3.2 beer in Utah could be a thing of the past very soon because the state is now under indirect pressure to stop selling it by other states.
The state legislature of Kansas is in the process of possibly passing House Bill 2282 which would see a lot of stronger beers on the shelves of grocery and convenience stores.
If Kansas passes the bill then Utah and Minnesota will be the only two states in America selling “near beer” in grocery and convenience stores.
Jim Olsen, the president of the Utah Beer Wholesalers says that Utah has to now take the matter seriously.
The biggest market for “near beer” was Oklahoma and they triggered the end of 3.2 beer last year. Colorado is also expected to completely get rid of 3.2 beer from the shelves by 2019.
Olsen mentioned as a joke that this would mean that Utah would now have the largest market share of 3.2 beer which is “less than one-half of one percent” of beer in America.
3.2 beer will still be produced by smaller brewers regardless of whether or not the bill is passed. But would the big brewers continue to spend money on brewing 3.2 beer if the market becomes smaller? Probably not especially if it isn’t deemed profitable.
“If we’re a large brewer, we’re going to be looking at it and saying can we cost-justify this particular brand or particular size for an isolated market like Utah?” Olsen said.
And if Kansas passes the bill then Utah will have to then strongly consider the option of following suit but according to FOX 13 “the earliest they could even look at the issue is 2018.”
“I think it would be very prudent for Utah legislators to come to session in January ready to figure out a solution,” Lucas said of Utah. “There is universal recognition within the industry that the way things have operated cannot continue that way.”
Is this the beginning of the end for 3.2 beer? Well, it just might be. It just might be!
Source: Fox 13