Welcome to the Utah Beer News Podcast. Listen to stories straight from the individuals who make Utah’s craft beer community what it is.
Listen to the episodes by clicking the links below. Or why not subscribe to have the podcasts delivered to your favorite podcast-listening platform?
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Episode 30: RoHa Brewing Project: Striking the Right Balance
RoHa Brewing Project celebrates its three-year anniversary in April 2020. RoHa may be part of the new-brewery boom in Utah. But its brewer is no stranger to the state’s beer scene. Chris Haas — the Ha in RoHa — arrived in Utah 24 years ago to work for Squatters Craft Beers. Then he spent several years at Desert Edge Pub & Brewery in Trolley Square.
That’s where he met Rob Phillips — the Ro in RoHa. Rob, an engineer by trade, attended a beer school event taught by Haas and asked the brewer if he needed any volunteers to help around the brewery.
Haas said sure. Phillips showed up the next day — that was about 15 years ago now. And the rest, as they say, is history. A third partner — Josh Stern, affectionately known as “The Project” — is a real estate agent who sold Phillips his house when he moved to Utah. The two quickly became drinking buddies.
During our conversation:
- We discuss the early days — the years of planning and plotting and why Haas describes the period leading up to Opening Day as “living inside a tornado.”
- We talk about certain decisions RoHa made initially that are paying off for the three-year-old brewery.
- They share thoughts on the beers available year-round and hint at a few that are in the works (including more in their seasonal lineup).
- And they each talk about their ultimate goal when it comes to RoHa Brewing Project long-term.
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: RoHa Brewing Project: Striking the Right Balance.
Episode 29: Bonneville Brewery: An All-Star in Tooele
You don’t need to live in Salt Lake County to quench your thirst for Utah craft beer. Bonneville Brewery is located 35 miles to the west of the capital city. It’s well worth the drive—not only for the beer but also for the brewpub fare and the stunning scenery.
The two-story pub is spacious. And in warmer months you’re able to enjoy a pint on the patio while taking in views of the Great Salt Lake, Stansbury and Antelope islands, and the Oquirrh Mountains. For non-Utahns, the Great Salt Lake is the remnants of the massive prehistoric Lake Bonneville, the brewery’s namesake.
We sat down with Bonneville Head Brewer Dave Watson to learn more about this somewhat hidden gem. Watson is a former photojournalist who then worked at The Beer Nut Homebrew Shop and Desert Edge Pub in Salt Lake City before helping to open Bonneville Brewery in 2012.
During our conversation:
- We chat about Watson’s interesting path to Bonneville Brewery
- We discuss his philosophy when it comes to brewing award-winning beers
- He shares his thoughts on the Utah craft beer scene and the growth it’s experienced in recent years
- And he explains the origin story for one of Bonneville’s most-recognizable brews — Free Roller Session IPA
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: Bonneville Brewery: An All-Star in Tooele.
Episode 28: Utah Holiday Beers 2019
- Green Urban Lunch Box Hard Cider (Mountain West Hard Cider)
- Albion Belgian Tripel (T.F. Brewing)
- Griswald’s Holiday Ale (Red Rock Brewing)
- Holiday Ale (Kiitos Brewing)
- Barrel-Aged Kilted Harley Scottish Ale (Salt Flats Brewing)
- Pastry Style Stout (Kiitos Brewing)
We also highlight a few beer-themed events happening in Utah between now and the end of the year, talk about bottle shares, and discuss the general state of craft beer in Utah.
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: Utah Holiday Beers 2019: Celebrate the Season.
Episode 27: Slackwater Pizzeria & Pub
A markedly different craft beer landscape greeted Slackwater Pizzeria and Pub when it opened in Ogden in 2011. The most recent craft beer boom was in its infancy. Utah was still a few years away from embarking on its torrent of brewery openings.
But Slackwater had a vision: A menu driven by innovative pizzas and an extensive beer list that prioritized local offerings. A place for everyday adventurers to enjoy a victory beer celebrating a memorable hike, bike ride, or other outdoor experience.
