It was a shining moment in Utah history.
In the 2009 Utah legislative session, Representative Curtis Oda, R-Clearfield sponsored House Bill 349 to allow the sale of heavy beer on draft in Utah bars and restaurants.
Although bars and restaurants were already allowed to serve heavy beer by the bottle or can, The DABC didn’t have the ability to store, sell and distribute kegs. So, all beer above 4% ABV was stored in bottles and cans in a warm DABC warehouse. (This practice continues today.)
This bill also included the Heavy Beer Wholesaling Act, allowing an authorized beer wholesaler licensee to sell and distribute heavy beer directly to bars and restaurants. Beer wholesalers already store their kegs in a refrigerated environment. This was great news for beer lovers, as heat can cause off flavors and deteriorate product quality over time.
"It's basically a new line that the licensee will be able to have. It doesn't increase consumption at all because they're either going to still order heavy beer in the individual containers that they already get or buy it on tap," Oda said.
What happened to House Bill 349?
It passed the House with a resounding vote of 58-2 and advanced to the Senate. The first reading (introduction) to the Senate occurred on March 4th, 2009. It was scheduled for a second reading on March 12th, the final day of the legislative session.
As the day drew on, several bills were “circled” leaving them without a firm schedule for debate. HB 349 expired at midnight on March 12, 2009 never to be seen or heard of again.
Strong beer amendments were attempted again in 2013 and 2014, but did not include strong beer on draft.
Fast forward to 2019.
The Utah Consumer Coalition is advocating for another chance to pass a common sense Heavy Beer Amendment in the 2020 legislative session that addresses draft beer specifically.
We need your support!
Will you help us put an end to this nonsensical law? This amendment will eliminate the waste of millions of bottles and cans per year; save Utah businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars per year; will benefit Utah’s hospitality and tourism industries; and will improve product quality for Utah consumers.
Join the movement to allow heavy beer to be poured from tap-to-glass in Utah!