The Virgin Jail and other fake western buildings in Virgin, Utah.

Utah is the Surprising Home to Dozens of Distilleries, Breweries and Wineries

The majestic scenery of Zion National Park, one of five NPs in Utah.

Utah, known for its breathtaking landscapes and thriving outdoor recreation, is also home to a burgeoning craft beer and spirits scene. From bold and hop-forward IPAs to rich and complex whisky blends, breweries and distilleries across the state are crafting libations that challenge the stereotype of “Utah as a dry state,” reshaping the narrative around Utah’s brewing and distilling culture.


You may not know that in 1933, Utah played a pivotal role in ending prohibition, which set off a nationwide celebration. Contrary to popular belief, the party is still going strong in Utah. Although Utahns may not drink much (though that’s on the rise!), they do drink well. Local breweries consistently earn recognition in the craft beer scene and, ever since High West Distillery broke into the scene in 2006 – marking Utah’s first legal “whisky” distillery since 1870 – the craft of distilling has been thriving in the Beehive state.

Distilleries (more than 23 in the state (and growing)!)


  • High West Distillery | Park City – In 2006, Jane and David Perkins opened the first legal (and only ski-in/ski-out!) distillery in Utah since the late 19th century, right in the heart of Park City. High West Distillery quickly won national attention through fantastic branding, backed up by David Perkins’s (a former biochemist!) prescient analysis of whiskey blending trends. High West’s crazy-like-a-fox spirits lines include offerings like Campfire Whiskey: a blend of bourbon, rye and imported Scotch.

  • Beehive Distilling | Salt Lake City – As Utah’s first gin distillery since 1870, Beehive Distilling has made a splash since it came onto the scene with its Jack Rabbit Gin. The brand garnered international praise for the unusual floral and sage-forward aspects of its juniper spirit, and design awards for its distinctive clean-lined label. Since their initial release, they’ve added a Barrel Reserve Gin aged in hand-charred French Oak and an exceptionally smooth organic vodka.

  • Dented Brick Distillery | Salt Lake City – Built on land formerly owned by one of Utah’s first distillers, Hugh Moon, the modern distillery utilizes Moon’s original artesian well. Named after the many dented bricks salvaged from the old homestead on the property, the distillery was built around access to the original water source, which guests can see (and taste) right from the spigot—in the distillery’s shop. According to head distiller Ethan Miller, good water is key. “There are so many variables that play into the distilling process, but if the water doesn’t have the correct pH, or has too many chemical additives or too few minerals, it can throw off everything from initial fermentation to bottle proofing.”

  • Waterpocket Distillery | West Valley City – Waterpocket Distillery is named for owners Julia and Alan Scott’s love of spending time in Utah red rocks country, an ode to one of their favorite geological features, Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef National Park. Alan combines his passion for flavor and Julia’s background in chemical engineering with the art of ancient botanical distillation to create one-of-a-kind products. Their passion for artisan spirits has segued nicely with their love for researching long-lost liqueur and herbal spirits recipes.

Breweries (more than 40 in the state (and growing)!)


  • Templin Family Brewing (TF Brewing) | Salt Lake City – Specializing in traditional lager beers, TF Brewing is deeply rooted in a reverence for the German way of making beer, brewing with fresh, high-quality ingredients, slow pours, and big foam. They also produce a selection of barrel-aged beers, IPA’s, sour beers, wine, cider and spirits. And, it turns out that people love their lagers! While they’ve received numerous accolades over the years, they recently took home the People’s Choice Best Brewery award at Lagerville (out of 50 breweries!) and are on their way into the Lagerville Hall of Fame.

  • Fisher Brewing | Salt Lake City – Fisher Brewing opened its doors in Salt Lake City in 1884, making it one of Utah’s early breweries. The brewery was founded by a German immigrant, Albert Fisher, who found incredible success in the industry until Prohibition hit. Then, 50 years later, the business was brought back by Albert Fisher’s great-great-grandson, Tom Riemondy, and partners Tim Dwyer, Steve Brown and Colby Frazier in 2017. A nod to the company’s flagship lager, Fisher Beer, is just one of a large and diverse list of beers on tap at Fisher Brewing.

  • Talisman Brewing Company | Ogden – This veteran-owned-and-operated brewery has developed a broad selection of beers ranging from light, Mexican lagers to robust, dark stouts, and their work in the realm of goses and sours is exceptional. However, it’s their refinement of hoppy beers that truly sets Talisman apart from the rest.

  • Helper Beer | Helper – Utah’s newest brewery, Helper Beer, opened in May 2023 and is both the brewery’s name and the name of its flagship beverage, a light American lager. Brewer Jaron Anderson, a protégé of Templin Family Brewing’s Kevin Templin, wanted his signature beer to be a light lager because it’s a difficult beer to make well.


Beyond Beer + Spirits


  • Etta Place Cidery & Taproom | Torrey – Established in the historic orchard lands of Central Utah, Etta Place Cider draws upon the paradoxical story of its namesake’s outlaw life running around with Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch. Located at 7000’ in the heart of Utah’s red rock country near Capitol Reef National Park, founders Ann Torrance and Robert Marc planted the first of 500 traditional cider and other heritage apple trees in 2012. Now, they grow over 80 cultivars as well as peaches, cherries and cider pears and create ciders to showcase the quality of the fruit they grow, like their award-winning rosé cider from their own red-fleshed apples. By building on the legacy of Utah pioneers who grew apples in historic Fruita and employing a modern approach to cider making, Etta Place Cider is creating a new standard for craft beverages in Utah.

  • Utah Wine Trail | Southern Utah – Utah once had a flourishing wine scene before drinking was prohibited during the 20th century due to state temperance laws and conservative religious views. Flash forward to today and Utah’s wine scene is making a comeback. Winemakers have discovered that Southern Utah’s climate and elevation at 4500’, with its hot days, cool nights and volcanic soil make for a special place to produce great wines. This is seemingly no surprise, at it shares a latitude with other excellent wine producing regions around the world such as Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece. Today, there are five wineries in close proximity to each other, and all within an hour of Zion National Park.