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This ax-throwing venue in Utah is allowed to serve beer. What could go wrong?

Like this ax-throwing venue in Brooklyn, the lanes at Social Axe are separated by fencing, co-owner Mark Floyd says.
Like this ax-throwing venue in Brooklyn, the lanes at Social Axe are separated by fencing, co-owner Mark Floyd says. AP

Throwing an ax at a target and hurling a ball at pins may not seem like similar activities, but both will now be treated the same under Utah liquor laws.

The state’s alcohol commission on Tuesday granted a license to Social Axe Throwing, located in Ogden, KSL reported. The license allows the ax-throwing venue to serve beer, the news station said.

The commission was asked to alter state law’s definition of “recreation” to include “ax throwing” in order to approve the license, FOX 13 reported.

Ax-throwing, a relatively new activity in the U.S., is played with 1.5-pound, 14-inch axes, according to the Washington Post. It’s typically done in groups of eight or more. Two players standing in adjacent lanes take turns tossing the axes at a target, the newspaper said in 2016.

The score depends on how close the ax comes to the bullseye (like darts), said Mark Floyd, one of the owners of Social Axe, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“It’s just a ton of fun,” Floyd said. “It gets people out of their comfort zone doing something that they don’t know how to do. As soon as they do it, it’s game on! Everybody has a good time,” he told FOX 13.

But some commissioners weren’t immediately sold on the activity.

“People actually do this, huh?” asked Chairman John Nielsen, FOX 13 reported.

One member, Kathleen Collinwood, the only one who voted against granting the license, called drinking beer and throwing axes “counterintuitive,” KSL reported.

Another commissioner, Neal Berube, voted in favor of the permit, but said he’s having a hard time getting his mind around “alcohol and axes together,” the news station reported.

Floyd said his business is “almost identical” to a bowling alley, KSL reported. “It’s more of a sport we want you to come and enjoy along with an ice-cold beer,” he said.

He told the commission that the lanes are separated by chain-link fencing. A nine-foot buffer separates the waiting area from the throwing area, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The company will scan IDs at the door, Floyd said. Minors will have to wear a wristband that shows they can’t buy or drink alcohol, the newspaper reported.

Co-owner of Throw and IQ Escape, Melissa Redman, talks about the new location and what it offers Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 278 West Hamilton Ave, State College.

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