Although beer on draft must be below 4% ABV in Utah—the state’s not dry, but it does have some pretty unusual liquor laws—brewers can make any style of beer; they just have to bottle anything that clocks in at a higher ABV. Many brewers have found ways to get creative with these restrictions. Here are five notable brews from five of the state’s best breweries.
Full Suspension Pale Ale, Squatters
Since opening in 1989, Squatters has established itself as a Utah institution, with two brewpubs in Salt Lake City and a third in Park City. In 2002, they gained international recognition by serving up pints in record numbers during the Winter Olympics. Their iconic Full Suspension pale ale is unfiltered, dry-hopped and perfectly balanced.
Spiral Jetty IPA, Epic Brewing
In the eight short years since they brewed their first batch of beer, Epic Brewing has expanded from Utah into Colorado, and opened a brewpub called The Annex in downtown Salt Lake City where they can focus on experimental draft beers in addition to their higher-alcohol counterparts. Want a taste? Grab a bottle of their classic Spiral Jetty IPA, which combines an aggressive blend of five different hops to create that citrus-forward, piney profile that IPA lovers crave.
Polygamy Porter, Wasatch Brewery
The now-ubiquitous (in UT at least) Polygamy Porter is a must-try beer, but Wasatch Brewing’s porter is tasty, too. Creamy and luscious, it begs the question—as their slogan teases—“Why have just one?”
Organic Zwickel Beer, Red Rock Brewery
Red Rock has been brewing up craft beer in Salt Lake City since 1994 and has continued to innovate over the years, bringing home a gold medal in 2014 from the World Beer Cup for its Paardebloem Belgian-style ale. Brewed with dandelion greens instead of hops, as well as peaches and grains of paradise, the hazy, light beer refreshes like no other.
801 Small Batch Pilsner, Uinta
After three years of distributing their craft brews out of a small, repurposed SLC garage, Uinta opened their first professional bottling plant in 1993, and finally expanded into the 26,000 square-foot brewery they call home today in 2001. Named for a mountain range in northeastern Utah, nearly every beer that Uinta brews up is inspired by the lush scenery and rich history of the state. Their easy-drinking, crisp 801 (the Salt Lake City area code) Pilsner celebrates the state and the people who live there in a particularly unique way—Uinta donates proceeds from the sale of the beer to a rotating line-up of local non-profit organizations nominated by their customers.