September Update: Brewers Fest, Salt City Suds Podcast, Changes to Alcohol Sales in Utah?

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It has been another busy summer and another busy couple of months for Tanner lately. A lot has happened since our last update so here is a quick recap of what Tanner has been up to.

Tanner’s law firm Christensen & Jensen was a sponsor of the North American Brewers Association Beer Fest. Here’s more info on the Association and their festival:

“The North American Brewers Association TM (NABA) is a non-profit foundation. The NABA mission is to secure beer’s role in our culture and society through the advancement of brewing quality and consumer education. The North American Brewers Association TM was founded in late 1996. Since that date, NABA has undertaken the organizational development of corporate policies, procedures, and memberships, as well as the sanctioning of beer awards, beer festivals, and a beer judging and evaluation course. NABA has over 40 members.  The 28th Annual Mountain Brewers Beer Fest was held on Saturday, June 3rd, 2023 with over 100 breweries…hundreds of different beers, seltzers, ciders, and cocktails. Live Music, Food vendors, raffle, and silent auction.”

Second, Tanner was quoted in a very interesting article featured on KUER that talks about a possible change to how Utah operates alcohol sales. According to the article:

“A group filed a citizen initiative to overhaul what they consider a monopoly on liquor, wine, and high-point beers. They call Utah’s state control of alcohol “prejudiced due to endemic partisan politics and influenced by specific religious special interests” in filing documents.

What will it do?

The initiative would make the following changes:

  • Do away with the majority of state-owned and operated liquor stores 
  • Allow privatized liquor and wine stores in Utah 
  • Authorize the sale of anything above 5% ABV (liquor, wine, and high-point beer) in some grocery stores, like Costco and Trader Joe’s
  • Decrease state retail markup of 88% over cost to 30% flat tax on alcohol over 5% ABV  to create a wholesale price for retailers
  • Allow wine to be shipped to consumers directly”

Tanner was quoted in the article saying:

Tanner Lenart, a Utah attorney who only practices liquor law, said she’s noticed public perception shift around alcohol as well. When she first started practicing liquor law a decade ago, Lenart said there were many steps needed for a restaurant or a bar to gain local approval for seeking a liquor or wine and beer license.

“It used to be if somebody came to me and said, ‘Hey, I want to open up a little cafe in this small town in Utah and I want to serve just wine and beer,’ we would have to go before the city council and have a big presentation and there would be a lot of back and forth about it,” she said.

Now, the process has simplified significantly.

“What’s become more common is that the clients would come to me and say, ‘Hey, I’m opening this little bistro in this little small town, and I’ve already got these letters of support from the mayor,’” she said.

However, she recognizes some of the obstacles to pushing the initiative forward. The state has complete control over the sale and distribution of alcohol currently.

“I don’t think that there’s a way to circumvent the fact that the Legislature would be scared to give up the control aspect of it,” she said.”

Last but not least Tanner was a guest on the Salt City Suds Podcast. Here’s a recap of the episode:

“Tanner and I sit down at Second Summit Hard Cider to discuss several topics. We discuss what an alcohol attorney does and what the practice entails. From assisting a wide variety of clients in obtaining the proper licenses for their line of business within the food & alcohol industry. Tanner discusses her path from Alabama to traveling the world and landing here in Salt Lake City, UT. Tanner also discusses her passion for the outdoors and winter sports. We talk about Second Summit and their great space. There is much more in this fun episode so enjoy!”

As always make sure to keep up with Tanner on Twitter @UTliquorlawyer!

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