It’s the season to embrace creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky.
For daring drinkers, the inaugural Peculiar Pours Beer Festival in Ogden promises to serve up some spectacularly strange brews.
Saturday’s showcase is a definite twist on your typical beer festival.
“We wanted to give brewers an opportunity to go crazy,” says Danielle Collier, marketing and communications coordinator for Ogden Downtown Alliance. “The more daring, the better.”
How did the Peculiar Pours concept come about? It’s twofold.
First, the Ogden Downtown Alliance sought ways to better highlight the city’s craft beer scene within the city itself. And second, the group wanted to attract new audiences to the event’s venue, Ogden Union Station.
“Those two ideas came together,” Collier says, in a telephone interview. “We would do our own unique craft beer festival and host it at this amazing venue.”
Getting Creative in Ogden
Earlier this year, Ogden hosted a more mainstream craft beer festival. It sold out quickly and generated positive feedback.
This time around, organizers are focusing on doing something different. They’re also “challenging our local brewers to bring something different,” Collier says.
“We kept hearing that brewers who go to (beer festivals) bring their most popular beers,” she says. “There’s not a lot of room for growth or experimentation.”
So why not get a little peculiar?
“We thought, it’s Halloween time, and Ogden Union Station is known for (possibly) being haunted. How fun would it be to have a peculiar, spooky event and have these breweries bring some random flavors?” — Danielle Collier, Ogden Downtown Alliance
At first, some brewers were puzzled.
What constitutes peculiar? Test brews, outrageous one-offs, unusual ingredients. Really, it’s anything brewers have always wanted to try, or have been asked to try, Collier says.
As of now, it seems brewers are maintaining a sense of mystery with the peculiar brews they’ll be pouring. But that just adds to the intrigue. It makes it all the more fun to encounter something truly unique — and likely unexpected — on Saturday.
“I like the idea of brewers bringing one-offs since we usually pour our best-sellers for events,” says Jacquie King, head brewer at Ogden’s Roosters Brewing Company. “It’s not often that we get encouraged to bring experimental beer.”
Lest you think beer will be the event’s only peculiarity, food vendors also asked to get in on the fun.
Nick Van Arsdale, owner of Lucky Slice Pizza, tells organizers that he’ll have a few surprises up his sleeve for those willing to push their palates.
“Who knows? Maybe we will create the next great pairing with a flavored beer and unique pizza,” he says.
Nearly 20 breweries, cideries, and distilleries will be pouring strange brews for the 21+ only event. A half-dozen local food vendors are scheduled to participate. Daily Rise Coffee is even conjuring some crazy coffee concoctions for the occasion, Collier says.
Though breweries from Salt Lake will be pouring as well, the Peculiar Pours Beer Festival serves to shine a spotlight on Ogden’s craft breweries and other local businesses.
“We thrive off local,” Collier says. “Ogden businesses are primarily small, independent, and local. That fits in with the craft beer kind of thing and what we’re seeing develop here.”
To be sure, craft beer in Ogden is blooming. At least three new breweries are set to come on line in the next year.
Ogden River Brewing, UTOG Brewing, and Zólupez Beer Company plan to join established breweries Talisman Brewing Company and Roosters Brewing Company.
Roosters, an Ogden staple for nearly 25 years, is about to open a new production facility — the B Street Brewery. And, of course, there’s Slackwater Pizzeria & Pub and Warrens Craft Burger and their extensive craft beer menus.
“This is exciting for Northern Utah,” King says. “We are opening new breweries and becoming a market for craft beer.”
There’s nothing peculiar about that.
Peculiar Pours Beer Festival: If You Go
- WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 13, 3-8 p.m.
- WHERE: Indoors at Ogden Union Station, 2501 Wall Avenue
- WHAT: Nearly 20 breweries, cideries, and distilleries are slated to bring quirky concoctions for sampling. A half-dozen local food vendors will be on-hand as well. DJ Bryson Dearden will be mixing tunes and O-Town Throwdown, The Comedy Loft improv troupe, is scheduled to perform at 6 p.m.
- TICKETS: $20 admission ticket includes three sample pour tokens, a $5 meal voucher, and a souvenir sampling glass. Additional sample pour tokens will be available for $1. Designated driver tickets are available for $10 and include a meal voucher. Tickets will be available on-site, but organizers encourage advance purchase.
- MORE INFO: 21+ only. Visit the Peculiar Pours Beer Festival Facebook Event listing.
Peculiar Pours Libations & Food Lineup
Ogden Downtown Alliance provided the following list (subject to change).
- Bohemian Brewery & Grill
- Epic Brewing Company
- Kiitos Brewing
- Mountain West Hard Cider
- New World Distillery
- Park City Brewing Company
- Proper Brewing Co
- Red Rock Brewing
- Roosters Brewing Co.
- SaltFire Brewing Co
- Talisman Brewing Company
- Uinta Brewing
- 2 Row Brewing
- Grand Teton Brewing Company
- Pear Up Cider
- PRESS Premium Alcohol Seltzer
- Utah Brewers co-op
- Daily Rise Coffee Ogden
- Lavender Kitchen
- Lucky Slice Pizza
- Union Grill
- Warrens Craft Burger
- Wimpy and Fritz