‘Brewtah’ Now on Artisinal Beer Map

Seven Salt Lake City brewpubs to visit.

My earliest visits to Utah were in a time that was not appealing to those who enjoy adult beverages. Buying hard liquor was complicated and involved short-run membership in “private clubs,” beer was 3.2 and wine was rare. That was then, and this is now, and seven Salt Lake City brew pubs have been identified for their mastery of the brewing art in a hospitable city.

Avenues Proper  

Located in neighborhood, Avenues Proper has the feel of a neighborhood hangout and offers an extensive comfort food menu for lunch, dinner and brunch. Think General Tso’s pork belly tacos, a meatloaf sandwich or chicken and waffles, paired with an array of brews that have become local favorites, such as Brumblin’ Brown, Faultline IPA and Patersbier.

Desert Edge Brewery

Desert Edge was serving beer in historic Trolley Square as far back as 1972 and got into craft brewing in 1995. They been producing “session” beers long before it was cool. And their brews, such as Happy Valley Hefeweizen, Utah Pale Ale and Cluster Fuggle, have a strong core of devotees. The lunch and dinner menu is broad and casual, covering salads, sandwiches and Mexican fare.

Epic Brewing Company

Epic’s high-octane beers include like Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist, Smoked & Oaked Belgian Style Ale and Hopulent IPA. The four-ounce tasters are for those who want to tread gingerly. For eats, the new Black Sheep at Epic Brewing a cut or two above standard pub fare and offers a small but ambitious lunch and dinner menu serving burgers, Mexican-inspired dishes and Native American-influenced fare like Brisket Navajo Tacos.

Red Rock Brewery

This downtown favorite has earned such awards as “Brew Pub of the Year” from Brewpub Magazine and “Large Brewpub of the Year” at Denver’s Great American Beer Festival. They offer lunch, dinner and late-night bar snacks seven days a week. Such brews as Drioma Russian Imperial Stout, Frohlich Pils German Style Pilsner and Grand Bavaria German Style Weiss have earned more than 100 regional and national awards.

Squatters Pub Brewery

Founded in 1989 and housed inside a historic downtown hotel, Squatters has long been a go-destination for beer lovers and those seeking a fantastic casual dining option. The Jambalaya, Black & Blue Burger and Blackened Tilapia Salad are tried-and-true favorites, especially when paired with a Full Suspension Pale Ale, an Outer Darkness Russian Imperial Stout or a refreshing American Wheat Hefeweizen.

Uinta Brewing Company’s Brewhouse Pub

Whether it’s a Baba Black Lager, a Piggyback Peach IPA or the signature Cutthroat Pale Ale, Uinta has made a big name for itself since 1993 in the world of Utah craft beers. The pub serves a small menu of apps, sandwiches and burgers, ideal for those afternoons when après ski beer tasting slides into dinner. Their General Store offers all of their beers to go, including limited releases.

Wasatch Brew Pub

In 1986, when Greg Schirf opened Utah’s first brewery since Prohibition, his move was a game changer for Salt Lake. Two years later, he took it further, proposing a bill to the Utah Legislature that resulted in the opening of the state’s first brew pub in 1988. Today, the Wasatch Brew Pub in the Sugarhouse neighborhood is where to find the beers with the cheekiest names in the state, including Polygamy Porter, Provo Girl and Evolution Amber Ale. Wasatch also offers a large menu of great pub fare, including burgers and pizzas.