Cheers from Salt Lake City, Utah
We're taking on the Craft Beer Trail, a meandering trail of delicious beer that winds its way through Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona with our two friends visiting from Germany. We’re seeking out the best craft breweries in the West and going to see what else we find along the way!
What is craft beer? To be considered a craft beer, it must contain at least 50 percent traditional malt, rather than oats, barley or wheat. Craft beer is usually brewed in smaller, seasonal batches with the finest quality ingredients, making their flavors diverse and their breweries sought-after destinations.
We started our trip in Salt Lake City, Utah, which was our base camp for our Utah exploration. As the state’s capital, Salt Lake is the most populated city in Utah, and we loved being right in the middle of the action. After a quick drive from Salt Lake, our first destination was the Utah Olympic Park, where the 2002 Winter Olympics were held. We were given a tour of the Olympic Legacy Center by a former Olympic athlete who was excited to tell us all about the park. Our visitors enjoyed seeing actual facilities for sports like ski jump, ice luge and bobsled, which are now used as practice grounds. If you are courageous, you can actually go down the bobsled run yourself.
Our next stop was the Natural History Museum of Utah in Park City. The archeological history in this part of the country is truly fascinating. We stepped out to the rooftop observation deck for the breathtaking views of the mountains and Salt Lake City. Then we took a quick walk on the trails surrounding the museum and jumped back in the car to head to our next destination: Capitol Hill.
The drive through the Capitol Hill neighborhood was gorgeous. Quaint homes with detailed architecture and lush green trees line the streets to the capitol building. Once at the top of the hill, the size and beauty of the Utah State Capitol building were impressive. After snapping pictures, we headed to our final destination of the night and our first brewery, Squatters.
Craft Beer Spotlight
Squatters Pub Brewery
Just down the street from the Peery Hotel was Squatters Pub Brewery, where we joined in on their weekly Mug Club! This exclusive group of 100 beer lovers comes together twice a year to party and enjoy their favorite brews. This was definitely the highlight of our day. Our host, Heather, led us upstairs to the loft of the restaurant where the Mug Club was celebrating Cinco de Mayo. We enjoyed a glass of Acapulco Gold, which was brewed in honor of Cinco de Mayo, and snacked on fresh salsa and guacamole. Heather shared stories about the growth of the brewery and how the building came to be what it is today. Shortly after, Jason, the brew master, took us on a tour of the brewery.
We started by climbing to the third floor to learn about all of the grains used in Squatters’ brews. Jason put a handful of each grain on the table and discussed their different flavors. We even did a little taste test! From there, we headed down to the brewery itself and learned their process behind brewing the perfect beer, all the way to filling the kegs. Before calling it a night, we stopped at the gift shop in Squatters and grabbed some of Squatters’ famous Hop Rising Double IPA to take home!
Needless to say, our first day on the Craft Beer Trail was off to a refreshing start! Join us tomorrow as we discover even more delicious brews in Colorado.