I know what you’re probably thinking: “You went on a roadtrip with your homebrewer and beer loving husband and of course you had to stop by various breweries for “research””
My mother turned big 6-0 this year and to celebrate this momentous occasion I’ve been researching and planning for months as to how to celebrate. The idea of a photographically-packed roadtrip was born, making stops in famous places like Salt Lake City, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion NP, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Mountain Valley and everything in between.
Each day was calling for 6-8 hours of driving and of course what else can you do to split up the time and have an interesting place to stop and rest – Breweries! Luckily, my mother is a relatively new convert to the World of Beers and was just as eager as me to visit various drinking holes along our 9 day journey.
So in the order they were visited, here is part 1 of the places that kept us quenched, sane and of course – jolly!
1.Salt Lake City’s Desert Edge Brewery
Located in a very impressive building, this two story beauty is licensed as a bar (not a restaurant). Utah’s drinking laws require either one or the other license, making the patrons order drinks first, food second. Not an inconvenience but the same laws also state that you shouldn’t have more than 2 drinks at any time in front of you (so no samplers of 5+ glasses and such). In addition, those savages in Utah can’t have you driving home with the blood alcohol limit of higher than .05 (are you angry yet?) Lastly, a brewery in Utah has to “water down” their drinks if they want them to be served at convenience stores or grocery stores to 3.2% by weight (4.0% by volume). Cue a sad violin!
But tune in to part 2 of this post to see how our drinking experience in Salt Lake was redeemed and we knew not all was lost while drinking in Utah!
So, back to Desert Valley Brewery and the 6 beers we did get to try (among three people, of course):
- Happy Valley Hefeweizen – BEST
- Pub Pils
- Utah Pale Ale
- Belgian Enkel
- Pub’s Hoppy Amber
- Rye P.A. – BEST
2. Zion Canyon Brewing Company in Springdale, Utah
Driving through Zion, you couldn’t help but marvel and ooh and aah at the various rock formations. Spending minutes inside dark tunnels just to drive past an opening in a mountain that reveals (even if just for a second) the magnificence of Zion Canyon National Park. Well how convenient that a brewery situated itself among the tourist shops, restaurants and rental places, making it a definite lunch spot for many roadtrippers like us.
At $2 tasters we went with:
- Foray Pomegranate Sour – BEST (fruity and refreshing)
- Sweet Tart Saison
- Zion Pale Ale
- Echo Canyon India Style Session Ale – BEST (flavorful and aromatic)
Searching for closest breweries near our hotel in the Sin City, I couldn’t help but notice one pub RIGHT INSIDE IT. So making the most out of our day’s stay we decided to check it out.
3. Chicago Brewing Company Pub inside Four Queens Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada
Good luck getting there, because you might be swayed by all the noise of the gambling machines on the way. The pub is small, dark and intimate, but even at the bar you’re faced with the choice of either drinking your beverage or gambling some more!
We each had:
- Hardway I.P.A – BEST
- Sun Down Stout (we’re not Stout drinkers but decided to try and barely finished it…)
Walking the streets of Vegas, we couldn’t help but notice all the crazies, especially those of Freemont Street. They were comparable to those of San Francisco homeless but with more glitter and skin showing. Luckily, towards the end of the street, we came across another Brewery – “Ok, we thought, let’s wash the crazies out of our minds!”
Enticing the crowds with a large tank placed right outside its front doors, this brewery had some very intriguing beer flavors I’ve seen thus far. We went with a sampler of 4:
- Watermellon Wheat (2nd favorite)
- Perfect 10 Pale Ale
- Jalapeno Hefe – BEST
While I had a lot of curiousity for this Jalapeno concoction, it didn’t deliver in the taste department. On the other hand, my mom loved it and experienced all the spiciness it had to offer.
- Hibiscus Saison – BEST
Having only tasted Hibiscus Teas, I really loved the subtlety of this beer and the refreshing summer taste.
Before passing some hail on the way to Grand Canyon, we ventured on to the infamous Route 66, where in Williams Arizona (pop 3700) we stopped for lunch at Kicks on Route 66 restaurant. There, we paired our burgers with a very delicious pint of Tower Station IPA from Mother Road Brewing Company (Flagstaff, Arizona). It was a perfect blend of hoppy beer, very friendly staff and a super delicious Bourbon Cheesecake desert!
So by no means is this a comprehensive report on the breweries visited and their beers devoured. It’s just two chicks on a road trip during the hottest time of the year, while enjoying refreshing beverages along their way. We’re beer enthusiasts, not connoisseurs, in case you couldn’t tell by lack of Porters, Lagers, Barley wine, Bocks and other styles. We like what we like and I write about it! Cheers!