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Utah May Face a Beer-Free Oktoberfest

Liquor board cracks down on single-event permits
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2014 11:24 AM CDT
Utah May Face a Beer-Free Oktoberfest
In this photo taken on Sept. 6, 2009, Cindy White, left, and Walter Schwemmer, right, dance as part of the Oktoberfest celebration at Snowbird Mountain Resort in Utah.   (AP Photo/The Deseret News, Mike Terry)

Oktoberfest may be a little less jovial this year, at least in Utah. Snowbird Ski Resort's annual Oktoberfest celebration is at risk of running dry as the state liquor commission cracks down on giving single-event permits to businesses, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The chairman of the commission admits it's "probably unsettling" for some, but tells FOX 13, "We just felt that maybe we were allowing something the legislature had not intended." After a lengthy debate, the liquor board approved a permit for the ski resort's Father's Day Brewfest next month, but might not do the same come August.

"Not having a liquor permit for Oktoberfest would hurt a lot," the resort's general manager says of the annual event—which runs on weekends from August until October—that's been a fixture at the resort for more than 40 years. "It's the second best thing we do after powder skiing." He adds he'll work with the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to see what can be done. "I really think our community will miss it if we didn’t have it," he tells FOX 13, which notes that 10 businesses have been denied permits in recent months, while several events, including the Utah State Fair and Utah Pride Festival, have been approved. (More Utah stories.)

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