Let’s talk about all things beer in the picturesque state of Utah! I think it is worth dispelling some myths, and talking about the good and bad of beer in this state. Here is everything you need to know about beer in Utah!
Can I Drink Beer in Utah?
Yes, you certainly can. I know this might sound like a silly question, but it’s one that I got several times before making the move here.
Beer, wine, and liquor are legal across the state of Utah.
That said, at least as of September, 2018, there were 9 cities that you are not able to purchase alcoholic beverages. Aneth, Aurora, Blanding, Hatch, Highland, Holden, Navajo Mountain, Scipio, and White Mesa. These are relatively small towns.
However, there is state law that says that local jurisdictions cannot enact legislation that conflicts with state law, which prevents communities from going completely ‘dry’ like you see in some of the South US.
What Alcohol Percentage Beer Can You Buy in Utah?
Can’t you just buy 3.2% beer in Utah? Not anymore!
As of November, 2019 you are able to get draft beer in restaurants/breweries/bars up to 5% ABV.
However, you are able to buy beer that is ‘high point’ (above 5%) for both dining-in as well as home consumption, but this will come in a bottle or can.
There have been multiple changes on the way to 5% ABV level, but as of this writing (2021), the limit is 5% for draft beer.
Can I Buy Beer at the Grocery Store in Utah?
Yes, you can buy beer at grocery stores or convenience stores in Utah. The ABV limit for beers purchased in these locations is 5%.
Because of this, a lot of breweries brew their beer right at 5% ABV so that it can be easily accessible in grocery stores across the state.
There do not seem to be any restrictions on keeping this beer refrigerated or not.
So, Where Can I Get Beer Above 5% ABV in Utah?
You can obtain beer over the 5% ABV limit by purchasing from a brewery that has already bottled/canned it or from the state-run liquor stores.
An entity known as the DABC (Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control) runs these liquor stores. These stores are fairly prevalent in the larger cities in Utah. I would say that the selection in these stores is decent, and the prices are reasonable.
The variety differs just slightly from store-to-store. You can request that the store order certain beers, but often times, you will have to set out to purchase a whole case.
The beers sold at these state-run liquor stores are almost all higher than 5% ABV, and they are not kept refrigerated.
You will see, though, that the high point beers at breweries are kept refrigerated.
Because all high point beer in the state of Utah has to be sold at DABC there are no private bottle or liquor stores in the state.
Is Beer Expensive in Utah?
Like many things in life, cost of beer is relative. Compared to where we are from, the state of Arizona, I’ve noticed that beer is actually quite a bit cheaper here in Utah. Granted many of these beers are lower gravity beers, which tend to cost less to produce.
Can Children Enter Breweries in Utah?
Only some breweries in Utah are ‘kid friendly’.
I have to say, this has been the biggest adjustment for us coming from Arizona. We have two young children that would often accompany us to lunch or dinner at our local breweries.
I remember our first brewery experience in Salt Lake City, my family went to sit down at a table for lunch. The staff looked at us quite quizzically and asked what we were doing. They then informed us that probably at least half of the breweries in Utah are 21+ even if children are accompanied by an adult.
Given that we do not have great access to babysitters, this has significantly limited our options for breweries here in the state.
Fortunately, in Ogden, UT where we have been living, the majority of the breweries are kid friendly.
Bottom line here, before making any big plans, make sure to check if kids are allowed at the brewery you want to hit!
I will provide a list of breweries that I’ve verified are kid friendly as of 2021.
Is Utah Beer Good?
I would say… definitely yes!
I have been very pleasantly surprised with the quality of beer in the state of Utah. There are several up-and-coming breweries putting out a great variety of styles.
As a homebrewer, it is also very impressive to me that breweries are making quality beer of all styles under 5%. If you’ve tried to brew session strength beer in the past, you likely know that it can be tough to obtain the same mouthfeel and overall impression with low alcohol limits.
