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This time last year, as the Utah Beer News archives remind me, we were celebrating the success of Utah breweries at the International Beer Awards.

Beers from 13 local breweries earned 24 medals at the 2019 event in Idaho Falls, which is part of the Mountain Brewers Beer Fest.

Tim Haran | Utah Beer NewsWhat a difference a year makes.

As I type, brewers ought to be anxiously awaiting this year's competition results. Beer lovers from Utah should be packing up the car and heading to Sandy Downs to help kick off the summer beer festival season.

Instead, the event originally scheduled for June 6 has been postponed until Aug. 8. And brewers, rather than preparing for a weekend getaway, are working hard to reopen their taprooms and brewpubs after months without anyone walking through the doors.

Governor Gary Herbert’s Utah Leads Together 2.0 plan identified May 1 as the date businesses could once again provide sit-down service. Breweries, bars, and restaurants had been limited to serving customers curbside (or not at all) since mid-March.

Some breweries jumped in headfirst, while others took more of a wait-and-see approach. As we entered the first week of June, all but a handful of Utah's breweries had reopened their taprooms and/or pubs (here's a list).

Personally, I've continued to utilize primarily curbside pickup. I've entered two beer-centric spots since May 1. At one, I dined on the patio. At the other, I dined inside. 

Each experience proved to be slightly surreal (masks, taped-off tables and barstools, digital menus, fewer patrons, etc.).

But the servers were exceptional, the food tasted great, and I'll never again take for granted drinking a freshly poured draught beer. I'm looking forward to enjoying many more pints at breweries this summer. 🍻

How About You?

I'd love to get a sense of what you've experienced in recent months (where's your go-to curbside spot, are you Team Crowler or Team Growler, have you been buying more beer at grocery/liquor stores, etc.)

And as more breweries begin reopening for sit-down service...
  • Are you diving in, attempting to get your beer-drinking routine back to as close to normal as possible?
  • Or are you dipping a toe here and there, cautiously testing the waters?
You Could Win: Read on to learn how your comments could qualify you to win a gift card from a local brewery.


Currently Drinking: As I write, I'm sipping a Rye Cream Ale (in a crowler) from Fisher Brewing. How about you?

Hello Again & Welcome

If this is your first time receiving this monthly dispatch, welcome! If you're a longtime subscriber, thank you for sticking with it. As always, feel free to drop a line to let me know what you think.


COVID-19: Are Your Favorite Breweries Open?

Coronavirus Updates | Utah Beer News

I've done my best to provide updates as to how individual breweries are handling the COVID-19 restrictions set forth by state and local governments.

Here are recent links to Utah Beer News coverage of this ever-developing story:

Full COVID-19 Coverage

Beer Showcase: Triple Dry Hopped Hazy IPA • Kiitos Brewing

Triple Dry Hopped Hazy IPA • Kiitos Brewing
From time to time, I contribute to Here's the latest Beer Showcase from the Beehive: Triple Dry Hopped Hazy IPA by Kiitos Brewing.

This particular offering features Citra, Amarillo, and Lotus hops. The "base" beer is a vehicle for Kiitos to experiment with various hops combinations.

“I really wanted to have a beer that could be a landing spot to try new hops or different hop combos we haven’t tried yet at Kiitos,” said Kiitos head brewer Clay Turnbow.

Next up in the brew lab, which hit Kiitos' coolers in time for Memorial Day, is a triple-dry-hopped beer highlighting Sabro hops.

Beer Showcase

🎙 Utah Beer News Podcast

The Utah Beer News podcast provides another avenue for us to tell stories about the Utah beer community. We'd love for you to subscribe, take a listen, and let us know what you think!

Virtual Tastings: Stonewall Sour Saison • Hopkins Brewing

Stonewall Sour Saison • Hopkins Brewing

Utah Beer News visited with Chad Hopkins, owner and head brewer at Hopkins Brewing, to talk about the Sugar House brewery's Stonewall Sour Saison.

In what's our second Virtual Tastings episode, we also chatted about a couple of Hopkins Brewing's other beers, as well as discussed recent and future happenings at the brewery. 

Subscribe to the Utah Beer News YouTube Channel to see additional episodes with brewers, breweries, and everyday imbibers. 

If you'd like to participate in one of these virtual tastings, please feel free to reach out and we'll see if we can get something scheduled.

Virtual Tastings

Read & Listen Now: Grid City Beer Works

New Article & Podcast Episode: Visit to learn more about Utah's newest brewery—Grid City Beer Works. We chatted with the founders in late February, weeks before its planned grand opening...and weeks before Utah's bars, restaurants, and breweries temporarily closed to dine-in service.

Giveaway: Your Chance to Win!

