Uinta Brewing Hop Notch IPA
Host city: Salt Lake City
In the past, there was little beer-loving college basketball fans dreaded more than an opening-round NCAA tournament matchup in Utah. Private drinking "clubs." Watered down 4% alcohol beer. It was beer purgatory.
All that's changed in recent years, however, as Utah eased up its alcohol restrictions and let its brewers sell their full-powered beers in their home state for the first time. That was great news for Uinta, which has been brewing in Salt Lake City since 1993 and couldn't go full-throttle at its brewpub until 2010.With that over, sips of Hop Notch IPA once reserved for out-of-staters now await Salt Lake City's sports visitors. Don't let that old 4% alcohol limit fool you: Hop Notch is 7.3% ABV in SLC these days and packs a wallop in potency and aroma. That huge helping of hops is just as floral and bitter as anything drinkers will find farther west, with just enough malt to make it as smooth as a laid-back Utah beer should be.