No need to travel to a galaxy far, far away. Or to another dimension. The 10th Annual Tour de Brewtah — dubbed Spaced-X — is set to blast off right in our own backyard.
Scheduled for May 4 — May the Fourth Be With You, after all — the bicyclist-meet-brewery space-themed event brings together cyclists and craft beer enthusiasts to “tour our ever-expanding local ‘brewiverse.'”
Spread across the Salt Lake Valley — and even into Ogden — the Tour de Brewtah includes 10 unique routes that feature 26 breweries, a cidery, and a distillery. Each cleverly named route features three breweries (in some cases, bars).
Each ticket costs $40 and includes four beverage tokens. Advanced registration is encouraged; there’s limited availability, and at least one route is already sold out.
Bicyclists pre-register for their preferred route and a “blast off” time, and they start pedaling toward their first destination. Organizers offer a suggested path, but you’re welcome to start with whichever brewery you’d like. Riders should plan to arrive at “Mission Control” (The Gateway) at least a half-hour before their scheduled departure time.
Tour de Brewtah isn’t limited to Tour de France-caliber cyclists, either.
“There’s something for every bike level,” says Brandon Smith, distiller at Dented Brick Distillery, who, with Bohemian Brewery’s Will Gillane and Kelly Schaefer are heading up the event. “We all like to have fun but we also like to help the community.”
In fact, a portion of proceeds from this year’s Tour de Brewtah benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Exploring the Beer Frontier
The event, which takes place during Utah Bike Month, features tours encompassing a variety of distances. The shortest Tour de Brewtah bike ride — Journey to Planet OG — is six miles, but that one also includes a FrontRunner trip to Ogden (train pass included in registration fee).
The longest bike route is 29 miles. That one takes cyclists to Midvale’s Hoppers Grill & Brewing and Bohemian Brewery, as well as to South Salt Lake’s Level Crossing Brewing.
Other routes include (our favorite names below; here’s a complete list):
- Close Encounters of the Thirst Kind. Uinta Brewing, SaltFire Brewing Co., and Shades Brewing.
- IBUFO: I Want to Brewlieve. Red Rock Brewing, Kiitos Brewing, and Park City Brewing, which recently moved in to share resources with Shades Brewing.
- Mission to Bars. Bonneville Brewing will be pouring at Handlebar, 2 Row at Beerhive, and Strap Tank at Piper Down.
RoHa Brewing Project, which is on the Buzzed Lightyear route, participated for the first time last year.
“I thought it was fantastic,” says Rob Phillips, co-owner of RoHa. “For us it was great exposure. We had so many new people stop in who hadn’t been here before. They enjoyed seeing our space, trying our beers, and enjoyed meeting us. We probably earned a lot of return customers out of that.”
What’s New for 2019?
Organizers are going big in celebration of the Tour de Brewtah 10th anniversary. It drew more than 800 cyclists last year, and this time around Tour de Brewtah expects to knock those numbers out of the stratosphere.
Here are a few noteworthy changes or additions for the 2019 installment, according to Smith:
- Instead of six routes, this year’s Tour de Brewtah features 10 unique voyages — including a trip to Ogden (another first).
- Several local breweries will set up at “Mission Control” — aka The Gateway — from noon to 7 p.m. for an all-ages festival featuring beer, food, and music. “We’re going to give everyone a chance to try something from a brewery they might not have been able to visit on a bicycle,” Smith says.
- A cidery — Mountain West Cider House & Bar — and a distillery — Dented Brick — will participate for the first time. “We’ve had requests in the past for gluten-free routes,” Smith says. “We’re trying to be all-inclusive by adding Mountain West and Dented Brick since they have gluten-free products.”
Tour de Brewtah Tips
First and foremost, bring proper identification. Without it, you’ll be denied admission at every brewery.
Second, organizers advise taking your bike out a week before the event to make sure it’s good to go (especially if it’s been stored in the garage all winter).
“Make sure it’s working well,” Smith says. “Bring a helmet and a lock. You’re responsible for your bike.
Additionally: “Tip your bartenders and, I can’t stress this enough,” he says, “don’t forget your ID.”
And finally, ride responsibly.
Bonus: Subscribe to the Utah Beer News Podcast and listen to our interview with Brandon Smith. A commander for Spaced-X Tour de Brewtah, Smith details exactly what beer explorers can expect on the upcoming 10th anniversary voyage.
Tour de Brewtah: If You Go
- WHEN: Saturday, May 4. Each route features three start times, beginning at 10 a.m. The beer festival at The Gateway runs from noon to 7 p.m. It’s a rain or shine event.
- WHERE: Tours start and end at “Mission Control,” which is The Gateway, 400 W. 100 S., Salt Lake City, UT 84101
- WHAT: A bicycle-meets-brewery event that began in 2010 and attracted more than 800 cyclists a year ago. This year’s 10th-annual event features 10 routes (up from six in 2018) stretching from Ogden to Midvale, and a beer festival at The Gateway starting at 1 p.m. The Tour, which features 26 craft breweries, a cidery, and a distillery, brings together cyclists of all abilities and beer enthusiasts to tour Utah’s ever-expanding “brewiverse.”
- TICKETS: Register in advance. $40 per cyclist includes four beverage tokens.
- MORE INFO: 21+ only to participate on the Tour (all ages are welcome at The Gateway festival; ID required to purchase beer). Here’s a list of participating breweries and a rundown of what to bring. Visit the Tour de Brewtah website or Facebook Page for additional details.