Best Brew Pubs in Salt Lake City

Dozens upon dozens of Utah-made beers served in a fleet of attractive, modern brewpubs

Most people not from Utah would never associate the state with top-notch beer or a thriving brewpub scene. Bombarded by urban legends of lock-down liquor laws, hardly any visitors would imagine that Utah's breweries have, in fact, produced thousands upon thousands of barrels of beer and won uncounted national awards in the process.

While it is true that Utah's drinking population has suffered for decades under restrictive laws, the state's brewers have bravely continued their art in the face of a conservative government. Many of Utah's breweries have actually been in operation for multiple decades, creating both “Utah-strength” and full-powered beers. And while Utah law restricts the alcohol content of draught beers to that of 3.2% weight, brewpubs cleverly manage to serve the real deal in a bottle.

The good news is, some of the worst laws were actually abolished (or dramatically loosened up) as of 2009. Gone are the days of the “Private Club” and the 1-ounce pour. Today you never have to purchase a “membership” to enter a bar; simply show your I.D. And while the liquor pour is now capped at 1.5 ounces, it's at least a step in the right direction!

Operating in a city with a thriving restaurant scene, Salt Lake's brewpubs must survive tough competition to keep their doors open. As a result, you'll notice that each has a handsome, modern interior to go with a creative and varied food selection. Many offer a menu of new American cuisine, while others emphasize that from specific regions or nations. And some blend them all.  


Red Rock Brewing Company opened for business in March of 1994, and in almost two decades, it has persevered in the face of restrictive local and state laws to become a staple downtown restaurant and pub. Sitting just on the southwestern edge of Salt Lake City's main business, convention, and hotel district, Red Rock offers lunch, dinner, and late night snacks every day of the week. Serving a combination of its own beers, other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and high-end pub cuisine, Red Rock has not only become popular on a local level, but has won national acclaim, including “Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year” in the Great American Beer Festival.

Local Expert tip: If you're looking for a full-strength beer, order one in a bottle; Utah laws restrict draught beers to 3.2% alcohol by weight.

Read more about Red Rock Brewing Company →

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

The Bayou can be described as many things: a Cajun restaurant, a jazz venue, a place to play billiards, and a pub. And the best thing about the place is that you can feel free to visit for any or all of these reasons without feeling pressure to order more than you desire. You may drink a beer and play pool or eat a multi-course dinner and enjoy the live music. At the Bayou, more than 200 beers are available, as well as wine and a full selection of liquor. The menu includes appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, soups, and entrees. The kitchen stays completely open until 11:30pm, and continues serving a reduced menu until 12:30. A winning combination of drinks, food, music, atmosphere, and flexibility, The Bayou is one of Salt Lake City's most popular restaurant/bar combinations.

Local Expert tip: Bring your I.D.; The Bayou is a 21+ establishment and cards everyone at the door.

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Brewvies Cinema Pub
Photo courtesy of ginnerobot

Brewvies is one of Salt Lake's most understated and brilliant pubs. At once a beer bar and movie theater, Brewvies opens its doors to anyone at least 21 years of age and screens numerous “nearly new” movies, as well as other cult and classic films in accordance with special theme nights. If that weren't enough, Brewvies has a kitchen that generates appetizers, pizza, sandwiches, specialties, salads, and deserts from 11:30am-10pm daily. Whether you'd like a honey chipotle chicken pizza, a chicken strip basket, a beer brat, or black bean egg rolls, you will find yourself satisfied. When your food is ready, head into the theater and try to snag one of the couches (with coffee tables) in the back of the theater.

Local Expert tip: Tune in and keep yourself up to date on Brewvies' schedule; this is often the venue for skiing and climbing film tours.

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Hoppers Grill & Brewing Co.
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

If you happen to find yourself craving a beer or pub food whilst in the southern part of Salt Lake Valley, head to Hopper's. Serving food and drink seven days a week, Hopper's is open for lunch, dinner, and late night munchies every day, as well as for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. On its menu, Hopper's lists an extremely generous selection of appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, pastas, pizzas, and seafood dishes. Additionally, it has two categories called “Comfort” and “Foreign Exchange.” Hopper's serves nine of its own beers throughout the year, as well as a selection of seasonal brews at any given time.

Local Expert tip: Non-drinkers can enjoy the hand-crafted sodas or fresh-squeezed juices.