The cozy pizzeria and pub expanded from a 30-seat spot on the Ogden River to a 200-seat destination for craft beer lovers in Weber County and beyond.
And now Slackwater is expanding to open a restaurant in the south end of the Salt Lake Valley.
We sat down with Blake Hirschi to talk about Slackwater Sandy, which is scheduled to open in early November 2019 at 10290 South State Street. The general manager and point person on the expansion gave us the lowdown on what’s sure to be a popular spot for craft beer enthusiasts.
- We discussed the history of Slackwater and how the new Sandy location will be an extension of the company’s overall vision
- Blake dishes key stats on the gorgeous 7,000-square-foot space
- And we talk about challenges and rewards associated with making a former steakhouse into a South Valley craft beer destination
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: Slackwater Sets Sights on Sandy to learn more.
Episode 26: Red Rock Brewery News & Notes
This is a slightly abbreviated episode of the podcast. But I think the Utah craft beer community will find it interesting. Regular listeners will remember that Red Rock Brewery hosted our recent episode about the 2019 Utah Beer Festival.
As part of that conversation, Shantel Stoff, the brewery’s sales and marketing director, gave Utah Beer News listeners an update on a variety of Red Rock-related topics, including:
- Two new beers that should be hitting the market in the very near future. One is an American Imperial Pilsner and the other is a New England Style IPA.
- Updates on a few of Red Rock’s special releases.
- The latest on the construction of a new production facility and the Tap Haus at the Red Rock brewpub in Park City.
- How Red Rock is approaching the impending law implementation that will allow for beers up to 5% ABV to be sold in grocery and convenience stores.
- And we also talked briefly about the Utah Consumer Coalition, a nonprofit designed to advocate on behalf of consumers for better beer laws.
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: Red Rock Brewery: New Beers, Facilities, Initiatives to learn more.
Episode 25: Utah Beer Festival 10th Anniversary Preview
Salt Lake City Weekly organizes the annual event. We visited with City Weekly’s Samantha Smith and Pete Saltas to learn more about the festival’s history and what attendees can expect this year.
Red Rock Brewing hosted this episode of the podcast. The brewery, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2019, has participated in the Utah Beer Festival each of the last 10 years. Shantel Stoff, the sales and distribution director for Red Rock, talked a little about the festival’s history and the important role it plays in the community.
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: Utah Beer Festival 2019: 10th Anniversary Edition to learn more.
And read our 5 takeaways from the 10th-anniversary event.
Episode 24: Talisman Brewing Company
Ogden is becoming quite the hot spot for craft beer. One brewery that’s contributing to that growth is Talisman Brewing Company. The husband-and-wife-operated brewery opened in 2016. It has served as a trailblazer of sorts for would-be production breweries in the northern part of the state.
We sat down with co-owners Dusty and Joann Williams to learn their story — starting with how they landed on the name Talisman.
A talisman is an emblem of good luck. And, as Joann says: If we’re crazy enough to open a brewery in Utah with no prior professional industry experience, we probably needed a little full-time luck.
It takes more than luck to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive market. And Joann and Dusty share with us what they are doing to ensure continued success.
In the episode you’ll learn:
- What brought Dusty and Joann to Utah and into the brewing business
- The biggest challenges the pair encountered on this journey
- How the two lean on their unique skillsets to run a successful business
- And how the community response is helping to guide future plans
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: Talisman Brewing: ‘Veteran Owned, Ogden Made’ to learn more.
Episode 23: Hopkins Brewing Company
How would it be to open a brewery a mile from your childhood home? The dream became reality for Chad Hopkins and Hopkins Brewing Company in Sugar House.
Hopkins is an accomplished homebrewer who opened his own spot on New Year’s Eve 2018 in what once housed a furniture store and even another brewery. Barely six months old, the pub on 2100 South is already earning fans by delivering tasty craft beers and offering a homegrown lunch, dinner — and most recently, brunch — menu.
