Modified Beer Festival a Success

(KCPW News) Tighter liquor laws didn’t put a damper on Salt Lake City Weekly’s second annual Utah Beer Festival Saturday outside the City-County Building. City Weekly Publisher Jim Rizzi says nearly 1,500 more tickets were sold this year than last, leading it to eventually sell out. He says the success came as a nice surprise after changes had to be made due to new regulations passed by the Utah Legislature.

“Last year we charged a single entry fee and you could sample as many beers as you wanted. This year they clarified the law so we had to go to the format that actually is used by the majority of beer festivals around the country, which is there’s a much smaller entry fee and essentially everybody has to buy tokens and then use the tokens to buy their beer,” he explains.

Switching to the token method also allowed vendors to sell 12-ounce beers at their booths, which was previously prohibited.

Rizzi says overall, the new system helped things operate more smoothly and he expects to hear few complaints.

“Last year there were some glitches in getting people in the door fast enough and getting them their beer fast enough so we had a few angry people but this year, so far so good, but much much improved event this year, much smoother operating.

This year’s festival featured 16 Utah brewers and 59 beers.