The Quest for the Holy Grain - Best Brew Pubs
Utah

 

 

Park City

Salt Lake City

Vernal

 

 

 

Wasatch Brew Pub
250 Main Street
Park City, UT 84060
Phone: (435) 649-0900

The Wasatch Brew Pub in Park City -- I'd wanted to visit this place ever since I first heard about Polygamy Porter. Park City is like Disney World if you're rich and an adult...I am neither.
The Brew Pub is towards the end of Main Street and has a bar, indoor seating area on several levels, and outdoor seating.
Temperatures were in the 50's the night I visited. Only a few other patrons and I dined outside.
I tried two samples of Polygamy Porter, so I can now say I have had polygamy in Utah.
IMHO, people buy Polygamy for the name alone. So marketing does work; it got me to Park City, but I wouldn't rush back for it.
It was relatively flat and wasn't as "deep" as other porters I've had. Wasatch is part of the Utah Brewer's Cooperative along with Squatters.
As a result, all of Squatters beers are also sold at the pub. I tried a bottle of the Off Duty IPA which was quite good. The food is pub grub and pretty decent, though the bar was very short staffed and the wait staff were exceedingly overwhelmed that night.
One other note...there's a cooler from which one can buy bottles of Wasatch and Squatters beers to go. Prices start at just over a dollar a bottle, which is a great deal!

 

 

Vernal Brewing Company
55 South 500 East
Vernal Utah, 84078
1-435-781-Beer (2337)

Vernal Brewing Company is located in an architecturally interesting building just off the "main drag" of Vernal, Utah.
The "VBC" features a selection of their own beers on tap, other Utah, western U.S., and macro brews, and various wines.
There is an outdoor seating area and garden as well as the indoor bar and seating area.
The menu is upscale, not pub grub, and is a work in progress. Due to Utah's arcane laws, the beer on draught is no higher than 3.2 ABV.
Beer served in bottles may have a higher ABV.
I had the Red Ale as this sounded like the most interesting beer on tap. It was okay, not great. Decent flavor, no carbonation, and really disapponting as it warmed to outside temperature.
As dinner was after an eight-hour travel day with a short drive ahead, I didn't want to sample any of the other beers on tap.
Speaking of which, in Utah, one is charged for a sample. It's a minimal amount, but no free beer in the Beehive State.
Also, one may have no more than two samples in front of them at the same time.

 

 

 

Squatters Airport Pub
Salt Lake City Internat'l Airport
Terminal Two - Concourse C

We are listing Squatters Airport Pub as a brew pub although the beer is brewed at their downtown location.
Squatters has a brewpub located at Salt Lake City International Airport, so I was able to enjoy one last Utah beer before heading home, the Lupulin Drift IPA.
What is lupulin?
The easy answer is the component of hops that adds bitterness to beer.
I rated the Off Duty slightly higher than the Lupulin Drift, 4.0 and 3.75, respectively, so perhaps the Lupulin was too bitter.
Some breweries try too hard for the hop bombs and forget the citrus or piney taste that some of us dig so much.
The location features an extensive food menu, and full bar service is available from 8am to midnight.
The food and beer are worth a return trip; I'm actually planning on changing planes in Salt Lake some time in the future so I can again dine at Squatters. And because they trademarked the motto "Good for what ales you."

 

Squatters Pub Brewery
Phone 801-363-2739
147 West Broadway
Salt Lake City UT 84101

First of all, you have to understand that brewpub beer in Utah is about 4.0% ABV. Having said that, Squatters is a fun place that makes a variety of beers that are more than drinkable; pils, IPA, hefeweizen, and stout to name a few. There are quite a few styles, they all seemed to be in stock, and they don't taste the same. Plus, a nitrogen tap. Look at the photo above. That thing in the back is called a "table tap." It's a cylinder, about a meter high, holding 2 liters of beer. Twelve bucks. A gimmick, sure, but it's fun to watch the bar staff try to fill them. I was even fortunate enough to meet up with some genuine Belgians. (see left) When you leave, walk the block-and-a-half to the Red Rock Brew Pub if you have any room left.

 

 

Red Rock Brewing Company
254 South 200 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101
801-521-7446 -Phone

Ok...so Red Rock may feel like a chain, but darn it, I liked the beers.
And then you've got the Utah beer laws, which you should ask your bartender to explain.
If you understand them, you should have another beer.
We ordered an Abbey Ale, Dunkelweizen, Jr. IPA, Oatmeal Stout and Pilsener, of which the IPA was best, even for a Jr.
As you leave, walk down to Squatters just a block or so away.
Neither should be missed if you're in Salt Lake.

 

 

Desert Edge Brewing at the Pub
273 Trolley Square
Salt Lake City
801-521-8917

Desert Edge is located in an interesting trolley building.
4.0 Brews include pils, hefeweizen, several ales, Munich lager, porter, and stout; most all have won awards.
We preferred the hefeweizen. The Latter Day Stout is a nitrogen tap.
Desert View was an oasis on a 100-degree day.