Utah-based Pie & Beer Day, as is the case with many events in 2020, is a shadow of its usual self this year.
COVID-19 put a halt to most large summertime gatherings, including the big Pie & Beer Day bash at Beer Bar. The Salt Lake City bar, which has been closed since March due to COVID-19 concerns, last year hosted more than 25 breweries and served 7,000 slices of pie.
Nevertheless, this year individual breweries (as many have done in the past) are organizing their own pairings to celebrate the day.
The so-called “counterculture response” to Pioneer Day takes place each July 24. It’s the same day as the state holiday that commemorates the Mormon pioneers’ arrival into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.
In what’s turning into a Utah summertime staple for a certain segment of the population, Pie & Beer Day pairs many forms of pie — pizza, apple, key lime, quiche, maybe even chicken pot — with beer.
The first organized event for Pie & Beer Day — a play on “Pioneer Day” — appears to have taken place in 2014, though informal celebrations no doubt occurred much earlier. After all, celebration requirements are simple: combine two readily available ingredients — pie and beer.
Salt Lake’s Beer Bar played host to that first event six years ago. It served as a fundraiser for radio station KRCL. It’s gotten bigger each year since and proceeds from last year’s 6th annual event benefited KUAA radio, a part of the Utah Arts Alliance, which aims to foster the arts to create an aware, empowered, and connected community.
Pie and Beer Day 2020
Normally, in addition to the festival at Beer Bar, many breweries, bars, and restaurants hop on the pie-and-beer-pairing bandwagon because… why not?
Several are getting into the spirit this year, though the events are smaller and more subdued and they are accompanied by COVID-19 restrictions.
Here are a few Pie & Beer Day celebrations we’ve come across.
It’s always a good idea to check with individual establishments/organizers to verify details before showing up. And don’t forget your mask!
Bewilder Brewing, which opened last December, is celebrating its first Pie & Beer Day by offering house-made key lime and strawberry rhubarb pie, as well as $4 pints. The Salt Lake brewery will also release a Kveik Pale Ale. 445 S. 400 W., Salt Lake City
“You bring the pie, we have the ice cream!” Kiitos says. It also has beer… and Beer Float Friday is on tap again today. 5-10 p.m. 608 W. 700 S., Salt Lake City
Level Crossing Brewing
Be appreciated at Level Crossing Brewing during its Customer Appreciation Day on July 24. All pizzas will be 50% off and a pair of barrel-aged beers will be released.
“We let Oat Slayer hibernate in barrels two different ways for five months,” Level Crossing says. “One of the barrels previously contained port wine then bourbon and the other barrel-aged Scotch, rum and bourbon.”
Both will be on tap and available for crowlers to-go on Friday. Mars Highway will be playing a set from 6-8 pm.
“We want to give a big shout out to all of our customers for the support and generosity, especially over the last few months,” Level Crossing says. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; 2496 S. West Temple, South Salt Lake
Stop by Moab Brewery and grab a pint of beer and a slice of pie for $7.50 (while supplies last). 686 S. Main Street, Moab
Mountain West Hard Cider
Visit The Garten and pair Kiitos (and others) craft beer and Mountain West Hard Cider ciders with peach cobbler cupcakes from Sweet Vinyl Bakeshop. The Backyard Revival will be playing from 7-10 p.m. 417 N. 400 W., Salt Lake City
Policy Kings Brewery
Pie by Palette Bakery will be available for $2 a slice to pair with one of the Cedar City brewery’s beers. 3-6p.m., 223 N., 100 W., Cedar City.
By the way, Policy Kings is hosting its 2nd Annual Community Beer Festival on July 25. 1-9 p.m., 223 N., 100 W., Cedar City.
Roosters Brewing is offering half a pizza and a draft pint for $10.99 on July 24. It’s available at the 25th Street and Layton locations.
SaltFire Brewing is opening its patio and pairing its Mobius Trip sour aged in Jamaican rum barrels on Utah peaches with peach cobbler from Sweet Vinyl Bakeshop. 2199 S. West Temple, South Salt Lake
Squatters Craft Beer
Squatters is releasing its Bumper Crop Honey Ale on Friday “exclusively on draft at our downtown pub in partnership with the Salt Lake City Farmers Market.” It’s offering $5 pie and draft beer at each of its locations.
Uinta Brewing is releasing Ataraxy, a New England-style IPA (7% ABV) featuring Strata and Citra hops. This is the first in a series of small-batch releases for Uinta and it’s available starting Friday at noon at the Uinta General Store ($18 per six-pack). Baklava from Bohemian Baklava will also be available. 12-6 p.m. 1722 S. Fremont Drive, Salt Lake City
The latest in the Wasatch Brewing Kickback Series is available in time for Pie & Beer Day. The Kellerbier Lime Lager (5.5% ABV) is available at all Wasatch locations.
Pie & Beer Day: What Else?
Leave a comment to let me know which event(s) you’ll be attending. Also, let me know of any celebratory Pie & Beer Day events I might have missed.