Down the drain: Utah disposes of 275 cases of beer

Beer was flowing Friday in Utah -- but not the way lovers of the frothy drink would have preferred.

Because of a new law that took effect in November, the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control shipped 275 cases of bottled and canned beer from its Salt Lake City warehouse to Wasatch Resource Recovery in North Salt Lake for disposal, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The cost of the beer was estimated at $17,700, the newspaper reported.

For nearly a century, Utah laws prevented grocery stores from selling beer that had more than 4% alcohol by volume, the Tribune reported in October. Beer with higher alcohol content could only be sold in state-owned liquor stores, the newspaper reported.

The new law boosted the alcohol level for retail outlets to 5%.

Any beer beneath that threshold was to be moved out of liquor stores or dumped, DABC purchasing specialist Rob Southworth told the Tribune in an email.

That is what happened Friday during a two-hour span.

Bottle and cans, once emptied, were sent off to be recycled, the newspaper reported. The beer was poured into an aerobic digester, to be mixed with other food waste and turned into natural gas and fertilizers.

The new law affected 106 different brands of beers, the Tribune reported.