Utah Stories

Beer Meetups

Area Meetup groups connect through common liquid interests.


“Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer.” ~Henry Lawson, 19th Century writer and poet.

Improper Cleanse2
Improper Cleanse, of Hash Hound Harriers, enjoy a pre-trail beverage. Photo by Paige Wiren

Beer historically has been the focal point of social gatherings, and modern technology allows strangers to connect in new ways and enjoy a cold one. Meetup is a social network portal through which people can create or join a group of like-minded individuals. Consider joining one of these local beer-focused Meetup groups.

Salt Lake Beer Drinkers connects through amber nectar. Launched by a young man riding the tailwinds of divorce, the group has evolved into a lively, inclusive troupe of suds lovers. On this night the group has met at Piper Down’s “Geeks Who Drink” event. Participants occupy a handful of high tops close to the emcee stage. Some have been attending these gatherings for two years; others have just started coming, but the social ambiance encourages friendship. One woman notes that meeting this way in a bar, “doesn’t have a meat market feeling,” and different individuals agree that they appreciate the social construct in which those who attend just want to meet other people. Thirsty Thursday is a favorite group standby. Scott, the group’s original administrator notes, “Not many people who come the first time never come back.”

Hash Hound Harriers history dates back to early 20th century British colonies. Fast forward to Utah in the 21st century where there are a few local “kennels,” or clubs. These rowdy and intrepid beer drinkers engage in a loosely structured ritual event in which chosen “hares” make an impermanent trails for “hounds” to follow. The trail willy-nilly follows the hares’ lead up or down creeks, on or off footpaths. Hounds “running trail” must also stop at marked cues and perform ritual acts, such as singing collectively known HHH songs. Beer wets pre,- during, and after-trail run activity. There are no rules, only traditions. The overall tone of the organization is bawdy and those who participate should not easily offend. The Whoremans are a local kennel of tight-knit and welcoming adventurers. One member considers this eccentric clan his “chosen family.” “Improper Cleanse,” the group’s organizer, stresses that overall function of the group is to “have fun and instill camaraderie.”

Beer Meets Business gathers at an area bar on the fourth Friday of every month. Comprised mostly of entrepreneurs, this is a group of of professionals who like to make new connections. Ray says that he and his business partner are there not to do business with other members, but to network and maybe find new prospect leads. “If I don’t get anything out of it,” he says, “at least I’ll have fun on a Friday night.” Ten people circle a fire pit at Campfire Lounge. Two gentlemen discuss developing a business model. Others engage in less business oriented conversation because, as organizer Linda says, “It’s Friday and sometimes you don’t necessarily want to talk about business.” But the opportunity remains to professionally hobnob while downing a brew.

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