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Utahns are developing a taste for full-strength beer, with the average per capita consumption increasing from 0.3 gallons in 2006 to 0.5 gallons today, according to the state’s liquor agency.
Epic and Uinta are among seven breweries of varying sizes in the Salt Lake City area and 18 statewide — a surprising number given the fact that in 1986 Greg Schirf opened Utah’s first brewery in many years, in Park City, introducing its inaugural Wasatch Premium Ale.
Salt Lake City:
Desert Edge Brewery » 273 Trolley Square
Epic Brewing Co. » 825 S. State St.
Red Rock Brewery » 443 N. 400 West
Red Rock Brewing Co. » 254 S. 200 West
Squatter’s Pub Brewery » 147 W. Broadway
Uinta Brewing Co. » 1722 S. Fremont Drive
Utah Brewers Coop » 1763 S. 300 West
Roosters Layton » 748 W. Hertiage Park Blvd.
Bohemian Brewery & Grill » 94 E. Fort Union Blvd.
Hoppers Grill & Brewing Co. » 890 E. Fort Union Blvd.
Moab Brewery » 686 S. Main
Roosters Brewing Co. » 253 25th St.
Shades of Pale » 1950 Woodbine Way No. 5
Wasatch Brew Pub & Brewery » 250 Main St.
Zion Canyon Brewing Co.» 2400 Zion Park Blvd.
Allstar Brewing Co., » 1641 N. Main St.
Hop N’ Keg Brewery » 29 S. Vernal Ave.
Vernal Brewing Co. » 55 S. 500 East
By 1994, Schirf expanded brewery operations to Salt Lake City at 1763 S. 300 West. Six years later, Wasatch merged with Squatters (Salt Lake Brewing Cooperative) for draft and bottle production. Brewery production has grown, doubling from five years ago and increasing at an average of 20 percent each year, producing 39,700 barrels last year.
In September, the Boston-based private-equity firm Fireman Capital Partners made a major investment to support the expansion of Squatters and Wasatch Beers’ distribution, marketing and brew pub businesses. The amount was not disclosed.
At the time of its investment, Fireman noted that craft brewing is a $1.1 billion industry in the United States, growing from 3 percent of total beer volume in 1994 to 6 percent today. It is expected to increase to 10 percent by 2016.
Squatters and Wasatch Brewery also distributes its beer to Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Selling Utah beer to the latter state was a personal triumph for Schirf, who grew up in Milwaukee, dubbed the Beer Capital of the World.
"I like to say I am from Utah and I am on a different kind of mission," Schirf said during Wasatch Beer’s 25th anniversary celebration. "Now I have gone full circle and I have my beer in Wisconsin. How cool is that?"
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