Fighting for Freedom, Liberty and Beer: Meet the Man Who Made the Brew Pub Possible in Utah.
Before 1986 is was illegal for a brewery to sell its own product. This was a law enacted before prohibition to prevent monopolies whereby brewery owners could snub out competition by buying all the bars and serving only their own beer.
With this law being obviously outdated, not a single brewery had even existed in Utah in 20 years. In 1986, Greg Schirf made it his mission to get this law changed so that he could open Utah’s first ever microbrewery. Prior to 1986 Schirf Brewing Company had been in operation as Utah’s first brewery, but was very limited in how they could distribute their brews, they operated under the mission statement,
“We drink our share and sell the rest.” By what Schirf attributes to a Utah legislative miracle—the Speaker of the House was a fellow Summit County resident, and Pete Domenici of Carbon County sponsoring his bill—Schirf scored his first of many victories in facilitating the loosening of Utah’s extremely stringent liquor laws. He opened Wasatch Brewpub on Park City’s Main Street in 1989. Schirff says, “I feel like I’ve grown up with this city…when I came here I was just a young hippy and as I’ve grown up and matured so has Park City.”
When Wasatch began operating, Park City was still mostly a mining town. “Most of these buildings were boarded up, the RDA was extremely helpful in getting us here.” Schirff and his brother, who was in construction built the new brewpub from the ground up and today it serves not only locals but ski tourists who still are sometimes shocked that such a cool place could exist in Utah.
Schirf spends half of his time at Wasatch and half running operations at UBC (Utah Brewers Cooperative). Schirf’s marketing antics have created a reputation for Wasatch as being the least reverent among all Utah breweries.
AWARD Winning Beers
2010 Great American Beer Festival –
Bronze Medal –
2010 Great American Beer Festival – Gold Medal – Session Beer Category
2008 Great American Beer Festival – Bronze Medal – Belgian Style
Provo Girl Pilsner
2008 World Beer Cup – Bronze Medal – Low Strength Ale or Lager Category2004 Great American Beer Festival – Gold Medal – German Style Pilsner Category
Squatters India Pale Ale (IPA)
2007 Great American Beer Festival – Gold Medal – English Style India Pale Ale Category 2006 World Beer Cup – Gold Medal – English Style India Pale Ale Category 2005 Great American Beer Festival – Silver Medal – English Style India Pale Ale Category
2004 Great American Beer Festival – Gold Medal – English Style India Pale Ale Category2003 Great American Beer Festival – Bronze Medal – English Style India Pale Ale Category
Organic Amber Ale
2007 Great American Beer Festival – Silver Medal – Bitter or Pale Mild Ale Category
Full Suspension Pale Ale
2002 Great American Beer Festival – Gold Medal – Bitter Category
2001 Great American Beer Festival – Gold Medal – Bitter Category
Chasing Tail Golden Ale
2004 Great American Beer Festival – Silver Medal – English Style Summer ale Category
Read More Stories on Wasatch Beer: