This is not the article I had planned to write. Earlier this month on the weekend of International Women’s Day (March 8th) the ladies of the Utah chapter of the Pink Boots Society and the Hop Bombshells Homebrew Club gathered separately to brew their collaboration beers using the 2020 Pink Boots hop blend. The Pink Boots Society Utah chapter brewed a Zwickelbier at Proper Brewing Co. while the Hop Bombshells made a rye pale ale at SaltFire Brewing Co. Both beers, along with several others brewed by local breweries using the same hop blend, would have been served at the Pink Boots Tap Takeover event at The Garten on April 5th. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping the globe, plans have changed.
What a weekend it was! I spent two days in a row brewing with amazing women at two different local commercial breweries. We enjoyed each other’s company while lovingly completing each step of the brewing process in anticipation of the final product. Little did we know how much would change and how quickly. It was the last weekend the state of Utah would enjoy precious normalcy. Just a few days later, the governor announced that there should be no gatherings of 100 or more people for the time being. Sporting events, concerts, and other events were all canceled. So, the Pink Boots of Utah were compelled to make the heartbreaking decision to cancel the tap takeover.
Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen a complete transformation of the brewing industry as it struggles to adapt to the latest rules and restrictions. On March 17th, all restaurants and bars were ordered to close for dine-in services, leaving many businesses out of options. While they can offer food and drink to-go, Utah’s alcohol laws are preventing many breweries from selling their products. As if Utah liquor laws weren’t confusing enough, we’re now seeing breweries, taprooms, and brewpubs with different sets of rules that vary according to the types of licenses they hold. If they serve food, they can offer that food for takeout and even curbside service. But, when it comes to alcoholic beverages, things get a bit murky.
It seems the DABC has relaxed some rules in order to allow businesses to sell packaged beer to-go. For example, Red Rock Brewing is now able to sell bottled beer to-go (but only 5% ABV or higher) from their downtown location instead of just from the beer store located at their production brewery. Beer-centric restaurant, The Bayou, received approval to sell packaged beer of 5% ABV or lower to-go. The caveat for buying beer to-go is that you must go inside to get it (no curbside sales). But what about draft beer? Some places can fill crowlers and growlers (some are only filling new glass), and others are forced to sit on their draft beer debating whether to go through the intensive process of getting the label approval required to package it. One popular Salt Lake brewery specializing in draft beer, Fisher Brewing, has closed its doors completely until further notice.
As this crisis unfolds, Utah’s craft beer community is coming together to support each other and local breweries. We can’t take for granted that our favorite places to eat, drink, and hang out will still be there when this is all over. If you can, order takeout from your favorite restaurant or brewpub, and be sure to stock your fridge with beer to-go from local breweries, distilleries, and cideries. Buy gift certificates for future use to help them keep their cash flowing. Call ahead or check social media for specifics on what is being offered. Uinta Brewing has put together a website (utahbeerstores.com) in support of all Utah’s breweries to help people locate where to buy beer and cider throughout the state. You may also consider purchasing a “Salt Lake Strong” t-shirt in support of the local business of your choice.
Distilleries are also stepping up to the plate. With hand sanitizer in short supply, distilleries have been using their alcohol to produce and distribute sanitizer to those in need. Ogden’s Own Distillery is now making “Five Wives Sanitize” (instead of Five Wives Vodka) for sale to the public and has donated some of it to hospitals and health care workers. Sugar House Distillery is also producing sanitizer and giving it to retirement centers and anyone who needs it. Pick up a bottle at their store front for free (additional bottles $4), and leave a tip to be donated to unemployed bar and restaurant workers via One Small Miracle and Utah Restaurant Association. Salt Flats Spirits and Outlaw Distillery are also making and distributing hand sanitizer while other distilleries are looking to make it as they are able to source ingredients.
Living through this past month has been surreal and strange, but it’s heartening to see so many reaching out to help wherever they can. Those Pink Boots collaboration brew days seem like a lifetime ago, and I wonder if the public will ever get to taste the beer we made. Epic Brewing was able to release their Pink Boots offering, Imperial Pink Ale, so pick a bottle up at their shop. I expect the beer we made at Proper, Zwickeled Pink, will be available at some point as it has a label and can be canned. We’ll have to wait and see about the rest. We will let you know if any more become available. A portion of the sales of these beers will benefit the Pink Boots Society in support of women in the brewing industry.
