Desert Edge Brewery

Desert Edge BreweryDesert Edge Brewery
Desert Edge BreweryDesert Edge Brewery
Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Homebrew, Beer-to-go

273 Trolley Sq
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84102-2888
United States

(801) 521-8917 | map

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Ratings by yemenmocha:
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Rated by yemenmocha from Arizona

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Sep 26, 2014
More User Ratings:
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Reviewed by NorsemanOne from Utah

3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3
I had a bit of trouble finding the spot, but that's on me. This place is inside Trolley Square mall on the upper floor, not outside

Only came for cans to go, they offer high point beers to go as well. Prices per 16oz can ranged from $2-4, which is a hell of a steal in my opinion

Had a decent selection, 10-12 brews with what seem like rotating seasonals

Their brunch menu looks amazing if you're here on Sat/Sun and reasonably priced
Feb 12, 2023
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Rated by Wasatch from Colorado

3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25
Been here a few times. The beer is pretty good, but the food is way better.
Apr 02, 2017
Rated: 3.23 by DerwinWentworth from Utah

Apr 29, 2016
Rated: 3.35 by Noooddle from Washington

Jun 05, 2015
Rated: 4.06 by misternebbie from Pennsylvania

Feb 08, 2015
Rated: 3.25 by LXIXME from New Mexico

Sep 05, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by casapy from Idaho

Mar 17, 2014
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Reviewed by Jsteez from Utah

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5
Been here numerous times and I've tried a few beers. I enjoyed the Utah Pale Ale, Latter-Day Stout, and several of their seasonals. I am not too fond of their food, but the one thing that is worth eating is the black bean quesadilla. It tastes good with the pale ale. I went there a lot with groups of friends when I was studying for my undergrad at the University of Utah. It is inexpensive. Pitchers are the best value, and growlers are quite cheap in comparison to other breweries in the area. Some of the beer is quite watery, but that is because of the 4% draft beer laws. However, you can find some good rotational/seasonal beer, along with some great cask ale that is quite tasty and sessionable. Service is good and the workers seem to have some beer knowledge. Try a bunch of samples to find your favorite beer.

Atmosphere is quite tight due to the lack of space. This is especially true on a weekend night. It attracts groups of college friends.

Give it shot if you're visiting Utah.
Nov 17, 2013
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Reviewed by bluebeer317

3.23/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4
Walking I'm, it seemed like it had promise. After sitting for a while though, the wife put it best by saying "It feels like a mall cafeteria with beer and shots." The beer was alright, got the Latter Day Stout. The food was alright too. Got enchiladas, turkey sandwich and a grilled chicken salad. The bar itself was great, but the way felt in there was cafeteria-y. Shots were a bit expensive and the food was too. I may come back to try the other beers they have, but that would be it.
Oct 10, 2012
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Reviewed by RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3
A very spacious brewpub with a nice layout and design. There seem to be a lot of seats here, but it's kind of a hodgepodge of an area in that it isn't one vast open space. Clean decor overall. Selection of beer was good with about 9 or 10 beers available, if I recall right. Quality was okay, of the few I had. I wasn't blown away by anything I had, but it was passable. Food was mediocre, based on what I had. And I've never seen a place with a ceasar salad with such odd ingredients. I think there was broccoli in it? Bottom line is it's a nice enough place. I feel like they are going for volume sales above all else. Service was good enough.
Sep 09, 2012
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Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
this place was a bit hard to find all tucked back there in trolley square, drove around awhile before we located it, but im glad we finally sussed it out. a big open feel bar and eatery upstairs with a wrap around bar in the middle. kind of a new feel, a little bit of a corporate vibe, but all new and nice, not busy at all while we were in. awesome bartender named steve took great care of us, lots of free tasters and good information, really made the experience. we shared the bruschetta appetizer which had fresh warm mozzarella and some chili heat on it, really yummy. the beers were good, with a few nitro selections, but nothing overly ambitious, pretty approachable across the board. the rye was my favorite while my girlfriend enjoyed the stout the best. maybe eight or nine beers on tap, no bottle selections to speak of. overall a cool place gastro-pub style doing some solid beers and menu selections. i would recommend this place to anyone. a bit different than the typical taproom vibe, good date spot.
Apr 19, 2012
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Reviewed by WoodBrew from Ohio