We visited with Chad and bar manager Alicia Border at the brewery. We sipped pints of Hopkins’ Patchwork Pale Ale — a rotating series that features unique malts and hops in each iteration.
In the episode you’ll learn:
- How Chad’s palate for beer has evolved over the years
- What it means to manage a brewpub in your hometown
- Where he finds inspiration for his lineup of craft beers
- And what the future holds for the Sugar House brewery
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: Hopkins Brewing: Homegrown Brewer Living His Dream to learn more.
Episode 22: Utah Brewers Guild Fest
The inaugural Utah Brewers Guild Fest is set for June 29 in downtown Salt Lake City. We chatted with Nicole Dicou, the executive director of the Utah Brewers Guild, to learn what makes this event unique.
As you’ll hear in the episode:
- The Fest features beers from only Utah-based breweries. No non-native brews allowed.
- In what could be a first-of-its-kind event in Utah, more than 20 participating breweries paired off to concoct a dozen or so creative collaborations.
We were fortunate to speak with two brewers who shared their collaboration beer with Utah Beer News.
Scott Parker of Salt Flats Brewing and Chad Hopkins of Hopkins Brewing Co. talk about a Chile Mango Gose they brewed for the Utah Brewers Guild Fest.
The Utah Brewers Guild Fest is a 21-and-over event that will feature food trucks and music to enjoy while sipping beers. The Guild is going for a street festival vibe in the urban downtown setting of McCarthy Plaza between Main and Regent streets.
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: Utah Brewers Guild Fest: Collaboration Nation to learn more.
Episode 21: Proper Brewing Co.
We continue the Proper Brewing Co. conversation we started in Episode 18. This time we sit down with Marketing Director Eleanor Lewis. We talk a bit more about the company’s newest venture — Craft by Proper — that opened in April. But we also delve into the larger Proper Brewing Co. footprint and the Utah craft beer scene in general.
Ellie originally hails from Chicago and arrived in Utah about five years ago. She began her beer career in the Beehive State as a server at Avenues Proper. She now directs the ever-growing company’s marketing and social media efforts.
In this episode, Ellie, who’s also a certified cicerone, shares with Utah Beer News the story of how the Proper name — and Proper Beer — came to be. We also talk about the borderline insanity that accompanies opening two properties in a matter of months. Stratford Proper Café & Bistro opened in Salt Lake in December 2018. And Craft by Proper — Utah’s Only Utah-Only Beer Bar — opened its doors in April 2019.
We touch on the growing Utah craft beer scene and Ellie gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives production. The popular Food Network series featured Proper Burger Co. in January.
Episode 20: Lagerpalooza, Salt City Brew Supply, & Bewilder Brewing
The homebrew shop owners also help organize the annual Lagerpalooza beer competition and festival at Bohemian Brewery. The 5th Annual Lagerpalooza is scheduled to take place on May 5, 2019. This is an opportunity for homebrewers to challenge themselves by brewing a lager. It’s also a chance for craft beer lovers to enjoy an array of local lagers from Bohemian and other Utah breweries.
We sat down to talk with Ross and Cody about Lagerpalooza but we couldn’t help but explore a few other things the pair has going on right now:
- We discuss the success of Salt City Brew Supply and get some insight into how it’s helped support an ever-expanding homebrewing community.
- And we also talk about the duo’s newest venture — Bewilder Brewing. It’s a downtown Salt Lake City craft brewery eyeing a July 2019 opening. You can help support the endeavor by checking out their Kickstarter campaign. We’ll include a link in the show notes and in the accompanying article on UtahBeerNews.com.
Approximate Time Stamps:
- Introduction 0:00 – 3:10
- Lagerpalooza 3:10 – 12:50
- Salt City Brew Supply 12:50 – 33:40
- Bewilder Brewing 33:40 – 48.25
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: 5th Annual Lagerpalooza Showcases Local Lagers to learn more.
Episode 19: Tour de Brewtah 2019: The Brewth is Out There
We spoke with Brandon Smith, a distiller at Dented Brick Distillery in Salt Lake City, who’s part of the organizing committee. In our telephone conversation, he shares details about the event that brings together cyclists and craft beer enthusiasts to tour our ever-expanding “brewiverse.”
