Stronger beer fight may not be over

Mar 7, 2019, 8:55 AM | Updated: 9:16 am

Sen. Stevenson says that economic rather than moral factors motivated his 4.8 percent beer bill. (Photo; Shutterstock)

(Photo; Shutterstock)

SALT LAKE CITY — SB-132 was defeated yesterday.  The bill which would allow 4.8% alcohol content in beer to be sold at grocery and convenience stores did not pass out of a House panel.

But, several groups are looking to get the hot topic in front of voters in 2020.

The director for the Responsible Beer Choice Coalition, Kate Bradshaw, and President of the Utah Retail Merchants Association, Dave Davis, might launch an initiative to put the debate in front of the voters.

In response to some legislative committee members who say selling stronger beer in retail stores would lead to more underage drinking and drunk driving, the bill’s sponsor, Senator Jerry Stevenson, (R-Layton) says those who drink 3.2% beer responsibly will also drink 4.8% beer responsibly.

SB-132 sailed through Utah’s Senate last week with a 27-2 vote.  Then House leaders sent the bill to the Health and Human Services Committee.  Stevenson says this is a commerce bill and it was sent to this particular committee for the sole purpose of not allowing it to pass.

The panel endorsed a substitute bill which will create a task force to study the issue of stronger beer. But both Bradshaw and Davis voiced doubts the task force will ever decide to raise alcohol content for beer sold in stores.

The vice-president of Maverick stores, David Hancock, also weighed in saying, “the bill is not about IF higher alcohol content beer will be sold, but WHERE it is sold.”  State-run liquor stores already carry 4.8% alcohol beer.


Credit: Steven Breinholt, Deseret News

Hancock also stated Maverik stores will lose $2.5 million in sales as they’ve invested a lot of time and money training employees how not to sell beer to minors.  If they continue to lose money, Hancock says the chain may have to lay off workers.

So, the debate continues and voters may have their chance to weigh in at the ballot box in 2020.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


A photo taken of Matthew Perry in 2022....

Clayre Scott

Criminal investigation opened in relation to Matthew Perry’s death

A criminal investigation has been opened in relation to Matthew Perry's death due to high levels of ketamine found in his blood.

23 days ago

FILE - The United Nations (UN) headquarters are pictured in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Sept. 9, 2...

EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press

U.N. to vote on resolution that would grant Palestine new rights

The U.N. General Assembly is expected to vote Friday on a resolution that would grant new "rights and privileges" to Palestine.

1 month ago

President Joe Biden arrives at Chicago O'Hare International Airport to attend a political fundraise...


Biden says US won’t supply weapons for Israel to attack Rafah

Biden said the U.S. was still committed to Israel's defense, but that if Israel goes into Rafah, "we're not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells used."

1 month ago

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who just testified in the Trump hush money trial....

Associated Press

Adult film star testifies in Trump hush money case

Donald Trump's attorneys have unsuccessfully pushed for a mistrial during the testimony of porn actor Stormy Daniels. She was testifying at Trump's hush money criminal trial that she had a sexual encounter with Trump after meeting him at a Lake Tahoe celebrity golf outing where her studio was a sponsor.

1 month ago

This photo provided by NASA shows an Eta Aquarid meteor streaking over northern Georgia on April 29...


The Eta Aquarid meteor shower, debris of Halley’s comet, peaks this weekend. Here’s how to see it

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower, remnants of Halley's comet, peaks this weekend.

1 month ago

Actor Mark Hamill takes off sunglasses given to him by President Joe Biden, as he joins White House...

COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press

‘Star Wars’ actor Mark Hamill drops by White House for a visit with ‘Joe-bi-Wan Kenobi’

"Star Wars" actor Mark Hamill has dropped by the White House for a visit with President Joe Biden.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Stronger beer fight may not be over