Still to go: As many as we can find!
Currently I am working in Cairo, Egypt. I have a firm rule to try local products first, wherever I am. It may be surprising to some, but there is beer to be found in Cairo.
Stella (not to be confused with Stella Artrois) An American style lager. My first impression was perhaps not that good, but by the time I finished the first can I could appreciate it for what it is. Starts off sort of Budweiserish, but tends toward a sweet finish that is quite refreshing after 20 hours of travel to get to my hotel.
Sakara. Another American style lager. Maybe the can I had was a bit skunked. It had a bit more hop in the initial presentation than Stella, but it really either needed fewer hops, or quite a bit more. Slightly sour, it really didn’t do much for me.
I haven’t found any other local varieties, but I think I am going to try to make a trip to a bar I saw last night in New Cairo called (I am not kidding here…) Bro’s. I reckon a beer bar called Bro’s can hook a brotha up with other local recommendations.
The beers here may be underwhelming, but this is not a culture that currently has a rich brewing tradition. While beer has been made in this area for as long as Society has existed, it’s not a part of the local culture to imbibe. So regardless of the quality of the product, I am highly likely to continue drinking the local Stella for the duration of my stay.
The first thing I am doing when I get home is to find a good craft IPA.
The two bars that DrinkSLC visited this week were contrasting visions of faulty expectations. In my mind’s eye, I expected one to be the sort of place where you go for a shot and a beer and some sports on the TV. The other I expected a laid back lounge where people go to savour fine spirits in a relaxed atmosphere. Ther realities were a mixology haven serving such cocktails as the Moscow Mule and the Sarzerac, drinks you don’t usually find at most places, and a down to earth pub hidden in the basement of the Walker Center. Both places certainly did not match the mental image that I had created on hearing of the venues, yet both places have very good reasons to entice a visit. Ultimately, it is our mission to find out as much about the locations we visit to share with our readers.
Marv Says: The Bourbon House – Marv Says- When I hear the name Bourbon House I am immediately put to mind of a place where focus is put on a dimly lit lounge where one samples a variety of single barrel bourbon offerings while light jazz is playing in the background. Tucked away in the basement of the Walker Center I was very surprised to find a venue that had live music being performed with a disticnt apres-snowboarder atmosphere. The young crowd was slightly roudy without being offensive or violent. The Bourbon House does sport an impressive bourbon selection from which I sampled a 17 year old Eagle Rare and my personal favorite libation Blanton’s. While waiting at the bar for drinks, I noticed the bar food being offered, which looked fantastic. The next time I visit I will make a point to sample the food as well. It looked great.
Attending: Marv Rawb Nikol DDD
Marv Says- We have visited this establishment downtown before. The previous incarnation included a rather dissapointing selection of low end beer and nothing else. This former tavern license holder was at the disturbing end of “seedy” bars. It wasn’t even dive, it was an abyss.
A while back, BarX recieved a renovation and a massive change in atmosphere. A hit with the twenty-something crowd, it’s a mixology location today. Some place you go for cocktails made incredibly well. Dominating the wall behind the bar are shelf after shelf of bottles. There are a few signature drinks made to exacting detail. While it may take a while to get service on a packed Saturday night, the bar staff do a very good job on classic concoctions served in traditional glassware.
I expected something different when I heard that BarX was open again. I expected a much more working class environment, instead I was treated to a place where you might look to make an impression on those around you.
I enjoyed a El Diablo cocktail, made very well.
Attending: Marv Rawb Nikol DDD
Brewvies, our favorite place to grab a cold one and watch a film, was slapped with a huge fine after screening The Hangover 2. A local strip club complained that the films shown at Brewvies were no better than whatever warranted their fine, and the DABC sent in investigators from the Utah Highway Patrol to find out. The commision had to rule in favor of fining Brewvies for the film’s nudity and depictions of sexual acts. Unfortunately due to the letter of the law, Brewvies probably did violate the statute. However, this is obviously sour grapes on the part of the originators of the complaint. While the commision seemed to have concerns over giving such a harsh penalty (worse that that of serving a minor) they were forced to follow the letter of the law.
This is one of the many things that needs to be addressed in the legal code regarding sales of alcohol in the state of Utah. A movie theater should be able to show whatever films that it likes, as long as they conform to the state’s regulation. Brewvies exists to show adults films in a kid free environment and to enjoy a tasty beverage and good food while they are watching the show. They are not a sexually oriented business, and shouldn’t be governed by the same statutes that regulate those businesses.
