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Old 03-01-2011, 06:29 PM   #1
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Default Salt Lake City Brew Pub Recommendations

Hi All.

My wife and I will be heading to Salt Lake City, UT Friday for a short vacation. I was wondering if anybody could make some recommendations for brew pubs in the area. A Google search reveals several. I am hoping to figure out which are the "must visit" establishments and which are so so.

All thoughts and recommendations welcome.

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Old 03-01-2011, 06:55 PM   #2
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There are quite a few good places in the Valley. As far as brew pubs there is Squatter's, The Bohemian, Desert Edge, Hoppers, and Red Rock. Squatter's is one of the more popular places. The atmosphere is great but I personally don't care for their food and a lot of their beers (must just be personal tastes because a lot of people love them). Desert Edge has some good beers but the food can be spotty. Same with The Bohemian. As for Hoppers, they're probably my least favorite beer and food-wise. I love Red Rock though, never had a bad meal or a bad beer there. While not brew pubs, The Bayou and The Beer Hive both offer probably the best selection of bottled beers in Utah. I prefer the food at The Bayou over The Beer Hive (can't go wrong with Hopin' John). Also worth checking out is Epic Brewing on State Street. The sell direct to the public but there isn't a pub. Their beers are also available at The Bayou and The Beer Hive. Enjoy!

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Old 03-01-2011, 08:40 PM   #3
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  • Squatters: Very good beer, nice atmosphere
  • Red Rock: Very good beer, nice atmosphere
  • Bayou: Not a brew-pub, but their selection of locals, domestics, and imports is unparalleled.
  • Bohemian: (down in Midvale, a half block or so off State Street) Good beer, German'ish atmosphere
  • Roosters: (up in Layton and Ogden) Good beer, OK atmosphere
  • Desert Edge: Usually good beer, OK atmosphere
  • Uinta Brewery: I went there once with one guy running the place...on black friday after thanksgiving or something, so it was dead. We did a brewery tour though.
  • Hoppers: (out on Fort Union in Midvale'ish area) OK beer, OK food

The downtown ones (Red Rock, Squatters, Desert Edge, Bayou) are all relatively close to each other, and have great beer. I would recommend a tour-de-SLC and check those out. If I had my druthers, I would do Roosters and Bohemian too. Roosters is a 30+ mile drive from downtown SLC, but I like them.
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:55 PM   #4
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Beer hive FTW!

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Old 03-01-2011, 09:15 PM   #5
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All of the beer that you find will be 4.0 ABV.

It is all in what you are looking for.

Squatters is full of hipsters making the scene.

Redrock it yuppyish.

Desert Edge is in a cool building, the old trolley station, laid back crowd.

What area of Salt Lake are you staying in?

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Old 03-01-2011, 10:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfonnes View Post
All of the beer that you find will be 4.0 ABV.
I was wondering about this. I know Utah has some pretty tough laws with respect to alcohol. However, if you look at the Squatters web page, while most of their beers are 4% a couple of them are listed as being higher. FOr example, the IPA is 6%; and Hop Rising is 9%. Are they able to get some sort of a permit or special exemption for these brews? I'm just trying to learn a bit about the lay of the land (legally) in Utah.

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What area of Salt Lake are you staying in?
Northeast I guess. Just north of I-80 and east of I-15.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfonnes View Post
All of the beer that you find will be 4.0 ABV.
That's actually a myth. While you'll only find 4% on draft, you can get anything in the bottle. I know, it makes no sense to outlaw ABV > 4% on draft but allow it in the bottle, but nobody ever said Utah's liquor laws make sense. This is one of our lingering quirky liquor laws. Removal of this law has actually come up a couple times but it's usually at the end of a congressional session so it seems to always die before the House and/or Senate votes on it. All of Epic's beers are at least 4% and I'd say they're typically around 6-8% but some are higher than that. There's also the Crooked Line of beers from Uinta that are about the same range.

As nebben mentioned, Uinta does have a brew pub but I believe it's only open from 11:am to 7PM, so it's kind of geared towards the lunch crowd and a drink after work.

P.S. There used to be a private club requirement but that law was done away with a couple years ago, so you're free to go to any bar you want.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:55 PM   #8
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Some more clarification: up to 4% beer can be had on draft after 10:30AM, if I recall correctly. You can buy up to 4% beer (no wine coolers or malted flavored beverages though) in grocery stores or gas stations at this time as well. Higher ABV for take-home consumption is available for purchase, but you must buy it from a state-run liquor store of limited hours/locations or directly from certain breweries (the Brewers Co-op down on 1763S 300W is one that does this). You can go to a so-called "private club" of which memberships are no longer required, which is pretty much just a "bar" for all intents and purposes, to order either 4% ABV on draft or 4% + bottles.

The Bayou is a great example of this- they do all the local beers on draft, plus hundreds of domestics and imports (mostly 4% +) of very high quality in bottles. It is a neat experience to try out a lot of different beers without having to pick up a six pack. Their sweet potato fries and dipping sauce is pretty good too.

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Old 03-02-2011, 10:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Roosters is a 30+ mile drive from downtown SLC, but I like them
+1

Being from Logan, the closest brewpub is Roosters. I really enjoy the food and they have a great chocolate stout. If dark ales are not your weapon of choice they've got a killer honey wheat.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:32 PM   #10
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If you head up the Park City way ( about 30 min from SLC ), Wasatch Brew Pub is worth a stop by. The food is good, although in my opinion a bit spendy, and they were the first brew pub in Utah. Just down the street from there is Utah's first ( and recently opened ) distillery, High West. They make a really good whiskey, and actually have a sampler there of several different kinds they make, much like a sampler of beer. They also have a Squatters up there, but I have never been a fan of their food.

Squatters and Wasatch combined a bit ago as the Utah Brewers Cooperative, so there is overlap between the two. They tend to have more seasonal brews at the Wasatch Brew Pub from my experience.

Park City is also a cool old mining town, and now a ski town, if you are into that sort of thing.

The Utah liquor laws are a bit screwy, but they have actually been getting easier to deal with each year. Or you just keep six homebrews on tap at home like I do :-).

Jim

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