Glamping and Great Beer: Moab Under Canvas and a Visit to The Moab Brewery


The red rocks of Arches National Park and the deeply colored clefts of Canyonlands’ National Park are two stellar reasons to visit Moab, Utah. Now, here are two more: beer lovers and fans of effortless camping will both rejoice with a stay at Moab Under Canvas plus dinner and drinks at the Moab Brewery.

Moab Under Canvas is glamping at its best. If you don’t know what glamping is, think of it as being to regular pitch-your-own-tent plus pit toilet camping as a good craft IPA is to a commercially produced light beer in a can. In other words, glamping is a superior experience, and Moab Under Canvas is superior glamping. Perched on 40 acres north of Moab and close to Arches National Park, closer still to Canyonlands National Park, the desert views are exceptional.

The site houses large canvas tents and considerably smaller tipis, with some tents occupying wooden platforms with wooden porches. Those are the deluxe variety, a number of these are suites with sitting areas and sofa beds. Our deluxe featured a king bed, a wood-burning stove, and an in-tent bathroom with flush toilet, sink, and hot water, pull-chain shower. As awesome as all these amenities were, the best is frankly the porch. To sit in a deck chair at sunrise and watch the night-muted cliffs turn red – fantastic. To stay up late and observe the last of the Perseid meteors shuffle through the night sky, the rotating milky way, a thin quarter moon – simply awesome.

It’s the perfect spot to bring back a few brews from The Moab Brewery, located about fifteen minutes away in the heart of Moab. Owned by John Borkoski and Dave Sabey, Moab’s only microbrewery turns out terrific beers, with many of them available on-draft. Due to Utah’s restrictive alcohol consumption laws, drafts have a less potent ABV than many of these craft beers do when sold in cans. That’s a good thing in this case – have a few 4% or less ABV beers with dinner in the brewery’s comfortable dining room, bring a few higher ABV brews back to your tent.

Many of Moab’s beers are named for local scenery, such as Dead Horse Ale after a state park overlook near Canyonlands. Crisp, hoppy, but with a good malt balance, it’s reputedly the brewery’s most popular and is a great choice after a day in the desert. This beer has received both Gold and Silver awards from the North American Brewers Association. On tap we also tried the Moab especial, light and dry, this beer is golden in color – which matches its Gold Award from the North American Brewers Association. Back at the tent we tried what was probably my favorite beer, canned Red Rye IPA. The combination of rye and hops had a faintly spicy edge, and a darker taste to match its rich color. This brew is also an award winner – Silver at the Denver International Beer Competition.

In a dry desert, in a state where having a State Liquor License is something of a prize, Moab Brewery shines with a wide range of great tasting beers available to take home, or better yet, to take glamping.

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