Forget What You Thought: Salt Lake City's Bar Scene Goes Off
It might be a yin yang thing with so many saints in town, but cocktail culture is booming in Salt Lake City. Bar-X, Copper Common, Lake Effect, Red Door, Under Current, Water Witch and Whiskey Street each offer library-sized selections of spirits with expert mixologists and cool environs.
Wine lovers get theirs, too, particularly at BTG, where 75+ domestic and international wine picks are offered by the glass in pours from two ounces up.
Craft brew mania also is alive and well in Salt Lake City. Check out Avenues Proper, The Bayou, Beer Bar, Beerhive, Bohemian, Epic, Red Rock, Squatters and Wasatch, for a start. (Utah's liquor laws do still differentiate between "full strength beer" and beer that has 3.2% alcohol by weight, which makes full octane beer a little harder to get, but it's a minor challenge compared to the past.)
In other words: Cheers!
What's up with drinking in Utah?
Liquor laws in Utah largely have been normalized compared to days of yore: Going to a bar or restaurant here and ordering an adult beverage is little different than in other states (although even 50-year-olds are advised to carry legal ID if they wish to be served in Utah, and 3.2% beer is still a thing).
The main difference is that Utah will have a .05% blood alcohol limit for drivers as of December 2018. Signed into law in March 2017, it's the lowest limit in the United States, and could send many people over the legal limit before they've finished their second drink.
Skiers and boarders staying in downtown Salt Lake City who think they might imbibe at après-ski are smart to plan in advance:
Skip the car altogether and take transit (free with the Ski City Super Pass) to and from Alta, Brighton, Solitude and Snowbird.
Or, hire Canyon Transportation to pilot your whole posse to and from the mountain.
Or, agree in advance on a designated driver who commits to having zero alcoholic drinks at the mountain before piloting your crew back downtown.
Or, take a pass on après-ski at the mountain to head back downtown, and then hoof it (or take TRAX light rail) from your hotel to the bars.