You don't need to travel to Germany or even to Snowbird to attend Oktoberfest this year. On Saturday,
Sept. 28, on Granary Row downtown, the Utah Brewers Guild is hosting Oktoberfest, with 11 breweries showcasing their fall beers.
It's a chance to try special Oktoberfest beers, as well as limited-time seasonal offerings. Bohemian Brewery and Squatters both came out with special Oktoberfest beers this year, and other breweries will likely be pouring their fall selections -- think pumpkin beer and perhaps Uinta's Bristlecone Brown ale.
The mini Oktoberfest will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. at Granary Row (336 W. 700 South, Salt Lake City). Attendees must be 21 years or older; entry is $5, and each 16-ounce beer is $5.
The event is a fundraiser to help the Utah Brewers Guild raise money to sponsor its own brewing festival. "Our main mission is to promote local Utah craft beer," says Kevin Ely, president of the guild; they're hoping to raise $2,000 at the event, he says.
"It's very important to see the camaraderie with the brewers," says Erika Palmer, a member of the guild, who helped organize the event. Palmer says that the breweries do compete against each other for beer-drinkers' business, "but there is also a brotherhood in making beer."
Ely says that just 6.5 percent of the volume of beer purchased nationally is craft beer -- beer that's produced on a small scale, independently, and often with more flavor. The vast majority of beer consumed is owned by two conglomerate companies.
"Part of the fundraiser is also to publicize Utah craft beer and advertise it to more people," Ely says.
The event will also feature local food trucks and music.
The complete list of brewers participating in Oktoberfest is:
Shades of Pale