Might be moving to Utah

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H-ost

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There is a possibility that I may take a job which would require me to move to Salt Lake City.

As far as beer drinking goes, do you get plenty of good stuff over there?
How is it for a homebrewing supplies and the homebrewing community?
Anything I should be aware of?
 

TimpanogosSlim

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You've heard that utah has strange alcohol laws, and that is true.

There are three good homebrew supply stores in the salt lake valley and iirc a couple in southern utah (richfield and st. george?).

Grocery stores don't have anything over 4% ABV and availability on sunday varies by city BUT good beers from local breweries are almost universally available (in 4.0ABV form).

Everything higher than 4% is sold either direct from the brewery or from state-owned stores that have a good but not exhaustive selection. A complete list of beverages available from the ABC stores can be found here:

http://abc.utah.gov/products/index.html

I have heard it alleged that the salt lake valley has the highest per-capita concentration of breweries in the nation and i sort of believe this. There are many microbreweries i have not had the pleasure of visiting. Epic is very good but you pay for it. Utah Brewer's Co-Operative aka Wasatch and Squatters breweries (they share) is now technically an award-winning medium-size brewery producing hundreds of thousands of gallons of truly decent beer per year. Uinta is quite good as well.

Of course you can get stronger beer in bars but you generally cannot leave with it (with the possible exception of growlers with a seal sticker applied over the cap).

Oh, and ordering a mixed drink at a restaurant in utah is a fool's errand due to nonsensical restrictions on how many shots can be in it.
 

zymurph

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As Timp Slim said, you can still get good beer in SLC, you just have to work harder for it. The local microbrews are really good (Epic is one of my favorites, and not overpriced at all). It can be difficult to get good out-of-state brews as the beer is all imported by the state DABC. If it's not on their list, you won't be able to get it. The Beerhive and the Bayou are your best bets as far as selection goes. It can be frustrating, but where there is a will... All that being said, I'm moving back to TX, and beer is a significant reason.
 
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H-ost

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It is still too soon to tell but it looks like this may become a reality.

Just to clarify... You CAN get beers above 4% but just not grocery stores? You CAN brew your own beer but is it very frowned upon by the rest of the community?

Other than you two responders, are there plenty of us (homebrewers) around?
 

TimpanogosSlim

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It is still too soon to tell but it looks like this may become a reality.

Just to clarify... You CAN get beers above 4% but just not grocery stores? You CAN brew your own beer but is it very frowned upon by the rest of the community?

Other than you two responders, are there plenty of us (homebrewers) around?
You can get beers above 4% but if you want to take it home you have to buy it from the state stores or directly from the brewery. There are many breweries.

I think i provided a link to the state store's catalog pdf. Your most local ABC store may or may not have what you want in stock, but if it's in the catalog they can get it for you. The ABC store prices are usurious. Just think of it as supporting public education.

Homebrewing has been tolerated since at least the 80's and has been explicitly legal since the 90's.

I give my spent grain to my very mormon neighbor who keeps chickens. How tolerant your neighborhood is really depends on your neighborhood. Salt lake city is only about half mormon, you know. I live in Orem which is overwhelmingly mormon, and they seem to have gotten over it.

There are three good LHBS in salt lake city. One of them has been open since the 80's but is struggling these days. And the guy who runs it is a bit of a character. If you are moving to somewhere far south of Salt Lake City, I think the next LHBS is in Richfield.

There seem to be plenty of homebrewers around, but we don't seem to congregate anywhere but the LHBS. The guess is that this is because many of us are lapsed mormons and don't exactly want to advertise it on facebook, etc, for fear of offending family, etc.

I mean, every time i find a piece of gear for my brewing on a local classified listing, it turns out to be sold by a home brewer, even if it's not strictly something for homebrewing. I got my jet-engine-like propane rig from a guy who went electric.
 
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H-ost

H-ost

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Thank you for responding Timp.

As long as there is a dive bar that serves a few options of craft beer and I can go to the brewery to grab some there, I think I will be happy down there.

I am slightly disappointed though, I spent the last year and a half upgrading and upsizing my brewery. I do 10 gallon AG batches and brew outside. However, now that I will most likely not be renting a HOUSE anymore, instead maybe an apartment or town-home, I feel like I will have to sell off some equipment and downsize my brewery to brew inside. The thought of this makes me very sad... but hey, gotta go where the money is I guess.

I am very ignorant to the layout of the state, how far is Orem from SLC?
 

TimpanogosSlim

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I am very ignorant to the layout of the state, how far is Orem from SLC?
Funny you should ask.

I live in Orem and commute to SLC for work - about 38 miles. It's not a huge deal for me. I wish i had a shorter commute but i own a house in Orem and i have a good job in SLC.