Not into cycling but still want to have a good time? The Tour de Brewtah includes a full-on beer festival at The Gateway where you can bring the family, relax, and enjoy pints from many of the breweries on the Tour.
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: Tour de Brewtah: Prepare for Launch to learn more about the event.
Episode 18: Craft by Proper: Utah’s Only Utah-Only Beer Bar
We take you behind the scenes into what should be a popular destination for craft beer lovers. Craft by Proper is billed as Utah’s Only Utah-Only Beer Bar. It’s located in the heart of Sugar House and opened April 19, 2019. It features 36 tap handles and 80+ different cans and bottles from breweries all around the Beehive State.
This episode is actually split into two parts. The part you’re about to hear features Proper Brewing Brewer and Co-Owner Rio Connelly.
The second part, which will be released in the coming weeks, features Proper Brewing’s Marketing Director Eleanor Lewis. In that one we talk a bit more about Craft by Proper. But we also delve into the larger Proper Brewing Co. footprint and the Utah craft beer scene in general. Look for that one soon.
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: Craft by Proper: Utah’s Only Utah-Only Beer Bar to learn more about the unique beer bar.
Episode 17: A View of the Brew at UTOG Brewing in Ogden
Utah Beer News sat down to talk to the proprietor of what will be Ogden’s newest brewery and restaurant. Final inspections were taking place during our visit and UTOG hopes to be pouring its first pints in April 2019.
Carson, who is a former airline pilot and an award-winning homebrewer, put his heart and soul — and two years of his life — into building a truly unique brewery. In this episode:
- Carson takes us through the ins-and-outs of his 15-barrel brewhouse. For starters, construction included hauling away 90,000 pounds of concrete to build a spectacular “brew pit” that allows guests a front-row view to the brewing process.
- We discuss the incredible feats of engineering required to turn a building with a fascinating history into a state-of-the-art brewery and restaurant.
- And we walk through the lineup of beers that you can expect to enjoy once UTOG Brewing opens to the public in the coming weeks.
Oh, and baseball fans — like me — will love the planned patio that practically butts up against the outfield of Lindquist Field, home to the Ogden Raptors minor-league baseball team. Beer, baseball, and summertime. That sounds pretty good right about now.
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: A View of the Brew at UTOG Brewing Co. to learn more about the brewery.
Episode 16: Roosters Flying High with New B Street Brewery
Founded in 1995 on Ogden’s Historic 25th Street, Roosters Brewing Co. is one of the oldest breweries in the state. Our visit, however, took us to the newest jewel in the Roosters crown — the B Street Brewery. It’s a beautiful 30-barrel production brewery and taproom that opened in December 2018.
We open the show talking briefly with Colton Layton, Roosters Brewery Engineer. But he only had a few minutes before he needed to head downstairs to oversee the latest canning run of Patio Pilsner.
From there, we dive into the past, the present, and the future with Roosters Head Brewer (Ogden) Jacquie King.
- We talk about the legacy of Roosters Brewing in Ogden and how it helped to revitalize Historic 25th Street
- We discuss Jacquie’s role as head brewer and how she is a well-respected advocate for the Utah craft beer community
- And we chat about a few events Roosters has planned to celebrate Women’s History Month
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: Roosters Flying High with New B Street Brewery to learn more about the brewery.
Episode 15: Hoppers Grill & Brewing: ‘Boutique’ Brewery a Perfect Fit
Hoppers Grill and Brewing is a Midvale institution and one of Utah’s longest running breweries. The brewpub opened in 1996 and is located at 890 East Fort Union Boulevard. It’s known for brewing award-winning lagers and offering tasty pub food.
Utah Beer News traveled to Hoppers to visit with Marketing Manager Natalie Rogers and General Manager Brock Blonquist.
- They sit down to discuss the brewery’s history and how it came to be locally owned and operated. It’s a fascinating journey propelled by a hole-in-one.
