DABC commissioners don't appear to be happy with the Utah State Legislature.
At Tuesday's meeting, the commission had three coveted bar licenses to award — and 15 applicants. After a lot of debate, they gave them to Panguitch's Aspen Cove Resort; Side Bar, from the owners of Ogden's Own Distillery; and Brick & Mortar in downtown Salt Lake City.
But as Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control commissioners tried to triage who was ready to open, who would have the biggest economic impact with a license, and when the next license would be available, they increasingly vented about the situation created by the legislature.
You see, Utah hands out bar licenses by population quota. The formula — one license per 10,200 people — is a made-up number by the legislature. Commissioner Tara Thue called the lack of licenses "dismal," and Chair Thomas Jacobson told people in the crowd to speak up and call their legislators to fix it.
On the latest episode of "Utah Booze News: An Alcohol Policy Podcast," we recap the DABC meeting. Tanner Strickland Lenart, an attorney with the firm Christensen & Jensen, whose specialty is liquor laws, returns to answer your questions submitted on social media about why Utah laws are the way they are.