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The City Journals

Artists, breweries collaborate to make South Salt Lake a destination

Nov 26, 2018 02:37PM ● By Cami Mondeaux

A local band performs for the crowd attending Craftoberfest on Oct. 27 at the Art Factory. (Photo courtesy Arnaud Claude)

By Cami Mondeaux | [email protected]

Local artists and breweries joined together at the Art Factory on Oct. 27 for Craftoberfest, an event combining art and craft in an effort to make South Salt Lake a unique city. 

The event was held to celebrate the opening of seven breweries in South Salt Lake and create a brewery culture that attracted patrons to the city. 

“For a long time, there was nowhere to eat and drink and nothing brought people [to South Salt Lake] at night,” said Lesly Allen, arts council director of South Salt Lake. “We wanted to create an awareness about what’s happening in our city.”

This brewery culture ignited in South Salt Lake after the city council repealed multiple liquor laws restricting the number of businesses allowed within city limits, according to an article by the Salt Lake Tribune. 

The council hoped this would attract more breweries and distilleries and it paved the way for the opening of seven breweries. 

Craftoberfest highlighted these breweries to set South Salt Lake apart from other cities and create a unique identity. 

Most people are unaware of the city boundaries or even that South Salt Lake exists and is separate from Salt Lake City, according to Allen. 

The event brought together local brewers and artists to showcase their art and make city residents aware of their creative businesses. Artists were chosen to create barrel art, a piece representing each individual brewery on an unusual canvas. 

“It’s a great way to beautify the city and connect with the community,” wrote Alex Gregory, a local artist at the event, in an email. “The keg painting was a fun challenge and it’s fun seeing what everyone comes up with.”

The barrel art was an important part of the event and meant a lot to the brewers, becoming a masterpiece that was like a time capsule because of the displayed art, said Katie Flanagan, business development and marketing manager for ARUDEM.

This was the first year Craftoberfest was held in Utah and was considered a great success, according to some of the breweries represented. 

“I haven’t seen anything like this in Utah before,” said Flanagan. “It brought art and community together. It was a feel-good event.”

The turnout was better than expected with the goal being 100 people to show up and resulting in around 450 participating, Flanagan said. 

Flanagan said she believes this is just the beginning of a strong brewery culture being born in South Salt Lake, and she hopes future Craftoberfests get bigger and better while focusing on the local artists. 

“Everyone should keep an eye on South Salt Lake,” said Flanagan. “It is a new up-and-coming area.”