Utah has a state fruit (the cherry), a state vegetable (the sweet onion) and even a state snack food (Jell-O).
It does not have an official state beer. None of the 50 states does.
Still a new advertising campaign aims to make Budweiser the official beer of the Beehive State — complete with its own red, white and blue commemorative can, which would include Delicate Arch, snowboarding, the Capitol and the Salt Lake Temple.
On Monday, Anheuser-Busch InBev — which owns Budweiser — released this video advertisement for the nation’s first official state beer nomination. It features “Jed,” a proud Utahn pitching the idea from the Town and Country Market in Salt Lake City.
He explains how consumers can vote for the idea using the #Bud4Utah hashtag on Twitter. Jed gets an assist in the video from several athletes, including American freestyle skier Joss Christensen and former RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
If 84,899 tags or retweets are secured — a number that represents the size of Utah in square miles — Utah will become the first state to have its own Budweiser can.
Utah is probably the least likely state to have the inaugural “state beer” designation since the group that would approve such a thing — the Legislature — is comprised mostly of men and women who don’t drink alcohol.
And there’s sure to be a fight from Uinta, Squatters, Wasatch or any of the other 31 breweries in Utah over the proposal.
“We would welcome the investment of the world’s largest multinational brewer by opening a facility in our great state of Utah. The growth and industry jobs it would bring would have a big impact on our members, and likely result in more favorable legislation for alcohol producers,” said Jeremy Ragonese, president of Uinta Brewing Co. and a member of the Utah Brewers Guild board of directors. “Until then, I believe the title of official state beer is best shared among Utah’s many outstanding local craft brewers.”
Of course, the promotion is all in fun and will commemorate the first anniversary of Utah’s historic higher-alcohol beer law. On Nov. 1, 2019 — for the first time in nearly a century — Utahns were able to buy beer that was 5% alcohol by volume in grocery and convenience stores.
Budweiser brought its iconic Clydesdales — and a ghoulish group of pallbearers — to ceremoniously bid goodbye to the last remaining 3.2% beer in that state with a funeral procession through the streets of Salt Lake City.
Budweiser says if it collects enough votes, the Clydesdales will return next year when the Utah cans are released.
Budweiser might get pushback from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for having its iconic temple on the product. And the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which approves all names and labels, has typically rejected such depictions, saying they are disrespectful toward the faith, whose members are taught to abstain from alcohol.