See this article from the Salt Lake Tribune for more details:
Marv says: High West Distillery is the first legal distillery in Utah since around the beginning of the 20th century. High West sells many straight whiskys from their Rendezvous Rye to their Silver Oat as well as a couple of vodka choices. Visiting their Park City distillery and restaurant is a treat. Housed in an old livery house and mansion on Park City’s Main Street, they offer two different bars as well as a restaurant. Their cocktail list is dominated, of course, with offerings that use their in house spirits. They also feature a respectable bar with standard fair leaning to the higher shelf liquors available in Utah. Be sure to make reservations for a tour and at the end of the tour, enjoy a flight of their offerings. The standard High West flight will include the Silver Oat un-aged whisky, Double Rye (the newest offering), Bourye bourbon and rye straight whisky blend and a 21 year rye. I particularly like the Bourye and Silver Oat. Live music is featured weekly and they serve local beer as well. Well worth the drive to Park City, make High West a stop the next time you want to escape the valley.
Marv Says: Located in a part of town that you have drive past hundreds of times, The Devil’s Daughter is located right at the 500 South entrance to I-15. Instead of hitting the interstate, hang a left and go visit this gem of a bar. This brand new addition to the Salt Lake night life is in an old industrial building at the outskirts of Downtown SLC.
This location has a number of unique features from the chill out lounge upstairs, with comfortable lounge chairs and Foosball tables, to the intimate bar area. There is also an open space for live music, tables, and billiards.
The barstaff are quick to offer unique cocktails and can handle the tried and true drinks that you want to have. A fair selection of draught beer is available, but I did not see if there were any bottles. The liquor selection is pretty basic, but the owners tell us that they are evolving the stock as they figure out what their clients will want.
The signature cocktail is a very tasty drink called the Blue Devil. Be sure to try one out for your visit. The bartender that helped us this night was great and quick to offer options and to create custom cocktails as you order. The entire staff was fun and friendly and great at anticipating needs for our large group.
The theme of the bar is sort of Satan Rocker meets 40’s pinup models. I could easily see this as a very hot option for your late night adventures.
Lots of parking is available on premises, so you don’t have to worry about your car.
Attending: Marv, Rawb, Nikol, DDD, Laura, Jon, Chris, Amy, Troy, Arianne, Farmer
Marv Says: Yes, at last another review. Tonight to celebrate the publication of the article in the New York Times, Rawb and I decided to kick off with a bar visit and review. We went to this neighborhood bar in Midvale as the start of many more reviews.
Cheers To You Midvale is a small cozy neighborhood hangout with pool tables, a couple of televisions playing sports and a very friendly staff and clientele. We were greeted quickly by the bartender and patrons as we sat down at it’s bar. We quickly felt at home in this low key establishment. The people all went to lengths to make us feel welcome. The bartender Rick served us some of the specials of the house, including his creation The Rickey. All the while we chatted up the regulars and bartender. A local lady came in selling home made tamales and burritos. If she visits while you are there you should ensure you snag a quick bite to eat from her. The food was fantastic. This is a perfect neighborhood haunt. The drinks were served promptly and were well made, the people were astonishingly friendly and I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t visit again. I enjoyed a Ricky, Tequila and Redbull and my standby Cutthroat with a shot of Makers.
We here at DrinkSLC did indeed fail to make our goal last year. It’s been a number of months since an update, and longer since we went out as DrinkSLC.
Due to various life pressures, we took a longer hiatus than we intended. However, since we were contacted by Michael Cooper of the New York Times for an interview on Utah liquor law, we have decided to re-purpose Drink SLC. We are not going to be held to a measly 118 bars (likely a different number since we first started this over 18 months ago). We will be opening up the rest of Salt Lake County, and in fact, the rest of Utah. We will visit any bar, at any time, and tell of our experiences. We want to see as much bar culture as we can in all of Utah. We want to taste what our bartenders, distilleries, breweries and vineyards have to offer. We want to know what people in Ogden like to do on their nights off. We want to experience it all.
We are planning on visiting High West distillery in Park City soon to sample their excellent whisky. We would love to find out more about Ogden’s Own, home of Underground. Every microbrew, every in-state winery… We want to talk to you!
If you have a favourite bar that you would like to see reviewed, please leave us a comment.
Cheers from DrinkSLC!
Watch this space for updates. We will be going back out soon for more bar reviews.