ST. GEORGE — Utah has many official state symbols. The state animal is the Rocky Mountain elk, the state rock is coal, the state vegetable is the Spanish sweet onion and the official firearm is the John M. Browning designed M1911 automatic pistol, just to name a few of the lesser known symbols. There are many others on this list, but an American brewing company is seeking to stake its claim on a first for the state.
The Anheuser-Busch brewing company wants to make Budweiser the official state beer of Utah.
The St. Louis-based brewer announced the campaign Monday.
“To commemorate almost one year since Budweiser became one of the first 5% ABV (alcohol by volume) beers in bars around the state and the positive response from fans, Budweiser now wants to become Utah’s first-ever official state beer,” a press release sent on behalf of the brewing company stated.
Budweiser celebrated the end of 3.2 beer in Utah last year on Oct. 31 with a mock funeral procession for the weaker beer that was accompanied by a wagon pulled by Budweiser’s iconic Clydesdale horses and stocked with Budweiser containing the higher alcohol content that the state made legal to sell in supermarkets and convenience stores starting Nov.1.
The campaign to become the state beer is actually more of a move to promote Utah getting its own state-themed beer cans as opposed to being included on an official list of Legislature-approved symbols.
Utahns and people around the country can show support for Budweiser to become Utah’s state beer – or at least create a state-specific label – by tagging #Bud4Utah on Twitter. The goal is to use the hashtag 84,899 times – which corresponds to size of Utah in square miles – by Sept. 13.
If the 84,899-hashtag entry goal is met, Utah will become the first state to have its own beer can, and the Clydesdales will return to the state to deliver the first batch, the press release stated.
As a part of the state beer campaign, Budweiser also rolled out a video advertisement featuring a Utah resident named “Jed” standing in the middle of a supermarket recalling how “Utah has a lot of state things.”
“But I noticed one thing that Utah doesn’t have an official state thing of … It’s beer,” Jed says in the commercial. He then proceeds to take a cart full of Budweiser cases and throws individual cans at people, including familiar Utah athletes like gold medalist freestyle skier Joss Christensen and former Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
See full advertisement in media player at the top of this report
Budweiser’s Utah-themed beer cans would have depictions of state landmarks and activities on them like Delicate Arch, fishing and hiking, as well as the Salt Lake Temple. However, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, any depiction of the Latter-day Saint temple could potentially run afoul of the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
The Tribune reports the DABC, which approves all name and labels slapped on alcohol, tends to reject depictions related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as such is considered disrespectful to the alcohol-abstaining faith.
Beyond being the first state to have its own Budweiser label, as for the beer ever being named an official state anything, St. George Rep. Walt Brooks laughed at the idea and said, “There isn’t a chance in Hades.”
“Private companies can do whatever they want,” Brooks said regarding the possible roll out of the state-themed beer cans, yet added, “The state will only endorse things that are a part of the state and represent the state.”
Brooks pointed to recent examples like the aspen tree, which was made the officials state tree a few years ago, and the Gila monster, which became the official state reptile last year thanks to the efforts of a Lava Ridge Elementary class.
The Legislature stays away from endorsing private and commercial entities and products as anything state-official, Brooks said.
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