Fall Drink Festivals in Park City

What is it about having that first drink of the day when the sun is highest in the sky? There’s a sneaking sense of self indulgence creeping in with each sip that’s hard to put a finger on. For me, it’s the not-so-secret longing of some manufactured idealistic feeling that’s vaguely European, or maybe it’s the comforting admission that nothing of consequence is getting done the rest of the day. Whatever it is, day drinking’s undeniable appeal is pretty ubiquitous, so it’s delightful to see a couple festivals—Deer Valley’s Mountain Beer Festival and the Park City Wine Festival—come to town, cribbing some customs from the Alps in a way our chalet-style architecture can only dream of. 

The Mountain Beer Festival kicks things off at Deer Valley September 16 and 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with two days of suds and sun. The only beer festival in Park City features tastings from more than a dozen Beehive State breweries, including some hyperlocal Summit County brewers like Offset Bier, in a gorgeous setting outside Silver Lake Lodge.

Park City Wine Festival. Photo courtesy of Park City Wine Festival

 The venue is only accessible via a chairlift ride on Silver Lake Express, which is included in every ticket purchase. Tickets start at $45 for General Admission, which gets attendees three tasting tokens and the aforementioned lift ride. The $65 Reserve Package includes two additional tasting tokens and a commemorative mug, while the $85 Imperial Package tacks on a t-shirt, eight total tasting tokens and access to the VIP BBQ tent. For those seeking to maximize the afternoon eating and drinking, the ominously-named package may be just the ticket. 

For less bubbly taste preferences, the October 5-7 Park City Wine Festival is the way to go. In classic wine-culture tradition, the festival is far more than a “come enjoy some booze in the sun” event. The Grand Tastings at Canyons Village on Friday and Saturday from noon to 6:00 p.m. dig into the loose festival vibe with tastings available from more than 100 wineries, but the amateur sommeliers out there will find plenty more to suit them. 

Choose from all manner of wine and food pairings offered—the Portuguese Paradise Lunch sounds particularly appealing—in addition to aficionado-focused events like Wine is Blind. The late-night blind wine tasting will put those “expert” tastebuds to the test by asking participants to rate wines on *gasp* flavor alone. There are also experimental seminars with topics like “Art of Aperitif: Negroni 101” for those looking to gain some knowledge throughout the weekend. 

Full details and tickets for both events are available on festival websites. deervalley.com, parkcitywinefest.com

Snowbird Oktoberfest Park City Wine Festival
Snowbird’s Oktoberfest. Photo by Chris Segal/Snowbird

Snowbird Oktoberfest

Proper respect and mention is deserved for Utah’s original European-style beer festival, Snowbird’s Oktoberfest. Running each weekend from August through mid-October since its inaugural edition in 1972, the event features live music, authentic German fare and of course more than 50 varieties of beer. It’s still the standard against which the others are judged and is worth the trip around and through the Wasatch from Summit County. snowbird.com

Tony Gill
Tony Gillhttps://www.saltlakemagazine.com/
Tony Gill is the outdoor and Park City editor for Salt Lake Magazine and previously toiled as editor-in-chief of Telemark Skier Magazine. Most of his time ignoring emails is spent aboard an under-geared single-speed on the trails above his home.

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