A New Opportunity

A New Opportunity To Show Our Support


As a population we react to all manner of threats, real or perceived. Recently I was reflecting on the last time I wore a mask in public for a long period of time and today marks the 40 year anniversary of that event.

Mount St Helens erupted on the 18th of May 1980 sending a cloud of ash 80,000 feet into the air; I was 9. While I’ve forgotten many things from that time I do remember having to wear a mask whenever we left our home in Spokane WA in the weeks following. That threat was very real, even for a 9 year old. Acts as simple as walking to school were made difficult by slogging through the ash and attempting to breath even with a mask as clouds of the powdered sugar like matter erupted under every step.


Today, in our current COVID environment, the debate still rallies both sides in the argument of whether this threat is real or perceived; much to the bemusement of many in the medical profession. I must admit that I struggle with the idea of wearing a protective mask against something as ominous as COVID because I cannot see it. This is an internal conflict between me and that 9 year old who can still visualize the gray material falling from the sky.


In Utah right now we have been afforded a new opportunity to respond to a threat that is very real. While not as tragic as the eruption 40 years ago, this too will have a broad effect on our lifestyles. The DABC recently announced that they will be cutting as many as 900 labels from our shelves. I say “our shelves” because as a Utah State tax payer funded entity, their inventory is our investment. This not so new Symphony program has been collecting metrics on all products carried by the agency and making changes to stock levels of certain brands at individual stores for a while now. This new Walmart like initiative will remove 900 labels in favor of more lucrative brands very soon. Ref., https://www.sltrib.com/news/2020/05/16/utah-plans-purge-items/?fbclid=IwAR0rErK8RW67xFYDGlIvMauTBvgyPgLWLRcaonR27-px3CTdc42tBC6QsOM


Now to the important question: how does this affect you? Those smaller brands, your local brands, are in real jeopardy. The days of driving to your favorite DABC store to pick up that locally distilled spirit may be coming to an end.

Our collective drive to support local businesses is ingrained in all Utahns. Well most it would appear. Still others, I suppose, would rather see Utah businesses close and livelihoods lost so they can sell us whatever fruit cocktail rum punch Bacardi happens to be peddling this month. I’m also pretty sure we don’t need another banana flavored vodka.


Shouldn’t state agencies funded by the residents within its borders through taxation, work to better that state and the residents.


What we at Trail Headquarters are asking of you is simply consideration. We know that this time you want your Barton Vodka or Jack Daniels whiskey. All we ask is that you consider a local brand next time. Not sure which of the amazing local distilleries fit into your life? Find the closest participating distillery to you, pick up the Utah’s Spirit Trail Guide, and hop on the trail. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and become a member on www.utahspirittrail.com for all the latest information.


Your Distillery Adventure Starts With Us!

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