Beer Stories

New Brew Pubs at Salt Lake City International Airport

Local Brew Pubs at the Salt Lake International Airport cater to travelers and offer a taste of local brewing.


The day starts earlier at the Salt Lake Airport. In the city, you can’t get a drink in a restaurant until 11:30 am. But at the airport, the imbibing hour starts at eight in the morning. And there is nothing stopping you from ordering a drink on its own. You’re not required to go in with an intention for food, like the rest of the state.

“People will start drinking earlier. If you’re coming from overseas, it might be 8 am here, but it’s 10 pm in the evening for them,” said Rick Seven, Salt Lake Brewing Co. brand manager. 

Gone are the days of double-priced beverages, simply because you’re buying at the airport. 

“Whatever prices we charge at our downtown brew pub is the price we have to sell for at the airport. I’ve been gouged by airport brew pubs, and it’s just so fun to go in there and get a great value and enjoy everything without paying an arm and a leg,” said Michael Druce, Redrock’s director of the production brewery. 

If you don’t see a restaurant in Salt Lake or Park City, you won’t see it in the airport. All businesses at the airport are required to already have a local presence before requesting an airport location.

Bars are known for cheesy pick-up lines, and these craft beer centers are no different. They each have their own way to show you how they differ from the competition. Roosters goes for a community and family feel, while Red Rock broadcasts themselves as the last truly locally owned, made and sold brewery. Uinta talks about giving back to the community, and Salt Lake Brewing was the pioneer in helping to legalize the making and selling of beers in Utah. 

Roosters Brewing Co. 

Roosters opened at the airport in August 2021. They’re smack in the middle of the terminal plaza, making it the first brewery you see on your way to your gate. Kim and Pete Buttschardt opened Roosters Brewing Co. in Ogden in 1995. Since then, the Ogden historical area has transformed from a small quiet space to a destination location.

“25th street has become home to farmers markets, community events, and concerts, many of which are supported by Roosters Brewing Co.,” said Brittany Rocha, Roosters marketing and communications director.

“Led by our master brewer, Steve Kirkland, who has been with us since the beginning, our team pours their hearts into every brew,” Rocha said. 

One of their more popular brews is Bee’s Knees Honey Wheat Ale. Its honey flavor and name are a tribute to Utah’s ‘Beehive State’ moniker. 

Uinta Brewing Co.

Uinta Brewing sits in Concourse B, and is named after the Uinta mountain range in Utah; the only mountain range in North America that runs east to west. 

In the past, they have won international awards for their beers, including a gold medal in the World Beer Cup in 2008, as well as North American and European bronze and silver medals. 

The business began in a mechanic shop in 1993, but has grown to a 5-acre facility. 

Uinta donates 1% of their Westwater beer sales to Utah habitat and water conservation. 

Salt Lake Brewing/Wasatch Brew Pub

Salt Lake Brewing Co. owns two locations at the airport: Salt Lake Brewing Co (formerly Squatters) and Wasatch Brew Pub. Squatters was the first brew pub at the airport nearly 30 years ago. 

Wasatch Brew Pub was the first of its kind. Greg Schirf pioneered the way in the late 1980s, helping change the laws that prohibited the sale of freshly brewed beer. Before then, if you wanted a beer in a restaurant, you needed to pay for a membership to a private club, or go to a beer bar. 

“You couldn’t make local beers and sell them,” Seven said. 

Today, Salt Lake Brewing operates both Salt Lake and Wasatch through five stand-alone pubs, two locations at the airport, and serves beer through restaurants throughout the state. 

Nils Imboden, an award winning beer maker, recently came on to craft exclusive new recipes. They keep the beers close to Utah, naming them after the founder Schirf, local and powerful women such as Mellie Pullman, a famous local brewmaster, and a blonde beer Madam from an iconic redlight district, Wasatch Polygamy Porter and Dog Lake Pale Ale. 

Red Rock Brewery

RedRock opened their airport doors in October 2023 in the new A-East expansion. “It’s been a learning experience for us. The general habit is people like to eat and drink near their gates so they can keep an eye on it. There’s not really a bad place in the airport,” Druce said.

Though new to the airport, they are not new in Utah. March 2024 is their 30-year anniversary. They started on 200 W. in downtown Salt Lake, when it was the scary ‘west side’ of town. 

Along with other restaurants, the brewery encouraged more traffic and expansion of downtown Salt Lake. Later this year they will open doors to a larger brewery to handle the demand for their local beers. 

The only place to get a Redrock is in Utah. The airport location is one  of the only ways for someone outside of Utah to get a taste of an exclusively unique beer.

Feature Image: Wasatch Brew Pub at the Salt Lake Airport.


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