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Utah tosses thousands of gallons of beer after law change

December 14, 2019 GMT
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Operator Braeden Adamson maneuvers a forklift as the DABC delivers 275 cases of beer on three pallets to the new food digester in North Salt Lake on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. The state can no longer sell the beer — all between 4% and 5% ABV — because it can't compete with privately owned grocery and convenience stores — which started selling the higher alcohol beers on Nov. 1. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)
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Operator Braeden Adamson maneuvers a forklift as the DABC delivers 275 cases of beer on three pallets to the new food digester in North Salt Lake on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. The state can no longer sell the beer — all between 4% and 5% ABV — because it can't compete with privately owned grocery and convenience stores — which started selling the higher alcohol beers on Nov. 1. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

Utah liquor authorities have thrown away thousands of gallons of drinkable beer after state law changed to allow higher-alcohol brews.

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control disposed of beer worth almost $18,000 on Friday, the The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Authorities say they were legally required to dump the beer from state-owned liquor stores because a new law allowed those beers to be sold in private stores instead.

Utah had long prohibited grocery and convenience stores from selling beer stronger than 4% alcohol by volume. Everything else was sold at state liquor stores.

The law effective Oct. 31 increased that limit to 5%. Because the state-owned stores can’t stock anything available on the open market, officials discounted beers between 4% and 5% before Halloween, then threw away everything that was left.

Workers disposed of the 275 cases of bottles and cans at a recycling facility.