Monday, October 9, 2017

An inquiring reader wants to know...

An inquiring reader wants to know: what's it like for one who drinks alcohol to live in one of the states most restrictive about selling alcoholic beverages?  For those who don't know: in Utah one can only purchase packaged alcoholic beverages at a State Liquor Store.  There's one twelve miles from our home, in Logan.  An alcoholic beverage is apparently defined as anything containing more than 3.2% alcohol, because “3.2 beer” is sold in every grocery store.  You can also buy alcohol at bars (which we never go to) or in restaurants who have obtained a liquor license and who obey the rather arcane rules surrounding serving food and alcohol together in Utah.  It is illegal to ship alcoholic beverages into Utah, so we can't use online vendors like this.

Between the two of us, Debbie and I drink wine, beer, and scotch, all in small quantities.  We like to get “the good stuff”; it's one of the perks of retiring with enough money to afford it.  So how has living in such a restrictive state affected us?  Bottom line: hardly at all, and certainly not to the degree we expected it to.  Mainly this is because the State Liquor Stores actually carry a rather nice selection of the beverages we enjoy – better, in fact, than most of the retail outlets we knew best in San Diego.  There's one particular location (in Salt Lake City, of course) with an especially good wine selection.  Our local store's wine selection is decent, too.  All the locations seem to carry a broad selection of top-drawer single malt Scotch.  And all the locations also carry a wide variety of the craft beers that Debbie loves – including some from local craft breweries (mainly in Salt Lake City).

About the main effect we've actually been impacted by is being sawed off from the online vendors.  That we really do miss.  There's a fairly easy workaround we haven't yet employed: we could obtain a PO box from a place like Mail Boxes, Etc. in a nearby Idaho town, and have it shipped there.  It would be about an hour's round trip to go retrieve it.  We haven't been so motivated yet, though that's still a distinct possibility...


  1. I would have a problem. I like having a wide choice of alcohol. ;)

  2. Well, our local state liquor store has about 1,800 different kinds of alcohol. Is that enough for you? :)

    1. It's quite enough. But, I'm quite a spoiled girl. More shops with alcohol means lower price on many of them. And you have to go to one specific shop. It's nice that I don't have to think. I just enter any shop and buy.
      But maybe your solution have some advantages. :)

  3. Oh, I'm certainly not arguing that our situation is better! Just that it's not quite as bad as one might think. :) Your point about the price is well-taken – in general, the prices here are roughly 15% higher than we were used to in California. And if I had a magic wand (that actually worked), I would definitely allow alcohol to be freely sold – more competition and selection is always better! Of course, being the sort-of libertarian that I am, I'd say the same thing for the other drugs that are illegal here...