Utah’s alcohol agency explains how its government-run stores work in new video series called ‘Meet the DABC’

(Al Hartmann/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP) Terry Wood, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control spokesman, in 2017 at a liquor store in Cottonwood Heights.

Everyone has questions about liquor stores in Utah.

Why doesn’t the state have more stores? Why are there different products on the shelves? How do I special order a product the state doesn’t have in its inventory?

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control just launched a video series called “Meet the DABC” to answer those queries.

“The purpose of these videos is to let the general public know how we operate and get to know some of our key personnel,” said spokesman Terry Wood. “They will also answer some of the common questions our customers ask.”

Wood uses his background as a former television journalist to interview various employees for the videos, posted on YouTube.

Deputy director Cade Meier explains what new stores are being built and how they are being designed to be more “customer friendly.”

In another video, Rob Southworth, from the purchasing division, explains how items are selected for the store shelves. He said there are some 2,000 general items available in all stores and another 4,000 “limited items” that come and go depending on availability.

In 2017, the DABC had about 1,500 items submitted for consideration, but only about 350 products, or 25 percent, made it into the system. Southworth called it a “beauty contest,” with employees looking for the best pedigree, pricing and uniqueness.

“We try to find the treasures in each category for the best price possible,” he said in the video.

A third video explains how Utah customers can special order items that are not in the DABC system. Special orders require patience, as it usually takes four to eight weeks to get the product. It may take even longer if the item is made by a small producer outside the country.

The state doesn’t charge extra for shipping.

Wood said more videos are planned.