When things went to hell in mid-March and breweries needed our support more than ever, I spent an evening visiting several local spots to purchase crowlers/growlers, merchandise, and gift cards.

Gift Card GiveawayAs mentioned in the introduction above, I'd like to give away a few of these gift cards as a way of saying thank you to email subscribers.

This time around I'm giving away a $20 gift card to each of the following breweries: To enter, simply send me an email by June 11 with 2-3 sentences (or more) about your experience over the last two months (from a beer perspective). For example: 
  • What have you've missed most about your favorite brewery(ies) since the mandated shutdown in mid-March?
  • What's been your go-to beer at home over the last several weeks?
  • Have you visited a brewery since May 1 to enjoy a pint inside? What was that experience like?
  • In your mind, what have local breweries done particularly well over the last two-plus months?
Send your email by June 11 and I'll randomly draw three names to win one gift card (please also include your preferred brewery—maybe I'll divide entries into three piles and choose winners that way). As a bonus, I might include your comments in a future article or newsletter (with your permission, of course).

As always, thank you for subscribing! I'll be giving away some more gift cards in future dispatches, so keep an eye out.

*The above breweries are in no way affiliated with Utah Beer News or the gift card giveaway. Gift cards were purchased independently by Utah Beer News on March 16, 2020.

Beer News & Notes

Each month, I gather beer-related news and notes to share with Utah Beer News email subscribers. Much of what's mentioned in this space is obtained from social sites, taproom visits, email newsletters, etc. (and a few are sent directly to me—hint, hint).
Reminder: It's always best to confirm event dates, times and locations with the individual organizers.
  • In case you missed it, here’s a rundown of Utah breweries that have reopened (or are about to reopen) for sit-in service. Please let me know if you've heard anything different.
  • The popular Hops Hunters Hikes are scheduled for 2020, with the first hike set for June 10. It's a little different this year (get all the details), but here's a general article we wrote previously about the series.
  • Congratulations to this year's Lagerpalooza homebrew competition winners. The 2019 Best of Show pro-am winner—a Doppelbock—went on sale at Bohemian Brewery & Grill in May.
  • Cheers to SaltFire Brewing, which celebrated its two-year anniversary in May.
  • By the way, SaltFire is participating in the Black is Beautiful campaign. It's a nationwide collaboration organized by Weathered Souls Brewing in San Antonio, Texas, "to bring awareness to the injustices that many people of color face daily." The base beer is a stout but brewers are encouraged to put their own spin on the recipe.
  • The 2020 Great American Beer Festival has been canceled. In-person, at least. Organizers are taking the event online.
  • The same goes for Homebrew Con. It’s attempting an online experience as well.
  • The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is planning to delist 900 or so items from its inventory, via The Salt Lake Tribune.
  • John Saltas, the publisher of Salt Lake City Weekly, takes issue with the role the state plays in the booze business.
  • And, wouldn’t you know it, alcohol sales in April jumped by 24% compared to the year-ago period.
  • I enjoyed Level Crossing's latest release — The Black Album, an imperial black rye IPA.
  • The Utah Pride Parade and Pride Festival have been postponed until late September, but breweries are still celebrating Pride Month 🏳️‍🌈 in June. RoHa Brewing Project returns with special-labeled Three Deep American Ale cans. They hit the RoHa beer fridge on June 1. And check out the new merch, as well.
  • By the way, each Wednesday, RoHa goes live on Instagram to educate and inspire by making a fun beer blend or cocktail. Tune in at 4 p.m.
  • Hopkins Brewing is donating 20% of merchandise sales in June to the Utah Pride Center.
  • Mountain West Hard Cider announced a pair of new releases: Sweet Alice is a peach and turmeric hard cider. It's "the first semi-sweet cider" to be produced and will be Mountain West's fifth line of product to be available year-round. And Pomme Paloma is the first cider in what Mountain West is dubbing "The Little Orchard Series." The series will feature a limited-edition, small-batch that rotates throughout the year and will only be available at the Mountain West bottle shop. Created in partnership with the Pink Boots Society Utah,  Pomme Paloma features the exclusive Pink Boots hop blend and ruby red grapefruit juice. Only 15 growlers were available starting May 28, and Mountain West utilized a "digital sign-up opportunity" to purchase (they sold out quickly).
  • Also, fans of Mountain West Hard Cider in several states outside Utah are now able to purchase Mountain West ciders online. And The Garten is planning to open (on a limited basis) on June 4.
And finally...
  • A nice essay that describes what many of us are likely feeling right now.
Brewery Folks: Got news, notes, or events to share? Don't count on us to find it on social media. Please send the info to Utah Beer News directly if you'd like us to help spread the word.
Copyright © 2020 Utah Beer News | Tim Haran Digital LLC, All rights reserved.

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