The Legislature needs a drink

By By John Hannon and By John Hannon

By John Hannon

In a move that oddly enough makes some sense, the Utah Senate Business and Labor Committee recently approved House Bill 51, which would allow people to brew up to 100 gallons of beer per year for their own personal consumption. That’s right, renegade home beer brewers no longer need to fear retribution from any outback Nazi law enforcement agencies when crafting ales in the comfort of their homes.

Still, the discussion wasn’t completely devoid of strange comments, however innocent they might have been. Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, expressed concerns regarding the bill and used the recent tragic death of a student at Utah State University as an example of why these types of privileges could be deadly. Niederhauser is implying that college students might utilize the proposed legislation to produce huge amounts of alcohol, and he is also revealing how little many of our representatives know about responsible consumption of alcohol among adults.

I certainly don’t know of any full-time college student who has the time or money to brew 100 gallons of his or her own concoctions. And if there are any, they certainly aren’t distributing the fruits of their labor to wide-eyed freshmen. You see, brewing beer is nothing like making cider or baking a cake8212;it’s a time-consuming process that takes a measure of art to achieve. Okay, the art bit might be a stretch, but a brewer certainly wouldn’t allow his batch to be treated like Pabst Blue Ribbon at a fraternity function.

But how are our elected officials supposed to know this? How are they supposed to know anything about alcoholic consumption in our lovely Deseret? That’s why I’m unveiling my plan to create the first annual Utah Legislators Pub Crawl. Get ready for a crazy night on the town with your favorite publicly elected official! They’ll start at Murphy’s and make their way south until none can stand on their own.

Hopefully we can broker a deal with VH1 to make this into a reality show titled “That’s My Representative!” We can only hope it will result in countless numbers of entertaining karaoke scenes and drunken ego-driven confrontations involving our straight-laced legislators. Tell me you wouldn’t watch that show.

Perhaps after the pub crawl (and the awkward morning-after apology calls), common sense might prevail during debates about some of the more trivial liquor laws in Utah. And there’s no doubt our lawmakers would have more fun than they’ve had since they entered the Legislature. Just remember to pour Sen. Michael Waddoups’ drinks out of sight. You know how he hates seeing bartenders mix drinks.

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