Utah legislators pass bill to help stores sell heavier beers

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah legislators have passed a measure to make it easier for businesses to prepare to sell higher-strength beer ahead of the Nov. 1 effective date.

The bill lawmakers approved during Monday's special session gives retailers a one-week grace period to purchase and store 4% beer before it can be sold to customers as the cap is lifted from 3.2% beer.

Republican Rep. Steve Waldrip said the measure helps smaller retailers and stores in rural areas make the transition.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signed off on a law in March raising the alcohol limit for beer by weight available to grocery and convenience stores, as well as on tap in bars.

Some local craft brewers are against the law, calling it an incremental increase that would favor big breweries.