Slackwater Sandy | 3 Beers with Joey (March 2021)

Slackwater Sandy - Joey Cardaccio - Blog Featured March 2021

Joey Cardaccio, service manager at Slackwater Sandy, joins Utah Beer News for the inaugural episode of our Virtual Taproom | 3 Beers with Joey video series.

Each month, Cardaccio will chat with us about three new or noteworthy beers worth checking out. Here are the three beers selected for March 2021:

About the Utah Beer News Virtual Taproom

Utah Beer News conducts 15-minute video interviews with brewers, breweries, and everyday imbibers. These brief conversations are recorded virtually. They are uploaded the same day (or the next day) to the Utah Beer News YouTube channel.

Instead of the more in-depth interviews and brewery histories typical of the Utah Beer News Podcast episodes and Brewery Profile articles, these bite-sized conversations feature so-called “newsy” information. We talk about new beer releases, upcoming events, and general happenings in and around Utah’s craft breweries.

If you’re a brewer or brewery representative — or even an everyday imbiber with a story to share — and would like to participate in an upcoming episode, please fill out the contact form.

Slackwater Pizzeria & Pub in Sandy reopened for dine-in service earlier this month. Photo Credit: Slackwater Sandy
Slackwater Pizzeria & Pub in Sandy. Photo Credit: Slackwater Sandy

Slackwater Sandy Transcript

The following is a slightly edited transcript of our conversation. And here’s a previous article we wrote about Slackwater Sandy.

[Tim Haran]

Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining Utah Beer News for our latest in one-on-one conversations with brewers, breweries, and everyday imbibers. I’m Tim Haran, founder of Utah Beer News. And my guest today is Joey Cardaccio, service manager at Slackwater Pub & Pizzeria in Sandy, Utah. Welcome, Joey.

[Joey Cardaccio]

Hi, thanks for having me, Tim. I appreciate it.

[Tim Haran]

You bet. Thanks for taking the time to talk to Utah Beer News. I’m excited for this one. It’s something that I hope will be a regular feature.

When Slackwater opened, you guys were an Ogden craft beer destination and then you announced you were going to open a location in Sandy, I couldn’t wait. I mean, you opened in November 2019. Since then, it’s been known as the place in the south end of the valley for craft beer. A lot of that, I think, is due to the work of you, Joey.

You’re kind of the man in charge of the beer there. In this feature, I’m hoping to check in with Joey semi-regularly to let viewers in on what are three new or interesting beers that are available at Slackwater.

Right now, since this is the first installment, though, I’d love to get a little bit of background on Slackwater Sandy. What it is and lay the foundation for what you’re working with and then a little bit about yourself, if you don’t mind.

[Joey Cardaccio]

Oh yeah. So Slackwater Ogden opened in late 2011 or 2012. It’s been up there about nine years now and Justin the owner wanted to open up another location down here.

They found this spot here in Sandy. It’s been a couple different steakhouses and things like that that didn’t turn out well, apparently. It was vacant for a couple years and then we found it, scooped it up and opened on Nov. 4, 2019.

We have been going ever since, even through the pandemic, honestly. We closed down for that six weeks initially in March 2020 and then when we reopened in May, the community down here’s just been so great and welcoming and supportive that we were able to keep everyone on and keep pushing out pizzas and beer. It’s been fantastic.

[Tim Haran]

It’s such a great place for beer and food. How many beers do you have there?

[Joey Cardaccio]

We have 28 tap lines and we have roughly 275 bottles and cans. It’s a lot.

[Tim Haran]

That’s quite a lot. What’s it like managing something like that?

[Joey Cardaccio]

It is quite the endeavor, honestly. I’m always on the phone, always texting. I’m always on the computer looking up what’s new. Always talking to the distributors. Hey, what can I get? I want it first. Give it to me and nobody else. No, I don’t do that.

Seriously, I’m always trying to find the new and the coolest. There are a lot of new beers coming into Utah from out of state so we’ve been trying to scoop all that up as soon as we can get it.

[Tim Haran]

That’s what I’ve been super impressed with. Any time I go down there, there’s always something new or interesting. You always have it available, it seems like.

Managing that quantity of beer and making sure you have it all in stock and everything is, I think, an amazing feat. It’s just really cool.

How did you get started in this line of work?

[Joey Cardaccio]

Well, I’ve been in the restaurant/bar industry for over 20 years. I’ve lived in Utah for about nine years now. I was working downtown for a while.

Then I helped my buddy Carson open UTOG Brewing in Ogden. But that was a little too far from my house, so I wanted something a little closer. This opportunity came around and I jumped on it.

It’s been amazing, honestly. I’ve been here, it will be two years in July.

[Tim Haran]

You’ve been in the restaurant industry for a couple decades I’m sure you’ve seen the beer landscape just change dramatically.

What’s it like right now?

[Joey Cardaccio]

It’s awesome. Even since I’ve been in Utah for nine years, when I first moved here in 2012 to now, it’s crazy the amount of new breweries that have opened, the transitions that current breweries are going through, label changes, new beer styles, all kinds of differences. It’s just been awesome to see.

If people come to Utah, they might not necessarily think craft beer, but they’re completely wrong. It’s a hotbed of craft beer, in my opinion.

[Tim Haran]

You’ve definitely got a ton of local stuff and I think that’s what we’re going to be talking about today, but you’ve also got beer from all over the world.

