TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — After decades away, Utah's liquor control authority unanimously voted to approve mini-bottle sales in the state.
The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services Commission on Tuesday approved a proposed administrative rule for sales for 50 ml. spiritous liquor and 187 ml wine in state-run and state-contracted liquor stores.
"I think it will bring us on par with other states. Utah is one of the only states — if not the only state — that doesn’t sell these," said DABS Commission Vice-Chair Tara Thue.
FOX 13 News first reported last week the process was under way to bring mini-bottles back to Utah. They haven't been sold since the 1980s, when they were the primary method for bars to sell alcohol (patrons would get the drink mixings and then add the liquor themselves).
"I've lived in this market for a long time. I've watched mini bottles come and go," said Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, a powerful lawmaker tasked with handling liquor legislation for the Republican supermajority in the Utah State Senate.
The DABS says mini-bottles have become a new request, largely driven by rural liquor stores who have said tourists have complained about having to buy a whole bottle when they just want a drink. The Utah State Legislature left it up to the DABS to decide what to do.
Sen. Stevenson said he was fine with the rule going forward.
"I was kind of a proponent of that," he told FOX 13 News. "If you needed a little bit of alcohol to cook with, there’s no need to have a big open bottle in the cupboard. We know kids get a lot of their alcohol from open bottles in the cupboard and so forth."
The commission's vote launches a public comment period for the rule. If there are no significant issues, the rule goes into effect. The DABS previously told FOX 13 News that sales could then begin by this fall.