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DO-IT-YOURSELF UTAH BREWERY TOUR
Think there's no good beer in Utah?? Think again.
By Kayla LeFevre
Utah has some interesting alcohol laws. No need to be coy; we all know it. The truth is, most of these peculiar statutes hardly keep the nightly patrons from finding a refill. True, it takes a few extra refills to feel the same effect as out-of-state beers—but refills, nonetheless.
The gist: Utah law prohibits any restaurant, club or lounge from having more than two alcoholic products in front of a customer at one time, no matter the size. So a beer and a shot is within the legal realm as two 24-ounce steins, but four 3-ounce samples are out of the question. (What's that you say? This doesn't make sense? Welcome to Utah.)
But let's pretend for just a minute that these laws were non-existent and you could take a classic hop-on-the-wagon tour of breweries in the Beehive State: Where would it go? What would be served on your four-beer sample tray?
After trying many different brews in various locations as well as in the comfort of my own living room, I'd be happy to let you jump in my figurative van fueled by words and provide the information you'll need to venture on your own.
Bohemian Brewery & Grill
Just like its name, this brewery at 94 Fort Union Blvd., Midvale, is full of European lagers that satisfy the worldly travelers' thirst. Salads, calamari and sandwiches serve as the staple between you and your true quest: the delectable Viennese Amber, Czech Pilsener, Cherny Bock Schwarzbier and Bavarian Weissbier.
Though a 30-minute drive from downtown, the trip to Bonneville Brewery at 1641 N. Main in Tooele is still worth the effort. Each brew has a distinct citrus taste, whether it's a subtle or dominate flavor. Your samples should include the Pilot Peak pilsner, the Free Roller IPA, the stout and the sweet Peaches and Cream.
Desert Edge Brewery
Desert Edge is located at the eastern side of Trolley Square (602 S. 700 East). Make sure to try out the Happy Valley hefeweizen, the Pub Pils, the Utah Pale Ale and the Latter Day nitro stout.
Epic Brewing Co.
At 825 S. State, Epic crafts beers for a more adventurous palate, experimenting with various flavor combinations. Your samples should include the Classic Series' Spiral Jetty IPA, the Elevated Series' 825 State Stout and finally the Sour Apple Saison and Blue Law Porter from the Exponential Series.
Often found on tap in bars throughout the valley or at your local liquor store, this desert-based brewery is located at 686 S. Main in Moab—home to the dry, hop-infused beers that have come to be a favorite of many Red Rock residents. If the opportunity presents itself, be sure to try the Porcupine Pilsner (one of my all-time favorites), the Dead Horse Amber Ale, the Derailleur Ale or the Moab Especial.
Proper Brewing Co.
Located at 857 S. Main, Proper Brewery will open a bottle of high-point beer for you to sample for an extra 50 cents or $1 more than their draft beers. For your flight, make sure to check out the Hopspital IPA, the English Proper golden ale, the partially unfiltered Strawberry Saison and the Lake Effect gose, which wholeheartedly lives up to its name.
Red Rock Brewing Co.
You can wine and dine at 254 S. 200 West in Salt Lake City, or at 1640 Redstone Center Drive at Park City's Kimball Junction. Classic American food stocks the menu, while a perfect blend of on-tap or premium bottled brews fill the drink list to the brim. Their most reputable Eliphino (wait, how do you pronounce that? Pff, hell if I know ...) Double IPA earns a spot on our flight, while the Oatmeal Stout, Honey Wheat and Session uphold their honorable positions.
Roosters Brewing Co.
This Ogden brewery at 253 25th St. features a handful of classic brews. Roosters honey wheat ale, Junction City chocolate stout, O-Town nut brown ale and Irreverent pale ale should stock your two-at-a-time flight.
Squatters Pub Brewery
Along with Wasatch, Squatters (147 W. 300 South) is a member of the Utah Brewers Cooperative. After ordering any of their classic American dishes, make sure to sample their most popular Hop Rising Double IPA, then their Full Suspension Pale Ale, Outer Darkness Russian Imperial Stout and the Red Nitro Ale.
Uinta Brewing Co.
A key ingredient in Utah's brewery mix, Uinta Brewery can be found at 1722 Fremont St. in West Valley. Uinta's motto is "Earth, Wind and Beer." The 801 Pilsner, Cutthroat Pale Ale, Baba Black Lager and Piggyback Session Peach IPA will fill our flight of samples.
Vernal Brewing Co.
Near the Colorado River, Vernal Brewing Co. (55 S. 500 East) is home to an isolated pocket for local consumer-saurus to enjoy. If a full flight were allowed, then the Allosaurus Amber Ale, Little Hole Lager, Directional Smoked Porter and She's a Peach Wheat Ale would be on it.
When Greg Schirf relocated to Utah from Milwaukee (the beer capital of the U.S.) in the 1980s, he was quick to notice the lack of breweries. Thanks to his efforts, brewpubs have since been allowed in our lawful land. Located at 250 Main in Park City, and with a brewpub in Salt Lake City at 2110 S. Highland Drive, Wasatch Brewery is home to some of Utah's most popular brews, like Polygamy Porter and Devastator Double Bock Lager. Our flight would contain samples from Ghostrider White IPA, Polygamy Nitro Porter, Last One In Lager and (one of my personal favorites) the Apricot Hefeweizen.
Zion Canyon Brewing Co.
If you're traveling down to southern Utah, check out not only the beauty of Zion National Park, but also its brewery at 2400 Zion-Mount Carmel Highway in Springdale. Sample the Burnt Mountain Brown, the Red Alter Irish red ale, the Ascender Hefeweizen and the Paradox Session IPA.
New kids on the block Fisher Brewing Co. and RoHa Brewing Project, I'm eyeing you for a follow-up