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Pie-And-Beer Day: The Ironic, Alternative Utah Holiday

A keg wagon with pie wheels and a beer drinking wagon driver. Background the sun setting sun over the prairie.
ILLUSTRATION BY FRANCISCO KJOLSETH
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July 24 is Pioneer Day in Utah, a state holiday honoring the arrival of Brigham Young and other Mormon settlers to Salt Lake Valley in 1847.

However, the non-Mormons in Utah celebrate a different holiday – Pie and Beer Day! A day filled with craft beer and extravagant pies.

This celebration is ironic in a state with some of the most restrictive alcohol laws in the country.

“The taxation is incredibly high to sell people beer and it is hard to sell great beer for a reasonable price in Utah and still make a living,” said Sage Dawson, the CEO and owner of Utah’s newest brewery Toasted Barrel Brewery, a sour beer brewery located in Salt Lake City.

He says opening a brewery in Utah is not an easy process.

“It was horrible. It was a nightmare. We’ve been in the planning process for three years. We’ve had this property for a year and a half and the permitting and planning process took us all that time. So it was one thing after another because we’re an alcohol business in Utah, which made it incredibly complicated.”

But despite this process, Toasted Barrel Brewery is proud to be providing beer to Utahns.

“It means a lot to me because I’m giving back to the other Utahns of what they deserve," Dawson said. "It’s an honor to be one of the few people in Utah making commercial beer and giving back to what the customer wants.”

Take some time tomorrow to celebrate with local pie and beer. Happy Pie and Beer Day Utah!