Considering its contentious history with alcohol, Utah may not constitute what people associate with excellent brews. Luckily, the days of buying club memberships to enter a bar are officially over. Here are the best breweries in Salt Lake City.
The Annex by Epic Brewing
Get an early start and head over to The Annex for a brunch beer. Or, enjoy their high-alcohol content beer of up to 4% ABV (with a side of delicious food per Utah state law), before the six seats get taken. The small size of this tap-less tap-room (they pour from bottles to take advantage of another way around Utah state law) limits availability. However, it also provides a close-knit sense of community. This – in conjunction with one of its famous Sour IPA – facilitates friendly conversation with other patrons and the amicable owners David and Peter. The four-ounce taster (available in every flavor of Epic beer) doesn’t hurt either. That being said, be sure to check out the award0winning Brainless Belgium-Style Golden Ale. Alternatively, be a little contrary and order a Big Bad Baptist. This, as the name suggests, is massive and has all the pep of an after-dinner coffee. Watch out for the Sage Saison with a lamb burger or perfectly seasoned crab cake for some surf and turf winners of local acclaim.
1048 E 2100 S,Ste 110, Salt Lake City, Utah, US, 801-742-5490
Squatters Pub Brewery
Brasserie, Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
Squatters Pub Brewery
Housed inside a historic hotel, this successful restaurant and pub features lunch, dinner and evening finger food. Don’t miss the highly acclaimed garlic fries. Open since 1989, Squatters is one of the state’s oldest brewpubs. It offers mixed drinks and wine on its multi-level set up and outdoor patio. Almost always at high capacity, Squatters draws a vibrant young-adult crowd. But for real rowdiness go after games or concerts, or just to enjoy their popular beer flights sitting atop actual skis. For a higher-level ABV with a bit of a cult following, ask for a creamy Carmel bottle of Wasatch’s Devastator. At 8% alcohol, this will definitely do the trick. The pub also has crowd-pleasers like Full Suspension Pale Ale and Polygamy Porter, to get into the Salt Lake spirit.
147 West Broadway Salt Lake City, United States, 801-363-2739
Brewvies Cinema Pub
Want proper good beer and a movie but can’t decide? Come on down to Brewvies and you won’t have to. This cinema-come-pub’s understated vibe is ideal to catch a showing of its featured “nearly new” movies or cult classics on special theme nights. The pub also contains a kitchen offering appetizers, pizza, sandwiches, salads and desserts from 11.30am to 10pm daily. Food of choice and golden ale in hand, walk to the back of the theater and snag one of the couches replete with individual coffee tables. Not in the movie mood? Take a dip in Brewvie’s free pool (open till 5pm) or go get good deals all day on Tuesdays.
677 S 200 W, SteD, Salt Lake City, Utah, US,
Pub, Restaurant, Cajun, $$$
Cajun restaurant, jazz venue, home of billiards, and last but not least award-winning pub, Bayou has it all and then some. As they say, “Welcome to Beervana!” to drink, play, or eat (until 11:30pm or reduced menu until 12pm) while enjoying some live music and an overall great atmosphere. Other than the extensive beer menu, don’t miss the gumbo, blackened catfish, or famous Cajun-spiced sweet potato fries. You can even go 50/50 for all those fries-lovers out there.
645 S State St.,Salt Lake City, Utah, US, 801-961-8400
Uinta Brewing Company
Distributed across the state, Uinta Brew Co proliferates countless tastebud enticing beers. However, the Company also has its own brewpub just 15 minutes west of downtown Salt Lake City. Thanks to Utah law, Unita doubles as a restaurant, with build-your-own sandwiches, hearty soups or piping hot chili to either complement or counteract the beer. The brewpub also operates using eco-friendly power. The pub utilizes 100% wind-generated power and solar-electric paneling while still managing to crank out more than 20 beers with 4-13% AVB since 1993. They too offer tasters (but only two at a time). They also have a beer store featuring community favorites such as the Baba Black Lager. Don’t forget about the food and look out for the handmade chips and Cutthroat trout battered in actual Cutthroat pale ale.
1722 S FremontDr., Salt Lake City, Utah, US, 801-467-0909
Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
With mainly North American craft beers (with a couple Belgium and European styles), the BeerHive offers more than 150 different labels with 25 Utah craft beers on draft at reasonable prices. Hold onto your ski poles, the pub also contains an ice rail. This is, in other words, a trough of ice that runs the length of the bar to maintain the chilled crisp temperature of your beer of choice. Located on Main Street, adjacent Vienna Bistro provides food compliments of chef Frody and a view of the Edinburgh Castle.
128 S Main St., Salt LakeCity, Utah, US, 801-364-4268