People who live in SLC, on the other hand, consider Orem to be unreasonably far away and never go there.

You might get lucky and find a landlord who can give you some shed space to store your brewing gear and won't mind that you brew in the yard. It could happen.
 

TimpanogosSlim

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Oh, and since you are coming from the rain forest, prepare yourself to be dry. And hot.
 
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H-ost

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I would be working with Fastenal Corp. In the beginning of the job, it sounds like I would be traveling out of state the majority of the time, Utah would/will/possibly be more of just a home base for me. If I am not around all the time I guess it would at least make it easier for me to age my beers and my pipeline will probably need less replenishing.:mug:

Everything is still up in the air, I have only been offered the job over the last several months but now I told them I want to jump on it. With that being said, they are making it sound more than just a strong possibility but the timeline of when the job will actually be open is yet to be seen. Not trying to count my chickens before they hatch but I really hope this all goes through.

Anywho, if this does all go down I may need someone who knows the area to show me a few good watering holes...:tank:
 

TimpanogosSlim

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Ah Fastenal. If it holds something together and McMaster doesn't carry it, Fastenal can get it to you. Eventually.

Well congrats on the job, if it's a step up for you, and you get it.

We'll have to go have a homebrew somewhere if you get here.
 
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H-ost

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Oh, and since you are coming from the rain forest, prepare yourself to be dry. And hot.
HAH, yeah I have spent all but 4 years of my life up here and I am definitely not a hot weather person. I will miss being surrounded by evergreens and the local topography around here is great.

I do hear that there is plenty for an outdoorsy person to do in SLC vs some other places so I am not all that bummed.
 
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H-ost

H-ost

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Ah Fastenal. If it holds something together and McMaster doesn't carry it, Fastenal can get it to you. Eventually.
That is pretty funny. I just met a business owner who pretty much said the same exact thing.
 

TimpanogosSlim

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That is pretty funny. I just met a business owner who pretty much said the same exact thing.
A couple years ago there was a modification i wanted to make to my bike that required something like 100mm long M6 thumbscrews in marine-grade stainless, which Fastenal offers, but were clear that they were not in stock and had a lead time.

And six months later they arrived.
 
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H-ost

H-ost

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A couple years ago there was a modification i wanted to make to my bike that required something like 100mm long M6 thumbscrews in marine-grade stainless, which Fastenal offers, but were clear that they were not in stock and had a lead time.

And six months later they arrived.
Coincidentally enough, the business I was referring to is an Import Auto shop. His complaint was that Fastenal does not stock enough of, and has too long of a lead time for, metric fasteners.

What do you ride? I took a spill in '09 and haven't gotten back on except for once or twice on some buddies' bikes.
 

TimpanogosSlim

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Coincidentally enough, the business I was referring to is an Import Auto shop. His complaint was that Fastenal does not stock enough of, and has too long of a lead time for, metric fasteners.

What do you ride? I took a spill in '09 and haven't gotten back on except for once or twice on some buddies' bikes.
Oh, i meant pedal power. In this case it was a KMX tadpole trike.
 

nebben

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Holy crap, I have been away from HBT for a while...

SLC has plenty of beers and at least three homebrew shops in town (Arts, Beernut, Salt City Brew Supply). Beer on tap is going to be 4%, and there are funky rules that you might see sometimes with that. Not often, but they're funky when you do see them. For instance, at Oktoberfest up at Snowbird, they must segregate two areas of crowds: the bottle/can beer area and the draft beer area. Unfortunately, you can't enter the other area with your beer...it's crazy, but somehow its how their permit works. I digress... Grocery stores, gas stations, and so on can sell 4% beer any day of the week (no flavored malt beverages a-la Mikes Hard Lemonade- only in state liquor stores). You can get a high-point beer at restaurants, breweries, and state run liquor stores. The liquor stores are going to be open for lousy hours 5 to 6 days a week depending on where you are in the state. No liquor sales on federal or state holidays, and no liquor (or anything sold by the state liquor stores) on election days. Locals plan ahead for holidays, or are faced with a long arduous trek to Evanston, Wyoming (fireworks, porn, liquor) on Sunday or on a holiday. Bars can still serve every day though, although the election day thing might still be a deal breaker for hard drinks...I'd have to look that one up to be sure. You can get around some of the rules though if you know the tricks. For instance, if you are hard up for a bottle of wine and can't or don't want to drive to Wyoming on Christmas day or something, you can go to Olive Garden or somewhere similar and purchase some food (a "restaraunt" must serve food with any alcohol; only "bars" can serve alcohol sans food), then pay the exorbitant corking fee for a server to open a bottle of wine purchased at said restaraunt, then just don't drink it and take it home. It's an expensive bottle, but you can do it if you're desperate and didn't prepare. Some other places, like Epic, have a restaurant in the brewery and allow the sale of high-point beer even on Sunday.

