Wild Libations @ Hogle Zoo

When I think of Utah’s Hogle Zoo, wine and beer aren’t exactly the first thoughts that come to mind.  But after attending their Wild Libations event on Wednesday, that might change.

Polar bear at Hogle Zoo.

Wild Libations at  Hogle Zoo are wine and beer events held throughout August that combine a bunch of different elements into one single evening: wine, beer, food, animals and live music.  Held in the new Rocky Shores exhibit that’s home to bears, sea lions, seals and otters, the event is a casual way to spend a summer evening sipping on wine in a place you would normally get in trouble for possessing alcohol.

Local wine importers and beer brewers are stationed to pour drinks and discuss their beverages while hors d’oeuvres are self-served along another table.  The goodies can be enjoyed at nearby tables or while wandering around the exhibit observing the Rocky Shore residents.  Plus there are zookeepers on hand to answer any animal-related questions.  It’s like a nice outdoor party… with wild animals!

The bears were people-watching all night.

The event is a little bit random, after all, you are drinking at the zoo.  But enjoying wine/beer in a completely unique setting is what makes the event fun.  My friends and I went to the event last year, called Wild About Wine, and had such a great time that we returned again this year.  The event seems to evolve every year, with this one focusing more on the party-like atmosphere of the event (especially with the addition of the live band) while last year’s emphasis was on the wine.  Personally, I would have enjoyed more wine/beer discussion from the producers and less loudness from the band (so that conversations were actually possible), but it was still fun.

The tub of Squatters beer at the Hogle Zoo.

The last Wild Libation event is next week on August 22.  Tickets are $55/person, including zoo admission, tastes of 6 beers or 6 wines, one full glass of beer or wine and food; click here to sign up. There are also designated driver tickets that don’t include alcohol for $35.  Note that while food is included, it is mostly mini appetizers so you may want to eat beforehand.  And if you can’t make next week’s event, the Zoo Rendezvous event, which also includes food, drinks and live music, is September 6.

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