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Bottles of 3.2 beer are fed into a digester on Dec. 13, 2019 as the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control recycles the inventory. (Photo: Felicia Martinez)
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State Recycling Remaining 3.2 Beer

NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah – Hundreds of cases of beer have been dumped down the drain in Utah as the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control clears out their supply.

Three pallets containing over 200 cases of 3.2 beer were destroyed Friday morning at Wasatch Resource Recovery in North Salt Lake.

“It’s kind of painful for beer drinkers,” said Braeden Adamson.

A self-described beer man himself and employee at Wasatch Resource Recovery, Braeden Adamson can relate to the pain of dumping beer.

However, the destruction of the beer was required by law. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control can no longer sell Utah’s 3.2 Beer at state liquor stores since being replaced with 5.0.

“With the new law, it’s time for a change,” said Adamson.

As Utah grocery stores continue to stock their shelves with 5.0 beer, the remaining 3.2 beer is being recycled in an environmentally friendly way through a process called anaerobic digesting.

“There’s little microorganisms that thrive in the absence of oxygen. Those little microorganisms, when they break down that food waste, they give off gas methane,” said Morgan Bowerman, spokesperson for Wasatch Resource Recovery. “We’re able to capture that methane. We clean it up a little bit and then we stick it straight into Dominion Energy’s pipeline as a renewable natural gas.”

All of the glass bottles and aluminum cans then get recycled locally. It’s a process Adamson has grown used to.

Those 200 cases were the last of nearly 100 pallets after all the breweries dumped their 3.2 beer, as well. He said his role is dumping out the beer hasn’t made him too popular amongst his buddies.

“It’s true. All my friends are kind of disappointed,” said Adamson.

When it’s all said and done, the cardboard beer boxes then go to recycling, as well. The containers are broken down and shipped to another location.

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