- I ask if they believe Hoppers sometimes gets overlooked — especially with all the new up-and-coming breweries in the state.
- And we chat about the future of beer in the Beehive and the role Hoppers hopes to play as a longstanding member of the Utah beer community.
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: Hoppers Grill & Brewing: ‘Boutique’ Brewery a Perfect Fit to learn more about the beer directly from brewmaster Donovan Steele.
Episode 14: Level Crossing Brewing on Track to Open in South Salt Lake
Level Crossing Brewing is set to open in South Salt Lake in March 2019. On this episode of the podcast, you’ll hear from three key players on:
- The joys and challenges of starting a brewery from scratch
- The booming craft beer scene in Utah
- Their favorite local beers of the moment
- And we even touch on some political stuff
- Plus, we talk about the beers that will be available when Level Crossing Brewing opens to the public
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: All Aboard! Level Crossing Rolls Into South Salt Lake.
Episode 13: Salt Flats Brewing Puts Foot on the Gas
And that’s where the name Salt Flats Brewing comes in — an homage to the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats located 125 miles west of the brewery.
Utah Beer News visited the brewery to talk about the history of Salt Flats as well as its current projects and its ambitious plans for the future.
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: Salt Flats Brewing Puts Foot on the Gas.
Episode 12: Solstice Malt Founder Puts Heart & Soul Into His Craft
Solstice Malt is Utah’s first malting operation in more than a half-century. Its founder, James Weed, in many ways is a throwback to a time when maltsters manually turned grain into the so-called “soul of beer.”
Hear Weed explain the three main stages of malting, as well as how he largely built his malt house from the ground up.
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read the accompanying article: Solstice Malt Founder Puts Heart & Soul Into His Craft.
Episode 11: Utah Craft Beers to Sip During the Holidays
- Brut Style India Pale Ale (Kiitos Brewing)
- Griswald’s Holiday Ale (Red Rock Brewing)
- Young Bruin Sour Brown Ale (Toasted Barrel Brewing)
- Sweet Dreams Imperial Porter (Shades Brewing)
- It’s Not Just For Breakfast Stout (2 Row Brewing)
- Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout (Epic Brewing)
- Barrel Aged Barley Wine Ale (Kiitos Brewing)
We also highlight a few beer-themed events happening in Utah between now and the end of the year.
Once you’re finished listening to the podcast, be sure to read Dave’s accompanying article: Unwrap a Six Pack of Utah Holiday Beers.
Episode 10: Meet Utah Homebrewer, Pilot, Bassoonist Ryan Van Liere
Ryan Van Liere — known to many as The Flying Bassoonist — is a Utah-based homebrewer who also happens to play the not-so-common bassoon and pilot/build aircraft.
Utah Beer News sat down with Van Liere to learn how he got started in homebrewing, where he found his love for craft beer, and what he thinks of the Utah craft beer scene.
One quick clarification from the audio interview: Big Bad Baptist (not Son of a Baptist) from Epic Brewing Co. is one of Van Liere’s beers of the moment.
Once you’re finished listening, be sure to check out the accompanying website article as well: Meet a Homebrewer Who Plays Bassoon and Flies Airplanes.
Episode 9: Shades Brewing — New Branding & Kveik Updates
In some ways, it’s always been simply Shades Brewing. It’s rare for someone to refer to the South Salt Lake brewery by its formal name — Shades of Pale Brewing Company.
So Shades is going all-in to better leverage what it believes to be strong name recognition and brand equity.
Utah Beer News talks with Shades CMO Dave Murray about the shift, which goes deeper than merely a name change and label reboot. Instead, it’s positioning Shades as an identity, a personality.
We also chat with Trent Fargher, Shades founder, about what’s next for the line of kveik golden sour ales. The brewery is fresh off a gold-medal win at the Great American Beer Festival for its Kveik 1.
Once you’re finished listening, be sure to check out the accompanying website article as well: Shades Brewing Unveils New Name, Branding.
