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The Beer Issue

Celebrating brewers, breweries and the Utah Beer Festival.

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The Utah Beer Festival returns to The Gateway for a two-day event. - FILE IMAGE
  • File Image
  • The Utah Beer Festival returns to The Gateway for a two-day event.

How to Beer Fest
The when, the where, and the who cares?
By Scott Renshaw

Beer-lovers, rejoice: It's time for the 12th annual City Weekly Beer Festival. Those who joined in the fun last year will find many of the details and logistics the same. If you're a newcomer—or getting back into Beer Fest-ing after a hiatus—here's everything you need to know about how to get the most out of your experience.

Dates and times: The Utah Beer Festival takes place Saturday, Aug. 20 and Sunday, Aug. 21, 2 p.m.-8 p.m. each day. Sales of passports (see below) end at 7:30 p.m. each day, with "last pour" at 7:45 p.m.

Venue: The Beer Fest once again takes over the lower level of The Gateway (200 S. 400 East, SLC). Because it's a public thoroughfare, there's no single point of entry nor is any admission fee required for anyone who doesn't plan on drinking.

Designated drivers and other teetotaling guests are welcome to enjoy the vibe, the food trucks and the entertainment (more on that below) free of charge. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are also welcome, and you can bring in chairs or blankets for making a comfy spot by the performance stage. No outside food or beverage (including coolers), please.

Transportation and parking: Garage parking is available at The Gateway, but the Beer Fest will not be validating parking. Attendees are encouraged to ride transit, particularly the Trax Blue Line—as the Planetarium Station will be the easiest way to access the festival area. Free valet bike parking will also be available for those who want to pedal their way to and from the event.

Sampling beers: Those who plan to imbibe will need to purchase a passport with 10 punches for $35 in advance (at, or at the City Weekly offices 175 W. 200 South, Ste. 100, Salt Lake City, with no service charges) or for $40 onsite.

Once onsite, you'll need to get your valid ID checked—same ID rules apply as at any Utah bar—and keep a wristband on at all stations as proof of legal drinking age. You'll also need to exchange digital/paper advance tickets for the physical passports.

More than 200 beers, ciders, hard seltzers and more will be available, at a charge of 2-6 punches for a 5-ounce sample, or 3-6 punches for a 12-ounce pour, depending on the brewer and the beverage type.

If you use up your punches, you can buy more onsite (cards and cash only), but it will be at the $40 day-of-event price, so it's best to plan ahead and get as many as you think you're likely to need. VIP access is only available through advance purchase, not on the dates of the event.

Breweries to look for: More than 70 individual vendors are providing their delicious offerings, ranging from all of your Utah favorites to other regional microbreweries and national brands. For a full list of participating brewers/vendors, visit

Dining and entertainment: Local food trucks will be on hand to provide tasty eats that pair with all of your great beverages, in addition to all of the dining establishments found at The Gateway.

Live entertainment begins on the plaza stage (at the north end of The Gateway near the Olympic fountain) at 4 p.m. daily, with local music headliners including Hoodoo Child on Saturday, and Makisi on Sunday.

Behavior policy: Nobody needs drama. Drink responsibly. No underage drinking is permitted. Vendors may choose not to serve to anyone who is visibly intoxicated. Have fun, be respectful, and let everyone else have fun, too.

Anything else? Visit online, or contact