived crisis lies in basic economics. The free market has a way of filling a supply void when demand still exists."

    If that were true in Utah the DABC would not be selling alcohol in any form. But they have a monopoly.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Feb. 13, 2019 6:15 a.m.

    I would think with 48 other states to look at we could get real evidence instead of hyperbole.

    I don’t doubt Utah has a low dui rate but this editorial is stating 3.2 has something to do with that without any evidence.