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Fiddlers Elbow
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

In a town ripe with attractive, modern brewpubs, Fiddler's Elbow stands out as the most sports-friendly of them all. Providing a clean and handsome setting, this pub invites you to enjoy a few beers and a meal while catching up with friends. You can alternatively order rounds of appetizers and watch the current game on any of the numerous televisions, including one that is 10 feet across. Or if you'd prefer, you can play billiards or darts. The bar serves more than 30 beers, as well as liquor and wine; the kitchen offers an enticing variety of creative and classic salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers, entrees, and deserts. Located in the Sugarhouse, this popular pub is usually quite busy. Fiddler's Elbow now serves Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.

Local Expert tip: If you're a sports fan, Fiddler's Elbow is the place to watch a game.

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Porcupine Pub & Grille
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

For anyone spending time in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons, Porcupine Pub is the perfect place to stop in for a beer, appetizers, or dinner after skiing, hiking, or rock climbing. At once casual and upscale, the Porcupine offers a setting simultaneously appropriate for a business lunch, a drink with friends, or a family dinner. Come by wearing your ski pants, work suit, or anything in between. Staffed by a young and enthusiastic crowd, the Porcupine Pub has a friendly atmosphere. Though Porcupine does not make its own beers, it serves those from many local breweries such as Uinta, Wasatch, Red Rock, Park City, and Squatters. Food includes sandwiches, pizza, pasta, salads, and entrees that exceed expectations. Items included cherry barbecued salmon and tequila lime chicken. Porcupine also serves wine and spirits.

Local Expert tip: Expert Tip: Stop by during happy hour to enjoy enormous discounts on appetizers; try the nachos!

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Desert Edge Brewery At The Pub
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

If you didn't know where to look, you'd probably never notice the Desert Edge Brewery. Tucked in the Trolley Square Mall, southeast of Downtown, this brewpub occupies an inconspicuous location just off of the bustling artery that is 700 East Street. Equally pub and restaurant, Desert Edge offers more than 20 beers throughout the year, and is open seven days a week. Many of its brews are offered seasonally only to keep the selection fresh and interesting. The kitchen makes lunch, dinner, and late night cuisine. The list includes hot and cold sandwiches, Mexican food, quiche, soup, appetizers, half a dozen salads, and desserts.

Local Expert tip: Utah students receive significant discounts; if you are currently enrolled, bring your student identification card.

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Squatters Pub Brewery
Photo courtesy of karmadude

Located in the southwestern corner of downtown Salt Lake City, in an historic hotel, this extremely popular restaurant and pub offers lunch, dinner, and evening finger foods seven days a week, as well as Saturday and Sunday brunch. With roughly a dozen of its own beers on tap at any given time, Squatter's offers more selections than you could possibly try in one sitting. In addition to its beers, Squatter's serves mixed drinks and wine. Open since 1989, this is one of Utah's oldest brewpubs –and if you visit any day of the week, you'll clearly see that it is thriving.

Local Expert tip: If you arrive at the front door behind a large crowd, inquire about seating at the bar upstairs.

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Bohemian Brewery
Photo courtesy of Bertron8

Located south of Salt Lake City (in Midvale) is one of the Wasatch region's best breweries. The Bohemian crafts traditional European-style lagers, focusing on those from the Czech, Bavarian and German heritages. The accompanying restaurant serves complementary cuisine. You may have eaten bratwurst, but have you ever tried Bohemian goulash, schniztel, paprikash, or spätzle? Here is your chance to do so. Or if you prefer, you can order any of their other new American offerings like salmon spinach salad, New York steak, seafood linguine, or halibut fillet. Because of its relative distance from downtown Salt Lake City, this modern, pleasant brewpub usually suffers much less overcrowding than its competitors, and provides a perfect chance to taste some of Utah's best locally-made beers.

Local Expert tip: If you haven't visited Germany or Czech Republic in person, try some of the Bohemian's traditional dishes.

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West Valley City
Uinta Brewing Co
Photo courtesy of wickenden

Any beer drinker living in (or visiting) Utah has experienced the numerous beers of the Uinta Brewing Co. But significantly fewer have had the pleasure of visiting its own brew pub. Located about 15 minutes southwest of downtown Salt Lake City, this pleasant restaurant-slash-pub serves a simple menu of build-your-own-style sandwiches. Select your sandwich size, bread and toppings, and order a side of soup or chili if you desire. The Uinta Brewing Co attempts to operate as greenly as possible, using 100% wind-generated power and solar-electric paneling. In business since 1993, Uinta Brewing creates beers from 4 to 13% alcohol by volume.

Local Expert tip: Consider selecting one of the lower-alcohol beers if you must drive back to downtown Salt Lake City after your visit.

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Meet Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz began her unexpected writing career in Salt Lake City with her first book on Wasatch Skiing and Travel in 2006. On the subject of Utah, Christine has written numerous...  More About Christine