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Forget the champagne. Alta Ski Resort will be celebrating 75 years of skiing with its own anniversary beer.

The first batch of Alta's 75th Anniversary Ale, produced by Wasatch Brewery, was bottled and packaged on Thursday afternoon. Initially, the beer will be available only at Wasatch's Beer Store, 1763 S. 300 West, in Salt Lake City. However, in a few weeks it should be available in local grocery stores. And when there's enough snow for skiing, it will be available at the Alta Resort.

The beer, which is 4 percent alcohol by volume (that's 3.2 by weight), costs $7.99 for a six-pack. It also is available by the case and on draft.

Dan Burick, Wasatch's head brewer, said the deep-colored Anniversary Ale is a "steep and deep" dry hopped pale that was brewed with rich caramel and pale malts and balanced with Falconers Flight hops from the Pacific Northwest. It has 4 percent alcohol by volume (that's 3.2 by weight). "We do new beers all the time," said Burick, "but it's been really cool to pair up with Alta because it's not something they do and they really got charged up about it."

Of course, beer and other spirits are part of Alta's long history, said Connie Marshall, the resort's director of marketing. She said in 1878 there were 26 saloons in the rugged mining community. Records show that there were 19 other business including restaurants, billiard halls and a general store that carried everything from liquor to dynamite.