[Brew News] Beer distributors might have to make a special label just for the Beehive State, if the Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission gets its way. A new proposed DABC rule gives new meaning to "Utah beer."
The federal government already sets standards for alcohol labels. But they aren't good enough for Utah, according to the DABC rule just released for public comment. One problem: Utahns apparently don’t understand “Lager” and “Stout” mean there is beer in a bottle.
Federal law requires labels to read “beer,” “alcoholic beverage” or “contains alcohol,” but also accept words like “ale.”
The issue came up after health officials complained to the DABC that energy drinks containing alcohol were being sold in grocery and convenience stores in bottles that made the drinks look like soda or tea.
Under the proposed Utah label rule, distributors of 3.2 percent beverages would submit labels to the DABC for review and approval. Only the words “beer” or “alcoholic beverage” are acceptable. The words must be in bold capital letters “a minimum of 3 millimeters wide and 3 millimeters high” running along the base of the bottle on a solid, contrasting background separated from any other information. Lastly, the label must state the amount of alcohol by volume or weight.
Aimed at new non-beer malt beverages appearing in grocery stores, the rule would apply to all malt beverages, including beer.
Understandably, the beer industry has concerns and wants to talk to the commission. A public hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 15. (Ted McDonough)