30 facts about Utah’s Squatters Brewery as it marks its 30th anniversary

(Steve Griffin | Tribune file photo) Squatters Pub, at 147 W. 300 South, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. This photo of the building is from 2012.

In 1989, actor Michael Keaton was starring as Batman, comedian Jerry Seinfeld had a new TV show and Squatters Pub Brewery opened in Salt Lake City.

Three decades later, the caped crusader has been replaced several times and “Seinfeld” is in reruns.

But Squatters? Well, it is still “Good for What Ales You” — as its original slogan proclaimed.

The brewery will celebrate the milestone Sunday during a 30th anniversary beer festival. The event runs from noon to 5 p.m. at the brewery, 147 W. 300 South. General admission tickets are available for $30. VIP passes are sold out.

There will be food, fun and, of course, beer, including more than a dozen collaboration brews made with other Utah producers. At 2:30 p.m., a new mural by Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune’s award-winning political cartoonist, will be unveiled.

To survive in Utah — where conservative liquor laws can make it difficult to be in the alcohol business — Squatters has adapted and evolved through the years, helping pave the way for the state’s current booming craft beer industry.

Here are 30 facts — many from Del Vance’s historical book, “Beer in the Beehive” — that offer a snapshot of its beer-brewing history.

(Steve Griffin | Tribune file photo) Squatters Pub Brewery restaurant at the Salt Lake International Airport in Salt Lake City Monday April 2, 2018.

1. Salt Lake Brewing Co. — better known as Squatters — opened Sept. 5, 1989.

2. The historic Boston Hotel building at 147 W. 300 South has been Squatters’ home since day one. It was a piano bar before the brewery moved in.

3. When Squatters opened, it ended a beer-brewing drought for Salt Lake City that had lasted 22 years.

4. Founders Peter Cole and Jeff Polychronis met while working in the same Park City real estate office, where they discovered a shared interest in beer.

5. Before opening, Cole and Polychronis visited more than 40 brewpubs and tap rooms for inspiration.

6. The Squatters name comes from a comedy sketch — featuring actors Dudley Moore and Peter Cook — about a British field marshal (named Squatters) who was left in the North African desert after World War II.

7. Emigration Amber Ale has been on tap at the downtown location since day one.

8. City Creek Pale Ale was also available during the 1989 launch. It was resurrected earlier this year for a 30th anniversary charitable promotion, benefiting the Fourth Street Clinic. Sales have raised $8,000 for the organization.

9. The brewery sold close to 1,200 barrels of beer in its first year.

10. Squatters is Utah’s second modern-day brewery and pub. Greg Schirf started Park City’s Wasatch Brewery in 1986, while Wasatch Brew Pub opened Aug. 5, 1989, a month before Squatters.

(Paul Fraughton | Tribune file photo) Jennifer Talley, brewmaster at Squatters, shows off their new organic amber ale, May 10, 2007.

11. Squatters hired one of the first female brewers in the country, Jenny Talley. She formulated its popular Full Suspension Pale Ale.

12. Squatters won its first gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 1997, with its Vienna lager. Talley named her daughter Vienna in honor of the brew.

13. Squatters also has won 26 Great American Beer Festival medals, including 14 gold, the most recent came in 2017 for Hell’s Keep. It has 14 World Beer Cup medals (six gold) and 35 medals from the North American Brewers Association (eight gold).

14. Squatters merged its production operations with Wasatch Brewery in 2000, creating Utah Brewers Cooperative, at 1763 S. 300 West in Salt Lake City.

15. In its early days, Squatters’ owners were fond of names that poked fun at Utah’s conservative culture, such as St. Provo Girl Pilsner, a take on the famous St. Pauli Girl brand, complete with a buxom blonde on the label.

16. During the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah, the German company that produced St. Pauli Girl thought the name was too close to its original and Squatters was forced to call the brew Provo Girl Pilsner to avoid a lawsuit.

(Steve Griffin | Tribune file photo) Squatters Pub Brewery restaurant at the Salt Lake International Airport in Salt Lake City on Monday, April 2, 2018.

17. Squatters opened its Roadhouse Grill in Park City in 2006, remodeling the Mount Air Cafe that the Polychronis family had operated.

18. Squatters’ Organic Amber Ale, the state’s first and only certified organic beer, was launched in 2007.

19. Squatters’ third location, inside the Salt Lake City International Airport, opened in 2000.

20. Squatters’ brewpub is a restaurant, not a bar. That means children under 21 are allowed, but adults must order food if they plan to drink beer.

21. In 2010, Utah Brewers Cooperative won the prestigious “Midsize Brewery of the Year” award from the brewers association.

22. Squatters’ Hop Rising Double IPA is one of the top sellers in Utah’s state-run liquor stores, bringing in more than $1.78 million in 2018.

23. In 2017, Squatters and Wasatch joined CANarchy, a craft brewers collective. Its sister breweries include Oskar Blues Brewery, Cigar City Brewing, Perrin Brewing, Deep Ellum Brewing and Three Weavers Brewing Co.

24. Squatters beer is sold in 20 states — and counting.

25. Beer drinkers can find a Squatters brew in China.

26.. The top-selling food item at the brewpub is the classic American burger.

27. Salt Lake Brewing Co. employs 375 employees, who serve more than 1.25 million customers annually.

28. Squatters was crucial in launching glass recycling at the airport, which became the model for the city’s curbside program.

29. Squatters has diverted nearly 1.15 million pounds of recyclables from the landfill since the start of service with Momentum Recycling.

30. The original mural on the east side of the building was painted in 2014 to commemorate the 25th anniversary. Bagley’s work will be on the same wall, honoring the First Amendment with a depiction of “Lady Li-beer-ty.”