Bill could allow Utah grocery stores to sell beer with higher alcohol content

Stock image | Photo by Woodkern/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A state senator wants to raise alcohol limits on beer in Utah’s grocery stores as other states shed the restrictions.

Republican Sen. Jerry Stevenson said Friday he’s putting the finishing touches on a proposal to increase the alcohol limit from 3.2 percent to 4.8 percent by weight, the amount in a standard, production-line beer.

Utah and Minnesota are the only two states left where only 3.2 percent beer may be sold in grocery and convenience stores. Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas have all decided to abandon the limit in recent years.

Read more: Utah’s 3.2 beer market could chill as other states enact more lenient laws

The smaller market means some brewers are discontinuing the lower-alcohol brews, and Stevenson says store shelves are already seeing an effect.

Making the switch could be a challenge in Utah, where the majority of lawmakers are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which prohibits alcohol consumption.

Read more: See all St. George News reports and opinions on Utah Legislature 2019 issues

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