Roll out the barrel: Beer likely at Utah Oktoberfest

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Dad may have savored a cold lager at the Snowbird Ski Resort Father’s Day celebration, but does the lodge deserve to keep its taps running at Oktoberfest?

The answer likely will be yes, state liquor officials said Monday. That’s a turnaround from last month, when the Utah liquor board warned it might withhold such a permit this summer.

The warning, say critics, has painted Utah as staunchly sober and ignored years of protocol that worked just fine. It’s a “terrific hit” against tourism in the state, said Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City.

“It just seems as though we’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said.

Representatives from the state liquor commission and its policing arm, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, earlier said they considered breaking from decades of granting the permit in an effort to better adhere to the law.

It had some legislators wondering at Monday’s Administrative Rules Committee meeting whether they should rewrite the part of Utah code that bore the apparent reversal.

The state code hasn’t changed recently, but the new policy comes amid turnover in department leadership in the past few years.

Sal Petilos, director of the alcohol control agency, said he also think it’s likely the resort will get approval.

Snowbird’s Oktoberfest attracts about 60,000 people. Its 31st season kicks off Aug. 16.