South Salt Lake to consider revamp of alcohol rules to welcome more craft breweries
(KUTV) The South Salt Lake City Council is considering possible amendments to the city’s alcoholic beverage code on Wednesday that could make it easier for craft breweries, wineries and distilleries to set-up shot in the city.
The discussion and a possible vote happens on Wednesday night.
Councilman Johnny McConnell, a proponent of the amendments, said the current rules treat alcoholic beverages as being evil.
“It was turning people off,” he said.
McConnell said if the tweaks to the law are approved they would take all the “negative speak” out of the city code and instead make it easier for craft brewers – not bars – to set up shop.
He envisions the change leading to the eventual creation of an arts district that includes craft brewers.
McConnell said it’s important for people to understand that craft brewers are not bar owners. He likens them more to artists who create something special – in this case alcoholic beverages.
“They’re being prepared by people who care about what they are doing,” he said.
When Alexandra Oritz Fargher and Trent Fargher moved their Shades of Pale Brewing from Park City to South Salt Lake three years ago, they encountered hurdles.
“It was definitely a challenge,” said Ortiz Fargher.
She said they chose Salt Lake for their operation because they found a building that could house their equipment and a tasting room.
The city council at the time, was reluctant to let them have a tap room where clients could taste and drink their beer.
The city offered them a restaurant license that would allow them to serve alcohol but the couple said they aren’t in the restaurant business.
“We don’t want to obligate people to buy food,” she said.
They invited city council members to tour their facility and see firsthand the care and skill it takes to brew craft beer.
Eventually the city made an exception. She hopes they make it easier for all brewers from now on.
Now, they brew 12 different beers, some of them aged in wood barrels. The couple often hosts fundraisers and other events in their tap room.
“We are very much part of bringing up the community,” she said.