You turned me on to an Estonian beer the last time I was in.

[Joey Cardaccio]

I have six or seven bottles left of that. That was fantastic. That was a gingerbread Baltic porter from Estonia. I think the brewery is called Pohjala? I’m not even sure how to say that.

So I try to get a lot of different stuff from outside the state and some European stuff, too, but we like to focus on the local breweries here in Salt Lake and Utah in general so that’s why I thought I’d talk about three local beers today.

[Tim Haran]

Fantastic. I think we should just dive right in. We got a little bit of the lay of the land for Slackwater. You’re right there on State Street. Right about 104th-105th South. A great spot for beer and pizza and sandwiches and do an excellent job there.

Let’s talk about these beers you selected for us today.

[Joey Cardaccio]

This one I had you try last time you were in. That’s the new double from Uinta. Caravan. It’s really good. 8.5%. Super, super good. Simcoe, Galaxy hops. I’d call it a juicy West Coast double. Really good.

Uinta’s been putting out a lot of killer beers lately. As soon as I saw it, I jumped on it. I want a couple cases of that. It looks delicious and the reviews I’ve been seeing from everybody trying it are loving it.

I was able to have that one last time I was in and really enjoyed it. Uinta does great work. To come out with a new Double IPA like that just in time for summer is awesome. This is honestly, I think, my favorite beer right now. If I had to pick, I’d pick this one.

It’s got nice, juicy notes to it. It’s got just a little bit of bitterness on the end but not too much. Just like a perfect double. So it’s dangerous at 8.5%.

[Tim Haran]

Sweet. That one’s cool. I’ve been loving their can designs lately. Really cool stuff. They’ve gone through a rebrand of sorts and it’s nice to see their, I guess pub, it’s not really a pub, but their taproom is open now again, which is cool to see.

They’ve got Nomad Eatery in there to serve their food. So it’s a great spot to have a beer.

What’s No. 2?

[Joey Cardaccio]

No. 2. Proper. So this is another one that’s doing cool new different beers, label designs. They’re a lot different than they used to be.

This is a 5%, super crushable grapefruit wheat ale. Really, really good. It’s definitely the perfect beer for brunch, honestly. Get out, wake up 10 a.m., get to brunch at 10:30 and you’re crushing this.

It’s made with grapefruit puree. The grapefruit’s not crazy overpowering. It’s nice and subtle. Super, super good. I’ve had people say I don’t really like grapefruit-flavored beers but they actually love this. So this is a go-to for everybody, especially at 5%. Perfect.

[Tim Haran]

That’s awesome. And you’re right about Proper. They’re doing some really cool work with the cans and marketing right now. I was able to talk to Jack and Jeff not too long ago about their barrel program.

They told me about this coming up. And they’ve got that Trop Rock Juice Box right now that I’ve been loving. That’s a good beer. They do a lot of good work. A nice local one.

Alright, let’s wrap it up with No. 3. What did you choose?

[Joey Cardaccio]

My good friends at SaltFire have released their 10 Ton Truck. Really, really good. 7% straight-up West Coast-style IPA. Back to the original clear, you know, IPA before the haze craze started.

Clean, crisp. Super hoppy, a little bit more bitter on the back end, which, you know, I like. This is a good one. At 7% you could drink it all day. Super, super crushable. Just the right amount of hops, too. Really, really good.

This has Amarillo, Citra. Amarillo, Citra is what I see. OK. They’re another one of the local guys that have been pushing out amazing beer. The Punk AF, the triple IPA they do, really, really solid. All their stuff is really good.

[Tim Haran]

Cool, man. Those are three good local beers.

[Joey Cardaccio]

A lot of good local stuff right now. It was honestly hard to pick three. I kind of wanted to do three locals and not out-of-state stuff, which we can talk about at another time, hopefully.

[Tim Haran]

Sweet. Well, that’s great. Yeah, three noteworthy beers that you can check out now at Slackwater. This has been great.

Before we wrap up, what’s going on at Slackwater. I know you’ve got various tap takeovers at times. Do you have one coming up any time soon?

[Joey Cardaccio]

Actually, this coming Wednesday, the 24th, we’re having Melvin come in and we’re doing a Melvin can night. So not a tap takeover. We’re going to be featuring their cans. I got a new one in today. I think I’m going to be possibly releasing a new one on that Wednesday night. Juice Theorem. It’s available out in Wyoming but it isn’t quite available here yet in Utah. I’m hoping to get that here for Wednesday. That will be fun.

It will be 5 p.m. to close on the 24th. And then April we’re doing a tap takeover with Wasatch/Squatters. I haven’t nailed down a date for that yet.

Keep an eye out on social media. Subscribe to us on Untappd. Every time I add a new event you’ll get an alert. Every time I add a new beer to the menu, you’ll get an alert right to your phone. It’s the best thing, honestly.

[Tim Haran]

Sweet. Well, that’s awesome. Thanks so much, Joey, for taking the time with this virtual taproom, not really a taproom, but like the ultimate taproom really.

So be sure to follow Slackwater on their social media, like Joey said, and get updates. The beer lineup is always changing.

A cool thing is you’ve got monthly specials, too, where you highlight different food items and you kind of put different beers on special too as far as what you’re going to be featuring.