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5% by volume beer hits Utah store shelves, new beer tax in effect

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beer 5.png

Goodbye 4%, hello 5%.

Utahns can now officially buy 5% alcohol by volume (or 4% alcohol by weight) in grocery and convenience stores.

As of midnight, changes to the state liquor laws went into effect.

After the shelves were cleared Thursday, employees are rapidly working to stock them back up with stronger beer.

2News spoke with Maverik employees who brought in hundreds of people, who typically work office jobs, to unwrap pallets of beer.

Most stores sold out, but until late last night, some were still selling beer below 5% at deep discounts.

Along with the new beer, Utah's new beer tax is expected go into effect Friday.

The tax rate on a 31-gallon barrel will increase $.30 from $12.80 to $13.10.

The Utah legislature passed 2019 SB 132 Beer Amendments, which includes the price hike.

Consumers will see the tax increase with their beer purchases, but it won't have "any direct, measurable costs for local governments," a press release by the Utah State Tax Commission stated.

This tax increase is expected to generate $350,000 annually. The revenue will go to the Alcoholic Enforcement and Treatment Restricted Account beginning July 1, 2020, a press release stated.