Patio Pints: Take it Outside This Fall at Utah Breweries

RoHa Brewing Project Patio
Salt Lake's RoHa Brewing Project built a patio in front of its taproom to help the brewery weather the Summer of 2020.

Beer, in my experience, is a beverage best enjoyed outside. Sure, sipping a boozy imperial stout and contemplating life’s mysteries in front of a cozy fire has its place.

But there’s just something about drinking a pint on a patio, especially as the air gets crisp and summer fades into fall. 

It might seem odd to be talking about patios in October. It’s more of a spring/summer thing, right? Not to understate the obvious, but Spring/Summer 2020 was a weird one.

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Understandably, we had limited opportunities to congregate beyond our immediate family. Beer festivals were non-existent, as were concerts, baseball games, and other summertime staples.

Tasters and tacos on the patio at Hopkins Brewing in Sugar House.

Yet through it all, drinking outside — socially distanced and masked up — seemed to provide a safer way to enjoy our suds. Over the last few months, I’ve taken advantage of patio drinking and dining. I don’t believe I’m overstating when I say it helped me stay sane during a tumultuous time.

Fortunately, the Utah Beer Scene is filled with excellent spots to sip brews outdoors.

A rough tally shows about two-thirds of Utah’s breweries and finer beer joints offer some sort of outdoor seating option.

And a few that weren’t set up for patio drinking — RoHa Brewing ProjectSaltFire Brewing, for instance — went to work this summer to make that option available to customers.

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed in the last six months, it’s that Utah’s brewers, brewers, and everyday imbibers are nothing if not resourceful.

SaltFire Brewing’s Master Control Program, a smooth New England-style IPA.

5 Beer-y Good Patios

Here are five outdoor spaces, not including my backyard, where I’ve recently enjoyed drinking craft beer:

The Garten at Mountain West
  • Bewilder BrewingLess than a year old, Bewilder opened with a patio and has since expanded the outdoor seating. It really hit its stride with the recent Downtown SLC Oktoberfest.
  • Fisher Brewing: The taproom may not be reopened, but the wraparound patio and convenient “lemonade stand” ordering window do just fine. Interested in trying a new beer — or two — every single week? This is a good place to be.
  • The Garten at Mountain West: One of the best new-ish places for beers (or ciders), live music, and a festive outdoor vibe. Recently, the folks at Mountain West Hard Cider threw an awesome two-day Oktoberfest event.
  • Slackwater in Sandy: A pair of patios offer brilliant mountain views on one side and spectacular greenbelt-like scenery on the other. Plus, you can’t go wrong with its substantial beer list and delicious food.
  • Templin Family Brewing: T.F. expanded its patio just before the shutdown, and now it’s a spacious, dog-friendly environment to enjoy a few biers.

How about you? I’d love to hear where you’ve enjoyed sipping socially distanced beers lately.

A bier at T.F. Brewing during the Salt Lake brewery’s recent Oktoberfest celebration.

Sipping Patio Pints

One of two patios at Slackwater Pub & Pizzeria in Sandy, Utah.

Utah weather, as last month’s freak 100-mph windstorm proves, can be unpredictable. And if there’s a second thing I’ve observed in 2020, it’s to expect the unexpected.

Nevertheless, I believe we still have a few weeks left to enjoy pints on patios along the Wasatch Front (and even longer in Southern Utah).

So, if you feel comfortable doing so, consider getting out there. Bring a jacket and a mask, and take advantage of the many outdoor options available for drinking great craft beers.

After all, winter will be here before we know it. Let’s do what we can (safely) to make sure the patios — and the breweries — will be there for us next spring.

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