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Coldest Beer Issue

Utah's Coldest Beer

The best places in Utah to order a cold one.

By City Weekly Staff
Photo by Illustration by Nick Clark 
Posted // July 21,2010 -

The assignment from The Boss was clear, if also daunting. City Weekly was going to hunt for the coldest draft beer in town, no matter where it might be poured.

That idea soon spread beyond the borders of Salt Lake City proper to include a broad sampling of bars from Ogden to Provo, Park City to Tooele, hitting more than 170 bars over the course of three weeks. Fifteen writers scoured the area with high-tech testing equipment (OK, cheap digital thermometers), certificates to note the thermometers’ readings and an eye for what made each bar unique from the next.

beer-glass_1.jpgYou won’t find every bar you know in here. Some familiar places don’t serve draft beer at all (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Kristauf’s, Sandbar Mexican Grill, W Lounge, Ogden’s City Club and The Spur in Park City to name a few), some had broken coolers and couldn’t participate, some seemed to never be open when we went to test, some had closed (RIP Bar-X, Atchafalaya in Provo) and some we pre-emptively excluded for practicality’s sake, such as hotel bars, bowling alley lounges, golf courses’ 19th holes and ski-resort taverns (but we did tackle some of those bars via an online readers poll; you’ll find the results in the Readers' Picks article). We also didn’t test at places more known as restaurants than as bars nor did we test at concert or sporting venues open only for shows or on game nights. And we ordered cheap yellow beer at every place we visited (usually a Budweiser or the closest thing to it).

Some interesting things we learned: A bar’s beer temperatures can vary day to day, based on a number of factors. But more to the point, a 35-degree glass of Bud really doesn’t taste that much different than a 45-degree glass. There are many more groovy neighborhood bars reflecting their respective communities than we could have imagined and, thanks to the state doing away with those annoying private-club requirements, a lot of bars are spiffing up their environs to attract a wider clientele.

This, then, is your guide to those neighborhood haunts that you’ve always wanted to check out. Sit back and savor the results, hopefully while downing a frothy mug of your own.

>> Click here for Utah's Coldest Beers <<

>> Click here for Readers' Picks results <<

Contributors: Nick Clark, Austen Diamond, Bill Frost, Jesse Fruhwirth, Rachel Hanson, Randy Harward, Josh Loftin, Dan Nailen, Eric S. Peterson, John Rasmuson, Scott Renshaw, Ted Scheffler, Anna Sullivan, Cody Winget, Jerre Wroble

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Posted // March 30,2011 at 06:24



Posted // July 27,2010 at 15:07

The coldest beer I remember: Driving home from a mid-summer fishing trip at East Canyon, half-toasted from the sun and other "stuff," and stopping in at Ruth's Diner. The original. Sat at the counter, the place was empty but for three of us. Ruth walks out, cigarette dangling from her mouth. We order a beer and she plops three ice-cold cans of Coors down in front of us, no glasses, pulls the pop-tops for us and says, "Cheers!"

And it was good!


Posted // July 22,2010 at 09:52

The Ocho was right. This is total fluff guys.  Looks like it should be good for bar advertising though...

How could it possibly matter that marginally different beers are served at slightly different temperatures? 

Write a real beer issue! No icy cold beers, no snobbery and no brewery ass-kissing.

This article seriously belongs in our fake alt weekly, In This Week.

Get back to being City Weekly, please.


Posted // July 27,2010 at 12:42 - Michael, You won't find a feature like "Utah's Coldest Beers" elsewhere because few consider Utah's bar scene worthy of the effort. It took our entire edit staff plus a business manager and a graphic designer as well as a posse of freelancers to hit up 170-plus bars. At each place, we engaged the bar staff, asked them questions about the bar, took photos and notes and returned to the office to write what is essentially an up-to-the-minute bar guide. As with our Dining Guide and Best of Utah issue, you would do well to revisit this feature on occasion and take in a few of the bars on this list that you haven't been to--not to impress advertisers. Maybe to expand your known universe a bit, to check out a new neighborhood and inadvertently help bolster Utah's coming-up-for-air nightclub scene.


Posted // July 26,2010 at 08:19 - Agreed. This is stupid.