I would personally like to invite you all to a beerfest! Utah’s best beerfest in fact. We have close to 60 breweries from all over the West coming to this beer festival. There will be approximately 220 different beers at our super beer soirée, but there’s a slight problem with our beer festival: We have to hold it in Idaho. I know, it’s a bit confusing, but if you look at it this way, it might make more sense.
Remember when you were younger and you wanted to throw that huge, epic rager of a party, but you couldn’t because you lived with you parents? Of course, Ma and Pa said, “Hell no.” Then you’d go over to your Pudd’n Pop-loving buddy’s house and ask him (let’s call him Rob) if you could do it over at his somewhat adequate dump. He of course says, “Fuck yeah!” Well, that’s kinda what the situation is here: The state of Utah is “Ma and Pa” and Idaho is “Rob.” So now that you’ve got the scenario down, what do you think? You up for beerfest?
Yes, it’s true, Utah’s best beer festival is, in fact, in Idaho. Its official name is The Mountain Brewers’ Beer Festival, and, if you’ve never been, you’re missing out on a truly great time. Thus far, 10 of Utah’s breweries—including Roosters, Bohemian, Shades of Pale, Hoppers and Uinta—have all confirmed that they’ll be pouring beers at the event.
My wife and I first came across The Mountain Brewers’ Beer Festival back in 2000 and have been faithful attendees ever since. Its proximity to the Wasatch Front makes it a relatively quick drive to the festival’s home of Idaho Falls, and it doesn’t have all of the bullshit baggage that the Utah legislature foists upon our hometown beer gatherings.
This beerfest isn’t just about getting your drink on. It’s also a sanctioned beer competition put on by the North American Brewers Association. The NABA regularly attracts attendees from more than 20 states and several foreign countries. With all revenue directed to charities and non-profits, the fest has earned these groups more than half a million dollars.
Five years ago, I was honored when I was invited to be among the competition judges, which are comprised mostly of brewers, industry professionals and sanctioned beer judges. Over a period of three eight-hour days prior to the beerfest, the judges blindly sample beers to find the ones that best fit the predetermined standards for that beer’s particular style.