There are a few breweries in and around town: Wasatch, Squatters, Uinta, Epic, Red Rock, Desert Edge, Hoppers, Bohemian, Roosters, and Shades of Pale. There is plenty of fun in and around town, and although the predominant culture is not one you would want to hang out with, they do make a lot of folks rule out Utah that might not otherwise. To me, it keeps it less crowded than it could be. I love that I can hit the trails on Sundays and see far less people than I did on Saturday. It's awesome.
 
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H-ost

H-ost

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Holy crap, I have been away from HBT for a while...

Beer on tap is going to be 4%
Welcome back!

So, draft beers at bars can't be above 4% but at breweries they can, but bars can sell above 4% in bottles? Is that what you are saying?

I am really excited for the scenery! I love hiking and climbing but I will REALLY miss all the green around here (evergreens and vibrant shrubbery). It will be very different from what I am used to. I will also miss the temperature and hiking in the rain... But, all in all, a change of scenery is usually a good thing. And when you say it is less congested around there that just makes me happier! I can and do get along with everyone but definitely enjoy the peace and quite... "more people more problems" as they say...
 

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I just moved to Utah from Maine about a month ago. I love brewing and drinking, so I was a little nervous about what my neighbors would think. My area is about 50/50 LDS. I made it very clear that I was a drinker/brewer so we could get it all out on the table. Turns out is is no big deal at all, i hang out with them while drinking, the neighbors are all great. I wouldn't take a beer into an LDS home, so if I feel the need for a beer i just go next door to my house for a bit.

I love the area, used to live in the back woods in Maine so it was quite a change. There is so much to do and the weather is beautiful. Yes, it gets hot right now, but the rest of the year will make up for it.
 

Rdallas

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I moved from utah in '03 to tthe north west. Before I moved I had no problems finding good beer. I also have never let abv be a deciding factor in the beer I drink. I drink craft beer for its good flavor not its abv. Some of the best tasting brews ive ever had have been in utah, and at 3.2%. I guess my point is abv doesnt make it a good beer or not. You'll have no problems finding good beer.
As far as anyone that might care about your brewing or not..i always say f... What people think. Your brewing for you, not them. If they got a problem with it they should mind their own business.
 

nebben

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I moved from utah in '03 to tthe north west. Before I moved I had no problems finding good beer. I also have never let abv be a deciding factor in the beer I drink. I drink craft beer for its good flavor not its abv. Some of the best tasting brews ive ever had have been in utah, and at 3.2%. I guess my point is abv doesnt make it a good beer or not. You'll have no problems finding good beer.
As far as anyone that might care about your brewing or not..i always say f... What people think. Your brewing for you, not them. If they got a problem with it they should mind their own business.
FWIW, 3.2% is not ABV: it's 4.0% ABV and 3.2 ABW. The rest of the world talks about beer in %ABV (a higher number), and when talking about Utah beer, they use %ABW (a smaller number) in order to make it sound even more dilute than it is
 

Rdallas

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nebben said:
FWIW, 3.2% is not ABV: it's 4.0% ABV and 3.2 ABW. The rest of the world talks about beer in %ABV (a higher number), and when talking about Utah beer, they use %ABW (a smaller number) in order to make it sound even more dilute than it is
Yup, my bad.
 

Gameface

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The most frustrating thing for me about Utah liquor laws is that they don't make any sense and don't accomplish anything. The people that make our liquor laws are not involved in the food and beverage industry and almost none of them drink, at all.

But we get by. I think we all try extra hard to live our lives the way we want to and not let silly restrictions get us down. I think it makes for a very vibrant counter culture that is almost invisible to the world outside Utah, but is very much alive and kicking inside Utah.
 

TimpanogosSlim

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The most frustrating thing for me about Utah liquor laws is that they don't make any sense and don't accomplish anything. The people that make our liquor laws are not involved in the food and beverage industry and almost none of them drink, at all.

But we get by. I think we all try extra hard to live our lives the way we want to and not let silly restrictions get us down. I think it makes for a very vibrant counter culture that is almost invisible to the world outside Utah, but is very much alive and kicking inside Utah.
Yeah, but in reference to that sort of thing i am reminded of the episode of "Insomniac" that Dave Attell filmed in salt lake city.

Specifically, the house party he goes to, where people in the basement have worked out this really complex system where they drill a hole through a block of ice so that they can awkwardly drink ice cold jagermeister.

After watching that for 30 seconds or so, he takes the bottle, says "You do it like this", and takes a swig.

Trying Too Hard, some of 'em.

I'm pretty sure it was Joseph Smith who said you'll always know a mormon because they can never drink or curse convincingly.
 
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