News: Utah may ban flavored malt beverages

According to the Associated Press Utah’s supply of flavored malt beverages like Mike’s Hard Lemonade will likely be exhausted in a few weeks as manufacturers decide whether to comply with labeling rules intended to make it clear the products contain alcohol.

I am unclear if this crosses over into fruit beers or not maybe a reader can help me with that.

The article says that Utah has some of the strictest liquor laws in the country, a byproduct of having a population dominated by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormon church counsels its members not to drink alcohol and is highly influential among state lawmakers when it comes to alcohol policy.

On Wednesday, a state law the church supported goes into effect, making Utah the only state in the country to ban the sale of the fruity alcoholic drinks at grocery stores and convenience stores. The law is aimed at keeping the drinks away from minors. The only place they can be sold will be in state liquor stores, where customers will still need to be at least 21 to buy them.

Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control spokeswoman Sharon Mackay said once the drinks can’t be sold in convenience and grocery stores, the state’s limited supply in liquor stores will likely be gone in a few weeks. Many grocery stores had already run out of flavored malt beverages days before they were required to pull them from store shelves.

Flavored malt beverages make up about 2 percent of all beer sales nationwide, according to the Flavored Malt Beverage Coaltion.

The drinks are already sold in liquor stores, but with a higher alcohol content than what has been allowed in grocery stores and with the same labels found in the rest of the country.

As part of the law, the drinks must contain new labels approved by the alcoholic beverage control department. Those labels must be on the front of the product and contain capitalized letters in bold type telling consumers the drinks contain alcohol and at what percentage.

 You can go to Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for more information.

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