Welp, that's... one less thing Minnesota has in common with Utah.
Until last week, Minnesota and the Beehive State (that's Utah's official nickname, by the way—we Googled it) were the only states left with 3.2 beer, the final holdouts in the war of attrition over watery, low-alcohol suds. Battles in said conflict were waged in Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas last year.
On Wednesday, Utah legislators reached a deal to get (slightly) higher-alcohol brews in grocery and convenience stores throughout the state. According to Utah Public Radio, drinkers will soon be able to snag beers "with as much as 4.0 percent alcohol by weight" during food runs. The original bill would have upped that number to 4.8 percent, something lawmakers say they're open to revisiting in the future.
“It’s not everything we’d hoped for, but it is the biggest change in alcohol laws in Utah since 1933,” Kate Bradshaw of the Responsible Beer Choice Coalition told Salt Lake City's Fox affiliate.
It also makes the North Star State the only one left with 3.2 laws on the books. Considering our lawmakers just got around to letting people buy liquor on Sundays, maybe this is the next frontier when it comes to letting people make up their own damn minds about when and how convenient it is to get tipsy?
We're speculating with some wistful optimism here, but it could mean the writing's on the walk-in cooler for 3.2 beer... because 3.2 beer might soon be die off altogether.
Brewers like Budweiser's Anheuser-Busch make special accommodations to get their buzz-denying beer varietal to shoppers—a standard Bud clocks in at 5 percent. (Alcohol by weight and alcohol by volume aren't the same thing; that 4 percent ABW figure in Utah is equal to about 5 percent ABV.)
But as liquor laws have evolved to allow for full-strength brews, 3.2 sales have obviously dropped, and big breweries have decreased their production correspondingly.
Now that the only other "we'll let you drink, but just this weak shit" state has acquiesced somewhat to the hop-hunting, IPA-loving masses, it might be just a matter of time until brewers stop making their slightly beer-ish water entirely.
RIP, 3.2 brews. You probably won't be missed.