Here is a list of local breweries and what they are offering. Visiting the brewery directly gets money in their pockets right away. We’ve noted which breweries are only filling new glass growlers. We will try to update this list as changes are made, but circumstances are shifting daily so you may want to call ahead before you go. We appreciate all our breweries for helping us stay sane and all the craft beer drinkers out there doing what they can to sustain them.
Bottle shop open: beer to-go, growler fills
As of May 4th: drive-thru dining service, beer to-go (packaged and draft)
Takeout food, beer to-go in bottles and growlers (new glass only)
Look for bottles in grocery and convenience stores. Check availability
Closed, but Fisher is currently selling rotating crowlers of Desert Edge beer.
Beer to-go in pre-filled crowlers (check social media for daily availability), merch available online
Takeout food, beer to-go in crowlers, online store (merch)
Bottle shop open: beer to-go, 16-oz crowlers, and growler fills
Takeout food, food delivery through DoorDash, beer to-go in crowlers and growlers
Opening May 7th for dine-in, takeout food (curbside available), limited release beer (The First SnoAle) available to-go, no growler fills currently
Bottle shop open: cans to-go, growler fills (new glass only)
Opening May 15th for dine-in, takeout food, online ordering, bottle shop open: 5% ABV crowlers and high-point cans
Open for dine-in, drive-thru food to-go and growler fills (new glass only), beer and spirits available for pick up, online store (merch, gift cards)
Bottle shop open: cider to-go (curbside available), virtual happy hour Saturdays at 5:30pm (check Facebook), offering homemade face masks to the public
Opening taproom May 15th. Growler and crowler fills, high-point bottles and pre-filled crowlers to-go when available, “Band Together Southern Utah” live-streamed music from local artists via Facebook
Bottle shop open: beer to-go, pre-packaged crowlers, select growler fills (new glass only)
Proper Burger: takeout food with curbside pickup, drive-thru coming soon, call or order online, food delivery via DoorDash, PostMates, GrubHub, Uber Eats, purchase beer to-go from bottle shop next door
Craft by Proper: closed
Beer Store open: beer to-go, growler fills
Limited capacity dine-in available at brewpubs starting May 11th. All locations (Downtown, Kimball Junction, and Fashion Place) still offering takeout food with curbside pickup (call to order, order online from Fashion Place), bottled beer to-go at downtown location only, online store (merch, gift cards)
Bottle shop open: beer to-go, growler fills (new glass only, can return for refund within 30 days of re-opening), curbside service, online store (merch, gift cards)
Opening for dine-in May 12th. All locations open for takeout food with curbside pickup, online ordering, food delivery (25th Street and Layton), beer to-go, growler and crowler fills, virtual tastings (check Facebook)
Taproom now open. Bottle shop open: beer to-go, canned cocktails, bottled spirits, no growler fills, house-made hand sanitizer available, order online for pick up (hand sanitizer can be shipped)
Bottle shop open: beer to-go, online store (gift cards)
Bottle shop open: beer to-go with curbside pickup, take-and-bake pizza
Bottle shop open: beer, liquor, and eggnog to-go
Takeout food with curbside pickup, food delivery (third-party services), beer to-go, online store (merch, gift cards)
Opening for dine-in May 4th. Takeout food with drive-thru and curbside pickup at both locations (Springville and Lehi)
Bottle shop open: cans to-go, crowlers
Taproom now open. Bottle shop open: bottles to-go, crowlers and growlers
Bottle shop open: beer to-go, high-point crowlers, crowler and growler fills, online store (merch)
Bottle shop open: beer to-go, no growler fills, online store (merch)
Open for dine-in. Bottle shop open: beer to-go
Patio open for dine-in, takeout food, beer to-go, growler fills, curbside pickup available
Takeout food with curbside pickup at Sugarhouse location (Park City location is closed), online store (merch, gift cards)
Bottle shop open: beer to-go, growler fills
Brewpub in Springdale is open for takeout food, growler fills, and food delivery within Springdale. Station II in St. George is filling growlers. Online store