BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Utah alcohol sales exceed $500 million in 2022

Jan 10, 2023, 4:22 PM | Updated: 5:56 pm
Murray liquor store COVID-19...
Liquor store in Murray. (Photo credit: Steven Breinholt, Deseret News)
(Photo credit: Steven Breinholt, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Over the past five years, Utah has seen an increase in alcohol sales and this year is no expectation with a 7.7% increase. 

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverages, DABS, reported revenue of $557.6 million from the fiscal year of July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022. 

The almost 8% increase is more than double the increase from 2020 to 2021, of approximately 3.4%. Data from DABS shows that the increase is $40 million. 

Monthly sales in 2022 exceeded 2021 sales for most of the year, with the exception of April and October. The highest sales were seen during the months of December, totaling $65 million. 

Utah proud spirits, Five Wives Vodka, and Dented Brick Gin saw a decrease in sales. However, locally distilled cocktails and IPAs like Desolation Distilling, Moscow Mules, and Red Rock Eliphino saw an increase in sales. 

Furthermore, little over half of the sales came from distilled spirits, like vodka or tequila. Wine made up 35% of sales and 28% of sales from heavy beers

Vodka seems to be Utah’s spirit of choice, making up over $70 million and 14% of sales.

Its sales revenue is much higher than its spirit counterpart of Whiskey and Bourbon, with a respective total of approximately $50 and $45 million. 

Tito’s Handmade Vodka had sales of over $12 million. Utah’s very own Five Wives Vodka generated just over $1 million.

Of those sales, 89% came from a state liquor store, retail, or package agency.

As far as consumption goes, 11% of the sales were purchased to be consumed on premises, such as a restaurant or bar with a liquor license. Salt Lake County had the top three highest-selling stores, earning over $77 million. 

While the revenue is initially used to pay for operating costs, a large portion of the remainder is put back into the community.

In 2022, $229.89 million was put toward statewide services. It went towards transportation, infrastructure, health, education, public safety and school lunches for kids. 

In addition to those funds, $31 million was generated in sales tax for state and local government. Those funds go towards social services, infrastructure, general government and higher education. 

“The sales fund crucial services that all Utahns use, helping to keep taxes low for hardworking Utah families,” Tiffany Clawson, DABS director, said in a press release. 

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