Saturday, December 29, 2007
Utah Looks to Restrict the Sale of Malternatives
Malt beverage based cocktails -- malternatives -- such a Smirnoff Ice and Bacardi Silver are under attack by Utah Liquor Control Board Commissioners who claim they are aimed at underage consumers.
In a 3-2 vote, with non-drinking commissioners voting as a bloc, the Commission has sent a proposal to the Utah Legislature that would restrict the sale of malternatives to state owned liquor stores. The recommendation also calls for malternatives to be taxed at a higher rate than beer.
Commissioner Kathryn Balmforth is quoted as saying that malternatives appeal to people who don't like the flavor of beer, "especially young girls." The move to tax malternatives at the same rate as spirits comes even though the brands sold in Utah are just 3.2 percent alcohol by volume.
The Utah Legislature will meet on Jan. 22 to consider the proposal.