Utah: Behind the Zion Curtain

Just when post-Mitt Romney everyone says Mormons are normal, Wine coolers to be banished from grocery stores

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gov. Jon Huntsman has signed a bill into law that will ban wine coolers from grocery stores.

Huntsman says he doesn’t like the law, but he signed it Wednesday because it also increases the size of the standard shot of liquor from 1 ounce to 1.5 ounces.

He says that prohibiting the sale of flavored malt beverages anywhere but state liquor stores will tarnish the state’s reputation. Utah is already known for having some of the strictest liquor laws in the country.

Under the bill Huntsman signed, the fruity drinks will be sold in grocery stores until October.

I guess this means the “Mike’s Hard Lemonade” products are banned. On the other hand, I remember my night in Dry Gulch, KY, yep dry, far from UT (KY totally dry, UT lousy hours). Woot on a bigger shot glass. State legislatures pass or propose some wacky things, and I like it. And I expect things to change by the October implementation in Utah.

(Disclaimer, I’ve lived in LDS areas, and have no issue with setting my clock back 20 years – oh heck – and I don’t have to worry about Mormon missionaries (Elders) coming after me for joking about their religion.)

FILED UNDER: Government, ,
Richard Gardner
About Richard Gardner
Richard Gardner is a “retired” Navy Submarine Officer with military policy, arms control, and budgeting experience. He contributed over 100 pieces to OTB between January 2004 and August 2008, covering special events. He has a BS in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.

Comments

  1. just me says:

    Only portions of Kentucky are dry. The dry areas are generally in the eastern and western portions with a few counties here and there in the central area.

    The county I grew up in was the first wet county when driving west from the state line. When I was a teenager somebody went and spray painted “Beer” on all the road signs that said how many miles it was to the main city in the county I lived in.

    Also, unless things have changed the county where the Jim Beam distilling factory is located is a dry one.

  2. DL says:

    Many years ago, getting discharged from the navy, we took the slow train from Florida to New York City(admittedly to celebrate our discharge). Before going through Va.the conductor came through warning us to buy our beer and liquor now -which we did -our table looked like a NY bar all the way through Va.
    I wanted to order a beer for lunch in Salt Lake City and the waitress had to bring me a seperate menu. Still better than the old days in Norfolk Va. when every other establishment had a red neon Bud sign out front.

    How about some compromise though? Didn’t Christ make wine for wedding attendents to celebrate with?

  3. Patrick T McGuire says:

    To this day there are counties in Arkansas that are dry and it’s impossible to buy alcoholic drinks on a Sunday anywhere in the state. There are other places in the south that I think are similar although I can’t provide any specifics.

    On the flip side, you can buy any kind of alcohol in Las Vegas 24/7 and it has a very large Mormon population.

    So why is this story being pushed as a post-Mitt Romney, Mormon issue?

  4. Jeff Quinton says:

    In Maryland you can’t even get beer or wine in grocery stores.

    Montgomery County, MD even has a county monopoly on alcohol distribution for restaurants.

  5. DC Loser says:

    The WaPo had an article just a month or so ago talking about the continuing moonshine operations in parts of Virginia. My gripe with VA is the very limited selection at the state run ABC stores.

  6. Roger says:

    Pennsylvania is even more fun. At least in Centre County, here’s how it plays out:

    – Grocery stores can’t sell liquor.
    – Only state-run stores can sell wine and hard liquors.
    – “Bottle Shops” sell beer and wine coolers.
    – You can purchase only so much beer or coolers at one time (hence the king-sized cans). Take them to your car, return to buy more.
    – Restaurants with liquor licenses can sell six-packs.
    – Distribution stores can sell cases or kegs.
    – There’s also some rule about restaurants that have more alcohol than food sales must be closed Sundays. I might be wrong on this.

    Not sure if one can blame the Quakers or Amish on this.

  7. yetanotherjohn says:

    I like how they handled the dry vs wet in Dallas. The decision to allow alcohol was generally left to the counties. In Dallas, they were having trouble getting a majority to wet the county. So they pushed the decision down to the precinct level. You could tell a precinct boundary by having a couple of liquor stores on one side of the street and none on the other. It left the majority rule in tact while pushing the election down to the penultimate level.

  8. floyd says:

    DL;
    Perfect compromise, order water, then make your own!![lol]

  9. floyd says:

    In Illinois, they sell prepackaged mixed drinks in gas-station C-stores,along side cold individual cold beers and “travel-sized” bottles of hard liquor. They also have drive-through liquor store windows.
    Then the state spends millions on “don’t drink and drive” campaigns.
    There seems to be a barely detectable touch of irony in there somewhere! [lol]

  10. Brian J. says:

    This sounds like a case of federalism at work. If you want to buy liquor on a Sunday or are afraid to go into a liquor store to buy your wine coolers, you could pick a state where it’s legal.

  11. just me says:

    In Dallas, they were having trouble getting a majority to wet the county. So they pushed the decision down to the precinct level. You could tell a precinct boundary by having a couple of liquor stores on one side of the street and none on the other. It left the majority rule in tact while pushing the election down to the penultimate level.

    This is what the county I grew up in did. 1/2 the county was wet and the other half dry, and the dry half split the town I grew up in two. So one side of town couldn’t sell any kind of alcoholic beverage and the other half of town could.

    About 20 or so years ago, the dry half of the county voted to go wet, so now the whole county is wet.

  12. William d'Inger says:

    One nice thing about living in the New Orleans metro area is that , other than the federally mandated minimum age, about the only impediment to drinking is having the money to buy it. The true meaning of liberty is being able to chose without government interference. I’m sure the people in those dry jurisdictions think they live in freedom, but if so, they don’t know the meaning of the word.

  13. Richard Gardner says:

    As for PAtrick McGuire’s comments

    To this day there are counties in Arkansas that are dry and it’s impossible to buy alcoholic drinks on a Sunday anywhere in the state. There are other places in the south that I think are similar although I can’t provide any specifics.

    On the flip side, you can buy any kind of alcohol in Las Vegas 24/7 and it has a very large Mormon population.

    So why is this story being pushed as a post-Mitt Romney, Mormon issue?

    My grandparents on my mother’s side were in North Western Arkansas. I remember the obligatory stop at the Fayetteville booze store after being picked up at the airport getting off the Electra, those many of my relatives will deny it. Just like they deny granddad made bathtub gin. I had fun at a family reunion a couple of years ago – did granddad bootleg? The religious ones said no, the other (3-2) said yes.

    Why is this being pushed as a Mormon/Romney issue? – because I said so. I tossed in enough keywords into the original to show I have at least a basic familiarity with LDS. I grew up in an LDS city, respect them, but will also make fun of them.