viernes, 19 de julio de 2013

Drinking in Utah: the rules and how to manage them

Whiskey, beer and football arrow sign
Utah's drinking laws can feel like a dizzying experience but it's still possible to make sense of them … and be able to drink

Whether you're after a quick drink or setting up shop for the night at a bar with a varied selection, there are a few things you should know. Utah has been known to baffle even the most seasoned alcohol fanatic with its bizarre liquor laws …

• Beer on tap is always 3.2% by weight (4% by volume). Utah laws do not allow stronger beers to be sold on draught. If you want a higher-alcohol beer, order a bottle.

• Cocktails can only have 1.5 fl oz of a primary liquor. Secondary alcohol "flavourings" can be added but can't exceed 2.5 fl oz of total booze. Mixologists have to be creative in Utah. They can't just load up the glass with booze (as in a Long Island Iced Tea). It's truly a work of art to see what some bartenders are able to do around here with these restrictions.

• Most restaurants have a licence that requires food to be on the table before alcohol can be served. This one is easy to deal with even if you're not hungry: just order something small, then you can drink yourself merry.

• All liquor, wine, strong beer and malt beverages must be purchased at a state-run store. These have very limited operating hours, and are closed on Sundays, holidays and when voting booths are open. If you're staying in a hotel and want a nice bottle of something for the room, search Utah State Liquor Stores to find the closest outlet. Beer up to 3.2% is available at grocery stores and gas stations.

• For more information about holidays in the USA, see