While in the middle of a horrifically long day of driving I decided to stop at Red Rock Brewery Salt Lake City Utah for lunch. The stop was meant to break up my day a bit. I pulled off the highway into downtown Salt Lake City traffic. I come from a small town and like to occasionally remind myself why I do not live in a larger city as I do not handle the stress of traffic well. And it’s not even like Salt Lake is a huge city!
I’m spoiled, I know.
Once I pulled off the highway I let Samantha my GPS take over. Like usual she was of little help. She gets confused when she is anywhere other than a long stretch of highway with no stops. I circled the block around Red Rock Brewing a few times in order to find a parking spot.
Letting frustration get the best of me I pulled into a parking lot, paying $10 USD for parking. Although I slightly flinched at the cost I remembered while I was in Seattle, I often paid $20 a spot. I thought perhaps this was the punishment of traveling in a large city. I paid my fee and walked about two blocks to the brewery. As I rounded the corner I found street parking for $2 and hour. I will not repeat what I said to myself as there may be children reading, but needless to say I was not pleased with myself.
I walked into the rather busy brewery/restaurant and found myself a spot at the bar. The bartender took my beer order, after carding me, and I pulled out my phone to check in my beer on Untappd. Before I could open the Untappd app I was greeted by a text message from a co-worker who had informed me that my receptionist had walked out while I was gone. She had already put in her notice before I left on vacation but had promised to stay through the duration of my trip. Apparently she was a liar in addition to being quite dramatic about everything.
For the next few moments I began to feverishly text back and forth with my co-worker. The bartender noticed a change in my behavior and asked if everything was OK. I am not one to normally dump my personal life on a complete stranger, but hey he asked and so I did. His response was simple “you’re hundreds of miles away, there is nothing to do but drink your beer and try to forget about it. I will keep your glass always full while you are here.” I won’t lie, I thought about becoming best friends with this man. He was right, there was nothing I could do as I was 700 miles away (1126 km). And I had a beer sitting in front of me and we all know I don’t like warm beer, so I drank my beer.
I then used the bartender’s expertise in aiding me in my lunch order. A brick-oven stood in front of me and the smell of freshly made pizza filled the air. I asked my new best friend which pizza would be the best, he rattled off a few but said the Chicken BBQ pizza was a crowd favorite. So I joined the masses and ordered myself a Chicken BBQ pizza.
As I waited I sipped upon Red Rock’s Hefeweizen, a 4% Alcohol By Volume (ABV). I do not typically drink hefeweizen beers but I was in somewhat of a weird place in my life. And when I say weird place I mean two things: I was irritated about my receptionist walking out but I was also in Utah. Utah is the land of 4% ABV. Beers on tap beers in Utah do not cross the line of 4% ABV regardless of style. I remember one time I mentioned to someone that I thought about moving to Utah and they said to me “how will you survive on their beer?” Truth, it would be a challenge.
My pizza arrived and it was just the right amount of sauciness and roasted goodness. And who doesn’t like a fire cooked pizza? It was at this moment that I learned that the brick oven that was used to bake my pizza was legit. It came from Italy and so I channeled Liz Gilbert in hopes that I would figure out this confusing thing we call life that should be a third of the way resolved by feeding myself pizza.
OK, really I believe it will be beer that resolves my problems, not pizza. So I moved on to my next beer the Citrus Pale Ale. Another 4% beer. For some reason had no international bittering unit (IBU) listed, just like the Hefeweizen. My second beer was paid for by my new best friend. It was adorable, just like him.
Although he did let my glass get empty. I am just staying.
Perhaps that was ungrateful of me to notice? And apparently I get the shakes when my glass is empty, hence the out of focus photo.
I had grown tired of the Utah 4% shenanigans and asked the bartender if there was a way around the 4%. He of course was helpful again and told me if I purchased a bottle of beer I would be able to achieve above a 4%. And so I did, by ordering the Elephino Double IPA in a bottle.
It was at this point that I had noticed that were no IPAs on tap. IPAs traditionally have higher ABVs and with the Utah restrictions of nothing having above a 4% could be on tap it made sense. I love beer on tap but I won’t turn down a bottle of great beer… or even a can! The bartender poured me the bottle of the Elephino. I took one sip and was greeted by an excellent bite from the hoppy goodness. This beer had a 8 ABV and a 89 International Bittering Unit (IBU) that fit the bill.
By the time I had finished my third beer, the bartender was right, I had forgotten about all the stupidness at work. He stopped by and asked “did you have enough to drink?”. I quipped back “Am I able to walk”. We chuckled as I was in fact able to walk. It was hard parting ways from my new bestie but it was time to get on the road again. I still had hundreds of miles ahead of me. I have no idea what I was thinking driving so many miles in one day. 800 miles, if you were wondering (1287 km).
Red Rock Brewing Salt Lake Utah is located at 200 South West. The brewery is about 4 blocks from Temple Square, 50 West North Temple Street. If you never have seen the temple I highly recommend taking a look around. The Salt Lake Temple is an impressive piece of Gothic Architecture. This is the Church of the Latter-day Saints, otherwise known as The Mormons.
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