4/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Desert Edge is located in Trolley Square Mall in downtown Salt Lake City....dont try to use your GPS to get here....enter 600S and 700E and you will at least get to the mall and find free parking....then look at a mall map and your on your way. The place is quite sizable and was very busy during the lunch hour. Plently of tables and bar seat which allows one to seat themselves. The service was fine nothing to complain about. The food was quite good, had a sanwhich that can with chips and pasta salad. There was 8 "home brews" on tap to choose from. It is unfortunate that the laws of Utah limit their brewers to 4% ABV...this killed their Shot In The Dark Stout. The Utah Pale Ale is better than what is rated on Beer Advocate and the Augustus Amber was good too. For under $20 bucks I got a sandwich and a sample tray of all their beers...I thought was inexpensive. Certainly worth a visit if in Salt Lake.
Jul 13, 2011
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Reviewed by rickyhansing from Utah

3.78/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5
I stop by here once in a while, and I am always pleased. The food and the service is always great. I typically sit at the bar and the very helpful and friendly bartenders are great. If you want a good description of what is on tap or if you just want to have a drink and be left to yourself they understand.

As for the beer, since it is all lower ABV they have some limitations. With that being said, they really pack in some great flavor into these beers. The Cream Ale is smooth and mild, the Pale Ale is actually really hoppy and aggressive and the stout makes me think I am drinking at the Star in London again.

Overall, I think this place gets overlooked too often. They have some of the best draft in town and the food and beer is always a good value. This isn't the place to take an out of state friend to show them how extreme utah beer can be, but it is a great place to sit with a couple friends and enjoy your afternoon.
May 11, 2011
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Reviewed by gixxerman from Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
I flew into town late and made a B-line to Desert Edge, since I knew it would probably be my only chance to check it out during this trip. I arrived at 10:15 and was able to park in the middle of the 'mall'.

Up the steps and there were only about 5 people there. It was about 12 degrees outside and there is a bit of a walk since it is an outdoor area. I sat at the bar and ordered up a black sky porter. It was good enough to have another, then I was off.

I was impressed by the space and would like to return when the weather is warmer and the deck area is open. Seems like a cool place to hang out and have a few outdoors with friends.
Feb 09, 2011
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Reviewed by CampusCrew from Florida

3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3
I liked this place. Other that it's in an outdoor mall area it had a great atmosphere. The bar service was freindly and helpful. They did'nt make anything other than draft beer and with the ABV laws it hurt the selection. Nothing extreme in bottles like some of the other brewpubs decided to do. I did not eat here just stopped by for a beer. I had the Utah Pale Ale and it was actually very hoppy and close to an IPA.; Very solid given then weakness in ABV. I was surprised. My other freinds seemed to enjoy their beer too. Didn't try the food but the menu looked liek a comptempary mix of pubfare. Looked pretty good.
Nov 16, 2009
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Reviewed by colbylee from Utah

4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
This is one of my many watering holes in the Salt Lake City area. I at least go to Desert Edge Brewery once a week, more in the summer time. It's a great atmosphere, i really like the music they play in the pub. It can range from Johnny Cash,Devo, to Radiohead. The service is not the best in the state, because I don't think they really give the waiters a specific area to cover. Many times I've had two to three different servers. Not that this is a problem, but I would order a beer and the next server wouldn't bring it because I told the previous server about the beer. Other than that the servers are always upbeat and very helpful.
The food is amazing. They cater to all types of eaters. I love the Black Bean Burger, and the house pasta (though they change it too much).
The Beer is very good. My favorite is the U.P.A. (Utah Pale Ale) It is an a very well rounded brew, with a lot of taste and goes well with the food choices. The Porter is an okay beer. I feel it's a little too watery, and can use some more taste. There Pilsner is another good selection, and is best enjoyed sitting on their patio.
Just remember they have the best mints on the planet, so grab a bnch because they are free!

