January 14, 2019

UBG in the news: the 3.2% ABW grocery store debate

Written by

Today the Salt Lake Tribune published a piece about the 3.2% ABW grocery store issue. Executive director Nicole Dicou was quoted and summarized the UBG's position this way: “Utah’s craft brewers provide diverse products, and that would be gone if the mega breweries were able to flood the shelves,” she said. “It’s not that we don’t want competition; we just want a level playing field.”

Not a single mega brewery produces one drop of beer in Utah. Raising the limit a bit, instead of removing it altogether, is not a generous idea at all, it is simply moving the ball down the field to give additional favor to mega breweries over local craft breweries. If ABW levels are raised to the fulfill desires of large retailers and distributors, then a flood of “faux craft” beers actually owned and produced will be brought into Utah to compete on price via economies of scale with the local craft brewers. 

This push isn’t about higher percentage beer, it’s about increasing shelf space for big corporations. This could hurt, not help the burgeoning craft beer industry in Utah.