Pints Worth Hoisting

Beer of the Beehive: Easy Pickin’s

Utah’s craft brew scene has never been better, from crushable lagers and pilsners to potent imperial ales.

By Darby Doyle June 19, 2019 Published in the Summer/Fall 2019 issue of Park City Magazine

Image: Shutterstock

In the more than three decades since local Greg Schirf, Wasatch Brewery founder, jump-started the microbrew revival in Park City, Utah’s craft beer culture has boomed to three dozen breweries and counting. Says Utah Beer News founder Tim Haran, “I believe we are experiencing a golden age for beer in Utah,” with suds available direct from craft breweries in Ogden, in the northeast, all the way to southern St. George.

Snap Down India Pale Lager
Wasatch Brewery, 4.0% ABV • citrus, spicy, balanced
This brew is a highly drinkable English-style ale, with roasted malt and a bit of chocolate; brewed right here in Park City. 

Boogie Water Brown Ale
Park City Brewery, 4.0% ABV • creamy, nutty, full-bodied
This brew is a highly drinkable English-style ale, with roasted malt and a bit of chocolate; brewed right here in Park City. 

Kensington Grand Saison Ale
RoHa Brewing Project, 6.8% ABV • malty, tart, spicy
This stunningly copper-hued brew is tart and a little sour with a nice effervescent bite and lingering oak.

Lime Pilsner
Uinta Brewing Co, 5.3% ABV • refreshing, crisp, light-bodied
Like summer in a can, this zippy pilsner brewed in the Hallertau tradition is a go-to for hot days paddling around the nearest body of water.

Blood Orange IPA
Roosters Brewing Co, 4.0% ABV • crisp, citrus, balanced
A zippy and refreshing brew from Odgen. Ideal for patio sipping, the blood orange comes through as a nice hint of citrus in the finish.

Lake Effect Gose
Proper Brewing Co, 4.0% ABV • complex, tangy, sour
Old-style German ales called gose (GO-zuh) have made a big comeback, and this one’s distinctive salt and coriander characteristics are on point.

Western Standard Saloon Lager
Constellation Spirits, 5.2% ABV • smooth, full-bodied, floral
In this brand collaboration, Ballast Point lager is finished in Park City’s own High West Distillery barrels to make a pre-Prohibition “frontier-style” malt beverage.

Pineapple Pale Ale
Zólupez Beer Company, 5.25% ABV • malty, tropical fruit, medium-bodied
This micro-batch brewery in Ogden produces food-friendly beers inspired by Mexico’s cerveza artesanal movement—this one inspired by tepache spirits traditions. 

Desert Select Scotch Ale
Moab Brewery, 8.59% ABV • smoky, sweet, full-bodied
An award-winner for a reason, this rich, russet brown “Wee Heavy” is brewed with a little smoked malt, English hops, and Scottish yeast.

Bavarian Weissbier
Bohemian Brewery, 4.0% ABV • fresh, citrus, effervescent
A light-bodied wheat ale made in the traditional unfiltered style of southern Germany, this pale gold weissbier (VICE-beer) is a smooth session beer.

24K Golden Ale
2 Row Brewing, 5.7% ABV • clean, toasty, light-bodied
With a little bit of fruit and mild hoppy notes, this beer pairs well with savory-salty snacks like kettle chips or popcorn.

Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout
Epic Brewing, 12% ABV • rich, smooth, full-bodied
No two seasons of this robust brew are the same, since Epic plays with the cacao nib and coffee bean sourcing for each batch.

Double Trub’l Imperial IPA
Shades Brewing, 10.0% ABV • resin, citrus, creamy
This Northeast-style DIPA packs a punch with notes of citrus zest, sweet melon, and a bit of pine bite coming through the full body. Of note: Shades of Pale started out in Park City.

Imperial Pilsner
Park City Brewery, 7.7% ABV • spicy, herbal, dry finish
This beer will sneak up on you in a big way. A Czech-style pilsner made with Sterling hops, it has a pleasant bitterness and full herbal fragrance. 

Double India Pale Ale
Kiitos Brewing, 8.5% ABV • bold, hoppy, full-bodied
Taking the DIPA train and running with it, Kiitos’s version of the typical hop bomb has great malty balance and is dangerously (in a good way) drinkable for the ABV. 

Hell’s Keep Golden Ale
Squatters Brewing Co, 7.75% ABV • fruit, spice, balanced
This slightly floral and sharp brew is a nice addition to the concert picnic basket for Belgian-style, bold ale lovers.


Lager revival: This isn’t your grandpa’s can of something that might kindly be called pilsner. Independent breweries are developing full-flavored craft lagers, an easy-drinking style where Utah’s breweries excel.

International influences: While craft brewers have long sought inspiration from Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, and the Czech Republic, there’s a world of brewing tradition still to be tapped. Check out brewers taking cues from Mexico’s cerveza artesanal revival and food-friendly flavor influences from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, China, India, and South Korea.

Experimentation: Whether you love it or loathe it, brewers continue to push the envelope with ingredients and techniques to make swirly glitter beers, lactose-boosted milkshake IPAs, jalapeño ales and fruity sours. Gimmicky or game-changer? We’ll let you be the judge.

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