Jun 03, 2008
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Reviewed by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3
This place was located on the second floor of the Trolley Square shopping mall and it took me a series of twists and turns before I could find it.

Inside, the long, "U"-shaped marble topped bar ran from one side of the space to the other. I liked the big windows on the bar side that overlooked a garden below. There was lots of exposed beams, bricks, and ducting throughout the space. The seating was mostly standard restaurant tables and chairs, but there were also a few booths against the wall with tables facing them. I then left to run some errands and when I returned, I felt like I had (finally) gotten my bearings. On the return trip, I came up the back steps, past the twin grain silos and right into the bar area. Up a short flight of steps was the restaurant area that I had transited earlier in the day. Up those same steps and off to the left was an open air deck area. Further aft and left was a set of steps up to a second floor private party facility. The standard restaurant area and the lavatories were aft of the steps and to the left. They offered a sumptuous looking array of desserts in a case just inside of the mall entrance, but sweets just are not my bag. Their motto was "3.2 and proud of it!" I had no problem with this, but it is limiting and must require great skill on the part of the brewer. Kristen was my server and she seemed a bit frazzled from continually having to run around. I was not the cause of it, however. I just sat and drank beer and took notes.

Beers: Happy Valley Hefeweizen; Pub Pils; Utah Pale Ale (UTPA); and Latter Days Stout on nitro pour. They were out of Anniversary Amber; Road Rage Rye; Courtney Marie's Kolsch; UTPA on cask; and Red Butte Bitter on nitro. I would have liked to have tried the Rye, but I made do with the Pils.
Mar 05, 2008
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Reviewed by RoundelMike from Utah

3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5
Ah, the Desert Edge.

I lived within walking distance of this place (which proved extremely convenient) and I ate there at least twice a week. You get 50% off beer with a college ID, and I certainly made the most of it.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Desert Edge brewery. I love the place because of a fantastic, personable staff and great service. Their food is wonderful too, and I really like the beer brewing atmosphere. I kind of dislike the place because I've never been in love with the beer. Everything tastes too watery and just...missing something. Don't get me wrong, I would drink Desert Edge beer all day before I would want a mass market beer, and I spent plenty of student money on their beer. Still, other in-state offerings from Uinta and Wasatch are superior. I don't go to the Desert Edge for the beer alone anymore, but I still love to visit.

If you want a fun night out, you should certainly try Desert Edge. Its modern brewpub atmosphere is refreshing for Utah, and the beer is drinkable. You really won't be disappointed.
Nov 29, 2007
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Reviewed by JamesS from Indiana

3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
Nice place. I came across it after eating at the Old Spaghetti Factory, on a slow afternoon. Since I had to walk a couple of miles back to the hotel from here I only had one of their brews, but it was still worth it.
Their ESB was excellent, good coloring, nice hoppy taste without being overly bitter. The cheesecake I got to go was very good later on that night, I wish I'd seen the place before eating pasta.

The service was prompt and friendly, as well as being very nice to look at.

If I ever make it back to Salt Lake, I'm going to make sure I drop by to try more of the brews and some of their food.
Sep 28, 2007
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Reviewed by Rippeddisc from Hawaii

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Ah a little gem. First, dont get confused on your way in by the meatmarket bar next door. This is the spot. Been here numerous times, unfortunately not more and always a good time. Very spacious layout, resturant style with bar in the middle. Small patio open when the weather cooperates. Now the important part. The beer here is almost always a sure thing. My eye usually wanders to the Nitro selection first and then any specials but the brew here is quality. The key now is to have or know someone with a student id. That'll get your $4 pitches (i think that's what they are, maybe 6), either way a goood deal. Food is good, for a solid price. Won't leave hungry that's for sure, nachos big enough for 3. Place is definetely recommended and if they only distributed there beer. Rats.
Apr 13, 2007
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Reviewed by xymyl from Arizona

3.04/5  rDev -17.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5
Didn't try the food here because the beer wasn't very good. Of course, one needs to take into account that this is Utah and thus there is great difficulty in finding good beer here. 3.2 is a bit restrictive but every brewery should be able to make a great stout and a great light lager in that range. Yet, no one makes both. This place makes neither. Plus, I'm sick of places that win no recent awards touting awards from 10 years ago. That brewer probably isn't still there. And if he is, how did he win?

