Breweries: Level Crossing Brewing Co., SaltFire Brewing Co., Shades Brewing
This month’s column is a little different from past issues. Instead of highlighting one beer, we’re pointing out a cool, quick bike-and-beer path that could easily be accomplished in an afternoon. It’s a challenge most entry-level riders could complete with relative ease while having a fun experience along the way. The collective trip we recommend is to Level Crossing Brewing Co., SaltFire Brewing Co. and Shades Brewing. Bike paths are marked and are on both sides of West Temple for safety and ease. If you don’t live near, it’s simple to start with your bike from the Trax station at 2100 South regardless of whichever brewery you choose to begin with. If you don’t have a bike, there is a GREENbike station conveniently located at that stop.
The great thing about this combo of breweries is that you can start at either end of the route because both points have access to great food and beer. To get our thirst on, we started with the most southerly brewery and made our way north. We sampled beers at each location and came up with suggestions categorized as “the Clean,” “the Hoppy” and “the Interesting” with the hope to provide something for everyone.
Level Crossing Brewing Co.:
If you’re hungry, their tasty wood-fired pizza hits the right spot. Beers to try: “The Clean” – Bat Country (5.0%) is a blonde ale, golden in color with hints of fruitiness and is easy to drink. “The Hoppy” – In the Pines (5.0%) is a hazy pale ale and adds the punch you may be looking for if you are passing on the clean tones of Bat Country. This glowing, orange beverage has notes of pine with stronger flavors of grapefruit. “The Interesting” – You-Tah Coffee Uncommon (5.0%) is a reddish-brown brew with a creamy, sweet and delightful coffee flavor.
SaltFire Brewing Co.:
This destination routes past the SLC Bicycle Collective—there will be no flat tires here. Beers to try: “The Clean” – NZED Pilsner (5.4%) is light, pristine and thirst-quenching. “The Hoppy” – 12 Monkey’s IPA (9.1%) is a big, hoppy brew not made for the timid and imparts a nice balance of malty sweetness to drive up the alcohol with bitterness to round it out. “The Interesting” – Dirty Chai Stout (6.7%) has been a favorite of ours for some time. It drinks dark and roasty with cinnamon and chocolate. This beer is edgy!
The smell of delicious BBQ drifts through the air from the neighbor’s place, Pat’s BBQ. “The Clean” – Premium Lager (5.0%), like most in this category, is crystal-clear and smooth with hints of crisp hops. “The Hoppy” – Grapefruit Revolution (5.0%) became a Utah IPA staple with its dry delivery of citrus flavors. “The Interesting” – The Livli Pineapple Mint Seltzer (5.0%) is a pastel-yellow beverage with stages of flavor that starts with mint, flows to pineapple and finishes clean.
All in all, visiting each of these breweries is a fun experience because they have different vibes. If you want to extend this tour a little longer, you can begin (or end) your journey at Grid City Beer Works and stop by Beehive Distilling between Level Crossing and SaltFire. Utah touts many closely lumped–together breweries, and a springtime bike ride seems like a great way to visit some of them! Always remember to wear your helmet, keep it safe and be responsible. Cheers!