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December 22, 2008

Drinking in Utah

Filed under: Beer,Wine — Mr. Henry @ 4:51 pm

mormontemple.jpgAlthough both cities are charted on a grid, Salt Lake City is different from New York.

In Utah the pairing of beverage with dinner hangs principally on which one gets a buzz moving quickest.

If you happen to be in the mood for a beer, Utah restricts you to 3.2% alcohol, an odd brew lacking body or bite and utterly bereft of buzz.

If like Mr. Henry you were looking for a Côtes du Rhone at the State Liquor store, the only place you can legally purchase wine, spirits, or beer with higher than 3.2% alcohol, you’re going to fail. Wine here is arranged by varietal in ascending order of price. Since Côtes du Rhone is a blend of grapes, within the caverns of the State Liquor store a Côtes du Rhone simply cannot be found.

In grocery stores checkout people are overwhelmingly cheerful. The produce man abandons his lettuces to help you find the Meyer lemons. Smiles spring forth without hesitation or guile.

But State Liquor store personnel, working as they do among sin and shame, have a hard edge around the eyes, more like blackjack croupiers than adherents to the Book of Mormon. Jostled in the aisles by predatory drinkers on dark and secret missions, a casual shopper gets roughed up.

The last time Mr. Henry stood in lines this long was at Disneyworld, a place that, come to think of it, resembles Salt Lake City, architecturally as well as culturally. The treacle-sweet songs sung by calico-clad greeter girls at Temple Square is pure Disney pageantry, and so are their ankle-length pioneer dresses.

And what could be the architectural sources for the Mormon Temple itself apart from storybook fantasy?


  1. Wow, this is the most uninformed, inacurate, mean spririted write-up on Utah beer/liquor I’ve read in a long time.

    Comment by Mike — December 23, 2008 @ 6:37 am

  2. Well, don’t leave us in suspense, Mike. How is it inaccurate?

    Comment by JS — December 23, 2008 @ 8:27 am

  3. I lived in Utah for a year. I’d like to add that the State Liquor Stores are hard to find too. I remember planning a big dinner and literally driving around Salt Lake County for 2 hours looking for one of these stores before giving up.

    Comment by Molly — December 23, 2008 @ 9:26 am

  4. A state of liquor that leaves one in low spirits. 😉

    Comment by Ariun — December 24, 2008 @ 12:08 am

  5. Brilliant bit, Mr. Henry. And the picture punchline was perfect.

    Comment by Mr. King — December 31, 2008 @ 4:55 pm

  6. Inform us then, if you will.

    Comment by annie — January 2, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

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