Bottoms Up in Mormon County

"A lot of tourists left, I think, probably a little bit annoyed and I would assume went somewhere else for their next ski vacation where they weren't going to be hassled as much," Vance said. "People couldn't figure out why it was that they had to join a club that didn't have a swimming pool, golf course or a tennis court."

The Beerhive took over an old FedEx store and now has about 100 beers on tap. But it's more unique feature might be a narrow strip of ice lining the top of the bar counter where patrons can place their beer between sips.

"Your whole life you're used to getting that last, nasty warm sip of beer. With this, the last sip is colder than the first," Vance said.

A five-minute walk away from the Beerhive is Squatters, which has been brewing beer for two decades.

The brewpub always has 12 of its own beers on tap and makes about 20 seasonal varieties.

Brewmaster Jennifer Talley and her assistant Jason Stock make fun beers based on their taste and what they are in the mood to drink. On a recent weekday they bottled 2,240 bottles of their new 529 beer, aged 529 days in oak barrels in the basement.

"We're here to prove the stigma wrong. We've been here 20 years making amazing beers," Talley said. "People don't even know that you can have a drink in Utah. Not only can you have a drink, you can have amazing beers, amazing wines."

Utah's Growing Microbrewery Business

Thanks to the new law Talley can now make beers with a high percentage of alcohol, although they still can't serve those on tap -- only in bottles.

"It just opened up our entire portfolio of beers to be able to make anything we want, any style we want," she said.

Squatters and other brewpubs can now also sell six-packs of beer directly to consumers to take home. Previously, the brewery had to sell the beer to the state and then buy it back at a markup. Squatters said sales have quadrupled because of that change.

For now, Squatters -- like most other Utah breweries -- sells the vast majority of its beer in-state. The pub is just too small to keep up with bottling large quantities of beer for distribution. But Squatters does hope to get its beer on the shelves of liquor stores elsewhere in a few years.

"We want to make sure our locals are taken care of first," Talley said, "then we will take care of everybody else."

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