For more information on brewing session beers, I highly recommend this book!
Do I Need a Membership to Go in Bars in Utah?
This is another question that may seem crazy, but it was a valid question until fairly recently.
Prior to the summer of 2009, Utah bars/taverns required a ‘membership’ to obtain entry. This essentially worked as a cover charge to get in. However, you can see how this additional cost could be off-putting to tourists and even locals!
I was not in Utah, nor was I 21yo, at this time, so I don’t know how exactly this played out. However, it sounds like the vast majority of locals are very happy that this law does not exist today.
What is the ‘Zion Curtain’?
I’ll be honest, I was not aware of this until I started writing this article.
The Zion Curtain was legislature that meant bartenders were not able to prepare drinks in sight of patrons. At some bars, they had to put up a physical barrier at the bar to shield the taps and other drinks being poured.
This legislature was reformed in mid-2017.
Interesting Things I’ve Noticed
I believe most, if not all, breweries serve samples/flights in 2oz glasses. There seems to be a limit on a maximum of four samples per person at a time. Once you finish one 2oz sample, you’re able to get another one.
I’ve noticed that places of business are very strict about checking IDs here in Utah. Similar to what I’ve noticed in Colorado as well. We went to Applebee’s (of all places) on one occasion recently, and I had to get my ID ‘double-verified’ by a restaurant manager as well.
I have continued to notice that at many locations, taps are under the bar or behind a separate wall. I’ve also noticed that you have to sit a certain distance from the bar if you are accompanied by children. I assume that this has to do with part of the ‘zion curtain’ legislature.
What Breweries are Kid Friendly in Utah?
I have verified either by traveling to the locations or by phone call that the following breweries are kid friendly as of this writing (2021).
Salt Lake Region
Bohemian Brewery– 94 7200 S, Midvale, UT 84047
Bonneville Brewery– Southwest of SLC, 1641 N Main St, Tooele, UT 84074
Desert Edge Brewery– 273 Trolley Square, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Hoppers Brew Pub– 890 East Fort Union Blvd, Midvale, UT 84047
Red Rock Brewery– Downtown SLC, 254 South 200 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Fashion Place, 6227 South State, Murray, UT 84107
Squatters Craft Beers– SLC, 147 Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Strap Tank Brewery– South of SLC, 3661 Outlet Pkwy, Lehi, UT 84043
Wasatch Brewery– SLC, 2110 Highland Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Ogden River Brewing Company– 358 Park Blvd, Ogden, UT 84401
A newer brewery, putting out quality food and beer.
Roosters Brewing Company– Downtown Ogden, 253 25th St, Ogden, UT 84401
Layton Location, 748 Heritage Park Blvd, Layton, UT 84041
***Roosters B-Street Brewery is not kid friendly
UTOG– 2331 Grant Ave, Ogden, UT 84401
Very good food and beer, backs to the minor league baseball field!
Slackwater Pizzeria and Pub– 1895 Washington Blvd, Ogden, UT 84401
This is not technically a brewery, but they have a great variety of beer, as well as awesome pizza!
Red Rock Brewery– Park City, 1640 W. Redstone Center, Park City, UT 84098
Squatters Craft Beers– Park City, 1900 Park Ave, Park City, Utah
Wasatch Brewery– Park City, 250 Main St, Park City, Utah
Vernal Brewing– 55 S 500 E, Vernal, UT 84078
Moab Brewery– 686 S Main St, Moab, UT 84532
Zion Brewing– 95 Zion Park Blvd, Springdale, UT 84767
Edge of the World Brewery– 70 N Central St, Colorado City, AZ 86021
Technically not in Utah, in a border town of Utah and AZ. Very interesting town and brewery!
There’s currently about 40 active breweries in Utah, not including the multiple locations breweries have.
Out of those, 14 are kid friendly, so about 35% of the breweries in Utah are kid friendly as of this writing.
Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the article, and learned a thing or two about beer in the state of Utah!
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