Episode 8: Craft Beer Educator — Eric Meyer of Purgatory Bar
Eric Meyer manages Purgatory bar in Salt Lake City. Even though it’s known for fun, unique cocktails, Purgatory’s laid back atmosphere, upscale food, and attention to its beer menu, draws a beer-drinking crowd. Its selection includes 60+ varieties of bottled/canned beers and 20 tap handles.
Utah Beer News sits down to chat with Meyer to talk about beer and taste a few local brews. Included in the episode:
- Meyer is studying to become a Certified Cicerone®. What does that mean?
- We taste — and evaluate — three local beers. Hop Nosh IPA (Uinta Brewing), Double Trub’l IIPA (Shades Brewing), and Bobcat Nutbrown Ale (Red Rock Brewing)
- Meyer talks about a new beer bar — Boiler Room — that’s in the works
Once you’re finished listening, be sure to check out the accompanying website article as well: Craft Beer Education: Eric Meyer’s Class is in Session.
Episode 7: Fall Beers — From Oktoberfest to Pumpkin Spice
Fall drinking means letting the leaves be your guide. You can switch to suds with a little more color — amber, copper, etc. Dave Baker and Tim Haran sit down to sip and evaluate five fall beers perfect for the season. They also talk about the origins of Oktoberfest and highlight a couple local events happening around town.
Once you’re finished listening, be sure to check out the accompanying website article as well: Fall Beers: From Oktoberfest to Pumpkin Spice.
Episode 6: 2 Row Brewing’s Brian Coleman
2 Row Brewing, which opened in 2015 in Midvale, Utah, helped to usher in a new wave of breweries in the Beehive State. Brian Coleman, founder and president, sat down with Utah Beer News to talk about his love for brewing. Our wide-ranging interview touches on several beer-related topics:
- 2 Row Brewing’s wild ride to opening up shop
- The value of developing your palate for beer
- The brewery’s approach to its social media
- How 2 Row’s super-cool bottle labels came about
And much more! Be sure to check out the accompanying website article as well: 2 Row Brewing: A Breath of Fresh Beer
Episode 5: Utah Beer Event Grab Bag
It’s not a question of which beer event to attend. But rather how many can I squeeze into my day? This episode of the podcast takes listeners on a Hops Hunters Hike and to downtown Salt Lake City for the annual Pie & Beer Day festivities. It also crosses state lines to visit the Evanston Brewfest. The episode accompanies an article that discusses even more beer-related events. Check it out.
Episode 4: Utah Summer BBQ Beers
Utah Beer News discusses a handful of craft beers perfect for your next summer BBQ or other gathering. David Baker and Tim Haran talk about six beers, each of which is readily available at your local Utah grocery store. David writes about these six and adds four more in his article 10 Utah Craft Beers Perfect for Your Next BBQ. Don’t go to your next get-together unprepared! Listen to what beers you should be taking with you to be the hit of your BYOB BBQ.
Episode 3: Mountain West Hard Cider
In June, Mountain West Hard Cider invited Utah Beer News to tour their cidery in the Marmalade District of Salt Lake City. Mountain West is the first established cidery in Utah. I chatted with Laci Brown — aka “Ciderella” — and Jess Pechmann. During our conversation I learned a lot about the cidering process and the products Mountain West offers. We also talked about how Mountain West works diligently to build a community around its ciders. The latest example is The Garten, an all ages, outdoor gathering place next to Mountain West. Events are planned throughout the summer.
Episode 2: Hops on the Hill
Utah Beer News attended the season-opening Hops on the Hill event at picturesque Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah. It pairs craft beer with delectable food. Live music is also on the menu. We chatted with Chef Zane Holmquist, as well as representatives from RoHa Brewing Project and Squatters Craft Beers. The series, now in its sixth summer, runs each Tuesday through Aug. 28, 2018.
Episode 1: Shades Brewing Company
Utah Beer News sat down with Shades Brewing Company‘s Trent Fargher and Marcio Buffolo to discuss the brewery’s history. The majority of the interview, however, centers on kveik — an ancient yeast the brewers are using to create a series of golden sour beers.