Mountain Brewers festival is too far of a drive for you or it doesn't quite satisfy your beerfest quota, the 2012 Utah Beer Festival should put you in your happy place.
In previous years the Utah Beer Festival has been held at Washington Square in downtown SLC. This year it's moving back to the newly remodeled Gallivan Center where most of our local beerfests have been held. This year the beerfest will be held on August 26.
This beerfest has sparked a lot of debate in the beer community. Many have called it unorganized and poorly planned. I personally don't think this is the case. Yes, the crowds are massive an the lines are brutally long, but in my opinion the festival as it is now is to small for the size of the Wasatch Front & Back. Here's my reasoning.
Too few breweries participate: Utah breweries are great, but the number of participating breweries can't possibly meet the publics demand unless each brewery triples or Quadruples their ability to serve.
Bring in out of state breweries: This would be nice and many out of state breweries would love to participate, but none are willing to endure the cost of bringing in thousands and thousands of bottles, when kegs are their preferred option. which they're not allowed to do by Utah Law.
Real estate: Washington Square was a full city block and it was never utilized. The Gallivan Center is much smaller and all of it will be utilized. This may cause more crowding and line problems if the numbers of tickets aren't greatly reduced.
The Number of Days: This in my opinion is the real key to making this a success. A two or three day festival would greatly reduces the burden on all parties involved. Brewers wouldn't need to increase their resources, crowd size could be limited and organizers could still make their bottom lines. Most everyone would be happy.
I've always had a great time at the UBF. I'd love to see it become life long tradition. What are your thought, anything I missed?