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Food & Drink Blog

It Was 80 Years Ago Today

by Ted Scheffler
- Posted // 2013-12-05 -

"It was 80 years ago today" sounds like the first line of The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's ... But, it was actually 80 years ago today that Utah ratified the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, leading to the end of Prohibition.  

On Dec. 5, 1933, Utah's ratification resulted, ultimately, in the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment, which led to the end of Prohibition. Today, according to the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), the wine and spirits industry supports 3,210 direct jobs in Utah.

And, according to an economic analysis released by WSWA and prepared by New York-based John Dunham & Associates, the "total economic impact of the industry in the state is $658 million." Beyond that, the wine and spirits industry in Utah generates some $131 million in state business and consumer taxes. 

"The Twenty-first Amendment paved the way for the creation of the modern three-tier beverage-alcohol-regulatory system that today delivers the widest variety of products available to consumers anywhere in the world in a manner that is safe, well-regulated, and ensures reliable revenue streams for the states and federal government," said WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf.

Of course, wholesale wines and spirits aren't available to restaurateurs, bar owners or the public here in Utah. The state controls what, where, when and how we drink. And I can't help but wonder why Utah Republicans aren't screaming bloody murder about Big Government controlling a socialized booze biz here in the state. I mean, if you had to buy your food or clothing or toys from government-run stores, you'd call that socialism, or even totalitarianism, right?  It surely ain't capitalism at work, is it?  

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