SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is raising the bar when it comes to the quality and quantity of craft beer and craft breweries.
That’s according to a nationwide survey where 180 cities were judged on several factors and Utah made the top ten.
The number six ranking is not a huge surprise to those in the know, because the beer business here has been growing by leaps and bounds, especially over the past 15 years.
There are now more than three dozen craft breweries in Utah.
We may live in a desert but we’re definitely not dry.
“It’s great to make this craft beverage which is a blend of art and science and fermentation, and make a beverage that makes people happy,” said Rachel Bell, Operations Manager for Hopkins Brewing Co. and the National Brewers Association.
A home brewer originally from Atlanta, Bell wasn’t sure what to expect when she moved here four years ago.
But she was blown away by the number of breweries, the quality of the beers and the people who make them.
“It’s such a tight knit community, it’s really like no other place in the country that I have found so far, with the way all the breweries work together,” Bell said. “Not just with each other but with the community, I think that’s a big thing. Everybody wants to give back and support local as much as possible, and I think it’s really evident.“
There’s also the bottom line, the economic impact.
37 Utah craft brewers create roughly 3,000 full and part-time jobs and pump an estimated $450 million into our economy.
“We support local packaging companies, labeling companies, marketing companies, we do, every brewery you see always seems to have some kind of donation going back to a local nonprofit that is something or someone local who needs help. I mean we’re just really engaged with every aspect of the community,” Bell said. “That’s why I love it, I love all the human connections and the craft of making beer.”
With Utah’s population booming, Bell believes there’s room for even more growth in the craft beer business over the next few years.