Microbrewery in South Salt Lake seeks city council’s approval to offer taste tests

Posted at 7:20 PM, Jun 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-11 09:27:32-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A new microbrewery in South Salt Lake is trying to expand their business by offering taste testing. However, there's just one problem: the city won't give them a permit because they say there are already too many bars in town.

Shades of Pale's primary businesses is selling their beer to grocery stores, restaurants and bars around the state.

They would now like to turn their manufacturing center, in South Salt Lake, into a tourist destination where they show visitors the brewing process and provide them a place to taste, drink, and buy beer.

Currently visitors can only buy bottles of beer to take home, as legally they can't drink it on the property. In order to change that, Shades of Pale needs a bar permit from the city. The city only allows one bar permit per 3,000 residents and currently they are over that quota.

"It's very important for us because what happens is, if you're not familiar with our products and you come in, what's the first thing you want to do? You want to try it," said owner Trent Fargher. "It's like buying a new pair of shoes. You don't go to REI and pick out a new pair of hiking boots and say, 'OK I'll take those without trying them on,' right? It's the same kind of thing here: People want to come and taste, they want to sample."

On Wednesday, the city council is discussing a plan to create a special permit for microbrews. They would no longer be classified as a bar and they would instead have their own separate category.

"We recognize there is a difference between a bar and a brewery, they need to get the kind of state licenses they need to get, what we are looking at tonight is what kind of consensus does the city need to give so that they can operate the way they want to," said Paul Robert, a Deputy City Attorney for South Salt Lake.

If and when Shades of Pale gets this special permit from the city, the next step is a license from the DABC. If they get a bar license from the state they can only serve 3.2 beer. They will need a club license to serve heavy beer, however right now there is a waiting list for club licenses.