Utah now has its own holiday to celebrate local breweries — a whole weekend, in fact. It’s called Utah Pint Day, happening the weekend after Thanksgiving, and it’s a prime time to pay a visit to your favorite brewery or say hello to a new one.
For the inaugural Utah Pint Day, set for Nov. 24-26, breweries across the state will be offering special promotions and deals to patrons. It’s also a chance to get a limited-edition commemorative “Greetings from Brewtiful Utah” pint glass — featuring art by Delaney Stevens — and fill it with some delicious beer. The festivities culminate on Small Brewery Sunday, a national beer holiday created to support and spotlight local breweries.
By establishing Utah Pint Day — following the lead of other states, including Colorado, that have such a holiday — “we’re really trying to draw in interest on the Utah craft beer community, the Utah brewing scene, get people to notice us and get excited about Utah beer,” said Jacquie King, head brewer at Ogden Beer Company and the vice president of the Utah Brewers Guild, which is hosting Utah Pint Day.
The Utah brewing scene is collaborative and thriving, said Chad Hopkins, owner of Hopkins Brewing Company in Sugar House. “Salt Lake has one of the coolest brewing scenes in the country right now,” he said. “... Everybody has their own niche; everybody’s making really good beer. But the best part about Utah’s beer scene is we haven’t had a beer scene for so long; now that we all do, we really appreciate each other.”
And there are more reasons to support your local brewery than just getting to drink good beer. “The brewing industry in Utah employs quite a few people,” King said. “We’re supporting local farmers with all of our spent grain. Our beer stays local.”
“So it’s a really great way to make sure that your money is staying in Utah and in your community,” she continued.
More than 20 breweries are participating in the first Utah Pint Day, and they are spread as far and wide as Logan, Vernal and St. George. Here’s the scoop on two of the participants, along with a full list of breweries taking part.
Chappell Brewing is a tiny but mighty brewery in South Salt Lake that focuses on 5% American ales, said brewer, owner and operator Tim Chappell.
“We have a very less-is-more approach to what we do,” he said. “That way we can be turning things over quickly and making sure things are fresh and interesting.”
Chappell Brewing has been open since St. Patrick’s Day, with their beer is available only at their taproom, located at 2285 S. Main St. But the brewery has been busy canning some beers, and plans to sell and distribute cans on Dec. 1, the day after Chappell Brewing anticipates getting its off-premise license.
The brewery is “intimate,” Chappell said, with everything “open and visible” and the tanks right behind the bar. Run by avid skiers, the brewery is gearing up for its first ski season, and it has a self-service ski and snowboard tune-up bench in the middle of the space that’s available for anyone to use.
“We’re trying to kind of establish ourselves as a go-to local après ski spot,” Chappell said. “We’re all pretty knowledgeable about the industry, like both the resort industry and the backcountry industry. ... Just trying to be involved as much as you can in the community.”
There’s a large patio to relax on, barbecue on Sundays, and often live music, so it’s easy to stay entertained at this small local brewery.
Hopkins Brewing Company
Hopkins Brewing Company is about to celebrate its fifth anniversary in December, and to mark the occasion, the brewery is releasing its first beer in a can — an IPA.
You’ll still have to drink that can of beer at the brewpub, though, said Chad Hopkins, the owner: Hopkins beer is available only at Hopkins, which is located at 1048 E. 2100 South.
That seems to make sense for a brewery that bills itself as “hyperlocal,” with a focus on local, sustainable food. Hopkins Brewing uses locally grown and malted grains from Solstice Malt in Salt Lake City. And it strives to support as many local breweries, cideries and distilleries as possible.
“All the breweries out here, we’re good friends,” Hopkins said. “We all visit each other’s breweries. In fact, in here yesterday, there were five different breweries that just came by for lunch. ... We all support each other, and that’s really important.”
There’s plenty of other offerings, too, including live music throughout the week with a focus on local jazz, and trivia on Tuesdays. During the weekly Small Batch Fridays, Hopkins Brewing will feature a uniquely crafted small-batch brew to try.
“It’s a fun place to hang out, because you get the food and the beer and the vibe,” Hopkins said.