Park City is a terrific town for an individual who has a finer taste of things like food and beer. This renowned tourist town is home to some incredible eateries and brewpubs. Most recently, a local company called the Park City Brewing Company started in 2014, hoping to give Park City residents a local brewery to rally behind. However, the modern history of Utahâ€™s micro-brewery craze actually began in Park City almost 30 years, and it has remained a staple here, ever since. This is a brief story of Wasatch Brewery, and how it came to be what it is today…
Utah used to house several influential breweries in the United States, before prohibition. The three largest in the state were the Salt Lake Brewing Company, Fisher Brewing, and Beck Brewery. These breweries were actually three of the largest breweries in the Western United States, in terms of sheer volume of production. Salt Lake Brewing Company, for example, had reached an annual capacity of 100,000 barrels per year, which is on par with the largest American micro-breweries today! However, after the start of prohibition, these businesses obviously suffered. The costs to sustain these breweries made it hard to shift their production facilities into something else that they didnâ€™t have a market presence in. This era, the later rise of domestic beer powerhouses like Coors and Anheuser Busch, and restrictive local Utah laws put an end to all local breweries by the mid 1960â€™s.
Wasatch Brewery begins
In 1986, after an absence of any local breweries for over 20 years, Greg Schirf opened Utahâ€™s first local brewery in a long time, the Schirf Brewing Company. For a couple years, Schirf had been pushing to get the Utah law changed that made it illegal for small breweries to sell their own products, locally. After succeeding in changing that law, Schirf was able to open the first modern Utah brewpub in Park City, in 1986. After he accomplished this, many others followed his actions and created their own local breweries. This included the creation of Squatterâ€™s in 1989, and Uinta Brewing in 1993.
A Park City original
Today, the same Wasatch Brew Pub in 1986 still sits at the top of Park Cityâ€™s historic Main Street. It stands as a local staple of the city, as well as an icon that changed the beer industry in Utah permanently, afterwards. It has also provided a huge economic stimulant to the area, and opened the doors for something like the Park City Brewing Company to open up, today. When youâ€™re in town, be sure to stop in and enjoy a pint of wonderful beer and a plate of delicious food!