Not so long ago, getting a drink in Utah involved hoop-jumping antics like mini-bottles and buying a membership. Thankfully those days are history, and not only is getting a drink here as easy as it is anywhere else, but a whole slew of vintners, distillers, and brewers have also taken up residence throughout the state, including right here in Park City.
Wine making is a labor of love for longtime Park City residents Dennis Romankowski and his wife, Gina Coccimiglio, who opened Cognition Winery (6421 N Business Loop Rd, Ste F, 435.640.3206) in 2014. Though the grapes the couple use for their Bordeaux, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and blends come from California, the grapes’ full potential is nurtured and unleashed locally.
A biochemist by trade, David Perkins began hatching fermentation dreams after a visit to the Maker’s Mark Distillery back at the turn of the century. In 2004 he and his family relocated to Park City, and then in 2007, Perkins’s dreams came true with the opening of High West Distillery (435.649.8300). Now, you can sample High West’s full line of award-winning spirits at the Park City saloon (703 Park Ave) and at the Wanship distillery (27649 Old Lincoln Hwy).
Make no mistake, Old Town Cellars (890 Main St, 435.649.3759) is not a wine bar but an “educational experience,” says co-owner Stephen MacKay. There he and business partner David Hildreth blend varietals from Paso Robles and the Willamette Valley. The result is a line of six lovely blends with straightforward names like Old Town Red and Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.
With a vibe that skews toward garage chic, Park City Brewery (2720 Rasmussen Rd, 435.200.8906) is the area’s guy’s guy hangout for watching sports on TV, playing bar games, and, of course, sipping one of the seven on-tap house brews.
Though Squatters Craft Beers (1900 Park Ave, 435.649.9868) are brewed in Salt Lake, the brewery’s founders—Peter Cole and Jeff Polychronis—have such close Park City ties, any list of local libation makers would be incomplete without including this award-winning Utah craft brewer. Stop into their brew pub to sample the Provo Girl Pilsner, Chasing Tail Golden Ale, or Full Suspension Pale Ale. (They serve a mean brunch here on Sundays, as well.)
And then there’s the granddaddy of craft beers in Utah, Wasatch Brewery (250 Main St, 435.649.0900). Wisconsinite Greg Schirf was perplexed with Utah’s lack of breweries when he moved here in the early 1980s. And so he opened his own, along with his Main Street brewpub, where in addition to yummy pub fare, you can sip pints of Wasatch’s Polygamy Porter, Evolution Amber Ale, and First One Down Winter Warmer Ale.