Yet another new rule for Utah beer makers: Alcohol tests to make sure that brew is 3.2 – Salt Lake Tribune

Utah brewers, already accustomed to meeting myriad liquor restrictions, recently were given one more state mandate: alcohol testing for all new 3.2 beers they produce.

Under a new requirement from the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, all new beers to be sold in Utah grocery and convenience stores, first must be tested in a state laboratory to ensure the brews do not exceed the state limit of 4 percent alcohol by volume. That’s the same as 3.2 percent alcohol by weight.

“It’s not really an inconvenience for the brewers to send a sample,” said Nicole Dicou, executive director of the Utah Brewers Guild, “but it is another hoop to jump through.”

There will be no financial penalty for having a brew that tests higher than 3.2, Dicou said. “You just can’t sell it.”

The alcohol-content test also is required for any beer that is sold at production facilities. Most Utah breweries have stores and taprooms, where customers can buy products that sometimes aren’t available in stores.

Beer with a higher alcohol content — which state law requires to be sold at liquor stores — is not subject to the testing.

A few larger brewers — including Squatters and Uinta Brewing — have their own alcohol-analyzing equipment. Even small brewers commonly use a hydrometer during the mashing process, which calculates what the density and alcohol content of a beer will be.

Dicou said the guild was told that testing was part of a national standardization movement and that states across the country were asked to implement it.

However, Paul Gatza, director of the national Brewers Association, a trade organization for craft brewers headquartered in Boulder, Colo., knows of no other state that has such

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