A sign on the wall says, "3.2 and proud of it" this would be fine if they could make a great 3.2 beer, but they don't, so what's all the pride about? I think a more appropriate slogan would be, "happily complying with governmentally enforced alcoholic underachievement".

Sorry I don't have a review of the food, the beer just didn't stand up, even compared to other Utah blandness. Not terrible, but not any good either. Maybe the food is what the people come for.
Mar 08, 2007
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Reviewed by Deuane from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
It was our first night in Salt Lake City, and we needed a nice walk after our long day of flying. Fortunately, Trolly Square , home of Desert Edge Brewery, is on the same street as our hotel We walked a little over 1 mile to get there (neighborhood seemed pretty safe, and it was a beautiful evening

The Asian Salmon with Plum-Ginger Vinaigrette was as lovely as I remembered, and we all decided to get a sample tray of the beers just so we could try them all.

Utah laws dictate that all beers must be under 4% ABV (exception – they can create a higher alcohol beer, bottle it, send it off to a distributor and then buy it back…we’ll hopefully get to do this with Squatter’s IPA sometime this week.) Even with the low alcohol, some of these beers were pretty darn good! We all enjoyed the Crème Ale and, the British Mild. I was a fan of the UPA, and Barbara liked the Latter Day Stout.

They were little glasses, so I didn’t have much to say, but here’s a bit about each…

Backcountry Crème Ale - nicely done! A good choice in a low alcohol regulated state. Light, smooth and pleasant flavor

All the Way Alt

Pub Pilsner - unfiltered; uses Saaz noble hops

Happy Valley Hefeweizen - made with 45% wheat malt; Awards: 1996 Gold at GABF and 1998 Gold at WBC. (Coincidentally, one of our companions was a librarian from State College, PA – aka Happy Valley!)

Utah Pale Ale - Munich and Pale malts; Pacific Northwest Cascade hops; 1998 Silver North American Beer Award.

Centennial Steamer

British Mild - also available on cask; roasty!!! Full of flavor!

Latter Day Stout - classic Irish stout made with roasted barley, chocolate malts and Nugget hops; served on nitrogen (wouldn’t know it…); 1997 Bronze at GABF. I thought it tasted thin and really lacked the body I expect from a stout.
Feb 11, 2007
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Reviewed by warmstorage from California

4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5
It hardly seems like I went to the same place as other reviewers. I actually really liked this place, my second favorite in town after Squatters, and returned twice in three days of heavy brewpubcrawling. The ratings above reflect some serious qualifications, of course: the quality of the beer is relative to Utah's Utah's stone-age 4.0% ABV (3.2% ABW) restriction, which they do some good things despite. The 4 in atmpshere is relative to it being in a nasty, upscale mall with lots of idiots wandering around below, but the clientle in the brewpub itself was quite pleasant.

The atmosphere: yeah, it's in a mall, but all this really means is good, free parking, since it's on the far west side, and you don't have to walk into the mall at all if you don't want. And the mall itself is just one (big) square block, so it's not like it's a huge crazy mall. The ceilings are very tall, and it's legit industrial, not the put-on, false industrial look that many places seem to try for. The west wall is gorgeous, nearly floor to ceiling window, so you can look out towards the sunset, or down on the irritating, ridiculous mallgoers. It's huge, with a front dining room, a long L-shaped bar, and lots of additional tables on the side and in the back. A pleasant looking patio was epty with the threat of rain, but held about ten attractive looking tables. At the 600 East block, it really isn't very out of the way for downtown SLC, it's just that those six blocks are BIG. We walked from our hotel at the 200 West block in about 15 minutes, and a light rail stop is very close by, at 625 East.

