Since Greg Schirf founded Utah’s first microbrewery in 1986, Beehive brewers have gotten serious about their art. Just about every brewery in Utah has a wall covered with awards. And brew’s rising popularity means that beer lists get the same kind of attention as wine lists.
Here’s where to find Salt Lake’s finest.
Proper Brewery Co. and Proper Burger Co.
865 Main St., SLC, 801-953-1707, properbrewingco.com
From the same proper folks who brought you the Avenues Proper, Proper Brewery Co. and Proper Burger Co. hugely expands the brewing capacity of the original and adds a burger emporium with front and back urban patios.
Desert Edge Brewery at the Pub
273 Trolley Square, 801-521-8917,
“I brew at least one brand-new beer a year,” says brewmaster Chris Haas, who says variety sets Desert Edge apart. Haas conducts Beer School at the pub on the first Thursday evening of the month and encourages an open mind. “People just don’t realize how many different beer flavors there are.”
Uinta Brewing Company head brewer Kevin Ely inspects the brewery’s state-of-the-art brewhouse
Uinta Brewing Company
1722 Fremont Dr., SLC, 801-467-0909, uintabrewing.com
“What sets us apart from most other local brewers is simple,” says Uinta Brewing Company founder Will Hamill. “We make beer. Period.” Uinta built a 26,000-square-foot brewing facility for new lines like certified organic beers called Four+ and Crooked Line, beer in corked bottles with labels designed by local artists. At supermarkets and state liquor stores.
Squatters Brewpub head brewer Jason Stock testing his beer
Squatters Pub Brewery/Wasatch Brewery
Greg Schirf’s Wasatch Beers and Brewpub merged with Jeff Polychronis and Peter Cole’s Squatters Pubs and Beers in 2000, forming Utah Brewers Cooperative, which wins awards every year. Squatters is one of the most popular watering holes in Salt Lake, and Wasatch Brew Pub in Sugar House is catching up fast
The Beerhive Pub
128 S. Main St., 801-364-4268
The Beerhive attracts a crowd ranging from hipster kids to Happy Hour suits. An impressive selection of craft beers is served at the unique ice bar, literally a strip of ice that runs the length of the bar to keep your brew at the right temperature.
94 E. 7200 South, Midvale, 801-566-5474, bohemianbrewery.com
Specializing in the lagers beloved by Bohemian’s owners’ Czech forebears, beer here follows the ancient Reinheitsgbot or German Purity Law: fermented naturally for at least 8 weeks at temperatures just above freezing, so they ferment naturally. Enjoy them with the excellent Czech-German cuisine next door.
Epic Brewing Company
825 S. State St., SLC, 801-906-0123, epicbrewing.com
Epic was the first Utah brewery since prohibition to brew exclusively high-alcohol content beer. But its mission, according to co-owner David Cole, is simple. “We want to make good beer that people want to drink.” You can buy cold beer to-go at Epic’s brewery or enjoy it paired with food at their Annex in Sugar House.
Red Rock Brewery
254 S. 200 West, SLC, 801-521-7446, redrockbrewing.com
Brewmaster Kevin Templin is an admitted perfectionist. “Every beer has to be world-class,” he says. For a German pilsner, he doesn’t just brew in the German style, he uses German malt, hops and yeast. The pub draws on 45 recipes for its rotating election beers.