Despite a certain religious persuasion carrying a great deal of weight in Utah, there's a lot more beer brewing (and drinking) going on here in the Beehive State than you might expect. Brewers and breweries are becoming more plentiful, making Utah one of the best places to indulge in regionally and seasonally specific beer. As the long-standing watering hole of the state, Park City is the perfect place to knock one back, especially after a day on the slopes. So if you're looking to diverge from the run-of-the-mill PBR or Budweiser, following are a few seasonal beers recommended by three local brewers.
Ray Madsen - Wasatch Brewery
The proliferation of brewing in Utah has a lot to do with the work put in by Wasatch Brewery, and so naturally we wanted to know which suds Wasatch Brewery Brewer Ray Madsen is quaffing this season. His recommendations include two Wasatch heavy-hitters, the Devastator, an 8% Doublebock with a malty background and creamy richness fitting for any day of the winter, and the hoppier First One Down Winter Warmer Ale, which will warm you up from head to toe on those really cold days (as you might have guessed from the name). If you're looking for a session beer or you're in the mood for something lighter, the Wasatch Hefeweizen is a good German style Hefeweizen with hints of banana and clove flavor.
Jeremy Ray - Park City Brewery
"As temperatures start to cool down and snow begins to fall, I typically find myself reaching for beers that have a big malt backbone," says co-founder and head brewer Jeremy Ray of Park City Brewery. He suggests Park City Brewery's Stout for its robust character: roasted barley and chocolate malts impart coffee notes, hints of vanilla spice, and a big malt flavor. Another one of his recommendations is Uinta Brewing's Yard Sale. This very robust beer has a nice, warming feeling perfect for cold months, but still has the refreshingly crisp and light body of a winter lager.
Nate Roundy - Uinta Brewing
There's no denying that Yard Sale is a winner this winter as it received yet another glowing recommendation from Uinta Brewing's Nate Roundy, who says it's light enough that you can drink it any time of day. Roundy also recommends Season Pass, a dark vanilla porter or, if you're feeling up for a journey down to Salt Lake City to Uinta Brewery's Brewhouse Pub (1722 Fremont Dr), give the hoppy Rise & Pine dark ale a swig. Available only at the brewery, this 7.5 percent dark ale is "infused with a beautiful bouquet of Juniper and piney hops, an assertive bitterness and creamy mocha chocolate mouth, giving it a smooth finish," says Roundy. Although a bit of a hike from Park City, a visit to Uinta Brewery's Brewhouse Pub is well worth the trip to not only to sample this beer (and many others), but the seasonally rotating menu of comfort food-inspired fare is fantastic. You can't really go wrong with anything here, but personal favorites include the Wings (there's even a vegan variety) and the Roasted Beet & Fig pizza.