The beer, well... given the circumstances (this is Utahm after all), it was pretty darn tasty. The cask Utah Pale Ale was excellent, and we drank about six in two visits: fresh hop aroma and front, with pleasant citrus notes, and even a hint of alcohol, finishing full. The Utah Pale Ale it's based on is also quite good, just a little less of the fresh hop notes.
The best thing about the boring Road Rage Rye was its cute name: as is typical of so many examples of the style, the rye nearly untasteable (if you'd put it in front of me with telling me the style, I'd guess a standard American amber.) Balanced between malt and hops, but totally undistinguished, a basic session beer.
The Pub Pils was excellent for style, and if I were a bigger pilsner fan, I'd probably drink a lot of them. Crisp, with noticable hop presence, and very slight fruity notes, and light-ish straw in color. A pleasant, slightly hop-bitter aftertaste persisted in the finish.
The Latter Days Stout, again a cute name, was a little above average for Utah: a solid export style, albeit with low alcohol, strong roasty notes, slight cocoa notes, and a present head.
The Red Butte Bitter on nitro was good, but underwhelming: well balanced, with slightly soapy notes, and limited hop or malt distinction. An easy session beer, I suppose, but I wouldn't nother again. The nitro serving was fun for creamy mouthfeel, but it had little else going for it.
The Cream Ale, admittedly one of least favorite styles, was full of corn and cheap grain taste, a strong (unpleasantly) bitter aftertaste, and overall pretty nasty, though typical for style. Ick. Anyone know of a really excellent cream ale, anywhere? I've had a couple good ones in central and western Canada, but it's been a long, long time.

I have to wonder if others were rating the beer from sampler glasses, which didn't do their beers any favors: we ended up with a bunch of half pints and pints.

The service was excellent to outstanding each time: younger girls mostly, but both seemed to know enough about the beer, and were quick, friendly, and responsive. The place is big, and they often had a bunch of tables, but seemed on the ball at all of them.

The food was outstanding, and quite cheap for what you got. The cheese enchiladas were so good we got them twice: full of yummy cheese, and served with solid black beans, and rice, and a spicy southwestern salad. The black bean burger was also excellent, with roasted veggies, and on great bread. Nothing was above about $12, and most sandwiches around $7-$8.

Overall, it's not as good for beer as Squatters (but has better, cheaper food), and much better for beer than Red Rock or Bohemian. I'll certainly return here, for the Utah Pale Ale, cask and nitro options, excellent food, and excellent service. No, it's not going to blow you away with barleywines and imperial stouts, but check yourself: you're in Utah.
May 08, 2005
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Reviewed by kmpitz2 from Tennessee

3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Had dinner here a few nights ago. The place was really clean and had a nice modern vibe. It was in a mall that seemed to be pretty trendy. I felt like it was a little off the downtown circuit as well, so I was with the locals and not the convention and tourist crowd. The waitress was very attentive to us and even brought us a free sample of the cask ale when I told her that it didn't come with the sampler I ordered. I sampled ten beers, which was all that they had to offer and it was very reasonable at around 5 or 6 bucks. The beer was nothing to write home about, but with the alcohol laws here, they are working on a restricted scale, so keep things in perspective. The food was also good and came out very quickly. Overall this was a nice establishment, but I would chose others over it while in town.
Nov 15, 2004
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Reviewed by beernut7 from Massachusetts

2.65/5  rDev -27.8%
This trendy brewpub is located upstairs in the mall at Trolley Square. There is a nice light atmosphere with a decent crowd. The menu was creative and the people pretty cool, but unfortunately the beer was some of the worst in town. Sorry, guys. If you’re looking for just beer, I’d pass.
Sep 04, 2002
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Reviewed by marc77 from California

3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3
Located a few blocks from downtown in Trolley Square. Nice outside deck to enjoy the weather. Seemed more of a restaurant atmosphere than a real brewpub. Service was friendly and prompt, but I already knew what I wanted so I didn't ask her about the beer. The food was standard brewpub fare. Beer was well above average for Utahs standards-- the dry stout is really quite tasty and better than many out there. There were only 4-5 brews to choose from when I was there (3/02) A bit out of the way, but worth checking out if your're in the area.
May 23, 2002
Desert Edge Brewery in Salt Lake City, UT
Brewery rating: 3.42 out of 5 with 156 ratings