November 19, 2017

Drinking in St. George| Can You Have a Beer on the Golf Course?

St George Utah Liquor StoreEven though St. George is 300 miles away from Salt Lake City, and is actually closer to Las Vegas, it’s still part of the state of Utah.  Obviously then, St. George follows Utah state laws.  That includes the stiff alcohol laws.

The good news is you can still have a beer on St. George golf courses.  A few Saint George courses will enforce a “no cooler” policy.  However, you can still drink on the course, you just need to buy the beer from the golf course itself (or sneak yours in within your bag, etc.).  Off the golf course is where thing get a little, well, different.

Utah’s state alcohol laws are unique, to say the least:

  • You can’t order a double, or a stiff drink.
  • Happy hours and any other drink discounts are illegal.
  • Only licensed restaurants can serve alcohol.  Licenses are extremely hard to get, hence finding a restaurant that will serve you a drink is tough.  In fact, there’s currently a freeze on issuance of new alcohol licenses that allows restaurants to serve liquor, wine, and full strength beer for restaurants/bars that don’t require customers to order food with their drink.
  • Licensed restaurants must use electronic ID scanners on customers that appear less than 35 before they can be served.
  • Starting in 2012, bars and restaurants must keep taps and bartenders out the customers’ sites.  Seriously, you won’t be able to see or talk to the bartender who makes your drink.
  • Starting in 2012, bars and restaurants can’t have beer sales account for more than 30% of revenue.

Yep, even the locals that tip back a cold one every once in a while get confused with all the rules.  Things got better for a while when Jon Huntsman was the Governor.  He abolished the “private club” restaurant system that long confused Utah visitors.  You used to have to buy a “membership” to get into a restaurant to buy a drink.  Then, you were handed one or two mini-bottles and were told to mix your own drink.

Our suggestion?  Make a pit stop to the Utah State Liquor Store upon arrival in St. George.  Stock up with all the wine, spirits, and full strength beer you’d like to consume during your stay (beer sold in grocery and convenience stores and even at the golf courses isn’t full strength.  It’s only 3.2% alcohol).  Then, drink at your St. George vacation rental or hotel, or even while you’re on the links.  I know, going to a bar and talking to the locals is part of a vacation for a lot of people.  That type of environment just doesn’t exist in St. George.  Some restaurants will allow you to bring a bottle of wine with you to consume during your meal.  So, bring a wine bottle you bought at the State Liquor store to the restaurant, and ask when you arrive.  Just don’t be offended if they tell you no.

There’s a couple Utah State Liquor Stores in St. George:

Wine Store 161 North 900 East, St. George -(435) 674-9550

  • Store Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
  • Closed: All stores and most package agencies are closed Sundays and Holidays. (Please call for hours)
  • GPS location Latitude: 37.1104731609
  • Longitude: -113.564036681
929 West Sunset Boulevard, St. George -(435) 673-9454

  • Latitude: 37.1247032524
  • Longitude: -113.603726173
  • Store Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • Closed: All stores and most package agencies are closed Sundays and Holidays. (Please call for hours)

 

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