Much like everything else in Salt Lake, beer is growing at a rapid rate.
Utah has been notoriously known as a place where it’s hard to get a drink. For many years, my friends and colleagues would come to town to snowboard and such, and I would have to describe Utah’s weird liquor laws. Would they have to become members of a private club, have a sponsor or give up their first-born child?
Today, we have so many breweries popping up on a yearly basis that it would shock and impress my friends.
For a long time, there were two main producers of beer leading the Utah market. The brewers co-op of Wasatch-Squatters and Uinta Brewing have been the big fish in the shallow pond. Both make very tasty beer and have enjoyed success, but Utah beer drinkers have wanted more.
Things began to change in 2008, when breweries were allowed to produce “high-point” beer and sell it to the DABC (Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control) and to the public through their breweries. Local brewpubs that had been producing quality beverages for years and selling them only to their patrons were now rethinking their business — the beer tides were shifting.
Founded in 2010, Epic Brewing is the first brewery since prohibition to produce exclusively high alcohol content beer. Known for their 22-ounce bombers, Epic has won many awards for their beer and opened another location in Denver, Colorado.
Red Rock opened its doors in 1994 and has been producing great beer ever since. They started life as a brewpub and have several locations in downtown SLC, Fashion Place and Kimball Junction. Since 2011, Red Rock has been producing six quality, high-point beers and selling them to the DABC and local restaurants.
Originally founded in 1884, these fellas looked to resurrect a family relic. This nonchalant brewery is located in the bourgeoning Granary District of Salt Lake. They don’t make food, they focus on making craft beer for draft primarily. Rumor has it that some high-point beers are in the works for the future.
RoHa cracked open their doors in 2017. Although new to the market, you have probably tasted beers from the hands or mind of founder Chris Haas at some point. He spent a number of years working for Squatters and was the head brewer at Desert Edge for 17 years.
With all the changes happening in the beer world here in Utah, you might have a hard time keeping up. There are many new beers for you to fill your days and nights with. If you want to experience most of them together, you might want to consider hitting up the Utah Beer Festival coming this August at the Salt Lake Fairgrounds.