Utah Beer News sat down recently with Joann Williams, co-founder of Talisman Brewing Company in Ogden. As part of the Virtual Taproom video series, we visited not long after the brewery celebrated its five-year anniversary. Below is a transcript of a portion of our conversation.
Utah Beer News: Let’s talk a little bit about the last five years. What does it mean to you to have reached this milestone?
Joann Williams: It’s actually been amazing. For those who don’t know our backstory, (co-founder Dusty Williams) had been brewing at home for many, many years. When he was getting ready to retire from the military, he thought he wanted to take that next step.
So we started playing around with the idea, probably close to seven or eight years ago now. At first, I didn’t really think that he was serious, you know, to take on such a big endeavor. But as we started moving forward in it, some of those crazy conversations became more of a reality.
Here we are, a little over five years later, and we’re feeling incredibly blessed to have been embraced so well by the community and have received such great feedback on the beer. To have done something in an industry that neither one of us really necessarily came from and to make an amazing run at it, we’re incredibly excited for what the next five years and more will hold as well.
Article Continues Below
🎙 Listen: Talisman Brewing
BONUS: Subscribe to the Utah Beer News Podcast and listen to our interview with Talisman Brewing Co-Founder Joann Williams. Hear how the community’s helped to shape Talisman’s success, learn what’s in store for the brewery in the near future (hint: cans), and more!Listen Now
Utah Beer News: Can you give a brief overview of what your brewery operation and taproom situation is like there in Ogden?
Joann Williams: We are in Ogden, just off of 12th and Gibson. We originally opened our doors as a production brewery, with just a small store five years ago. We wanted to focus on primarily the beer side of things, so I think we’re the only brewery in northern Utah currently that doesn’t have a restaurant attached to the production brewery.
For right now, our situation entails primarily the manufacturing space, and then we have a package agency on-site so you can purchase all of our beers to-go there. And then a couple of years in, we opened a small 40-45 seat taproom just to accommodate the people who wanted to be able to stop by and taste some of the product before they buy it. And also give some of the locals a place where they can go and grab a beer without having the requirement of grabbing a bite to eat as well.
I don’t know what the future will hold in terms of a restaurant, but as of right now we’re loving the way things are running with the store and the tavern attached to the production space.
Utah Beer News: What are a few core beers that people keep coming back to repeatedly?
Joann Williams: When we first undertook this endeavor, we really wanted to have something for every palate. So we prided ourselves on having everything from light to dark, hoppy to in between. Something for everyone so if someone’s a beer drinker in general, they’re going to be able to find something they love at Talisman.
We started with a core lineup of six beers. We had our Kreation, which we launched as a Krystalweizen. Uplifted, which is a Scottish-style ale. We had Bel’s Fury Irish Red Ale, Dagda, which was our standard IPA, and then we quickly added some additional things to the lineup that were really popular over the years. We have Killer Grove, which is probably, if we take all of the retail plus the sales in-house, one of our better-selling beers. It’s a blood orange honey wheat ale
We have our Comin’ in Hop, our session IPA, that’s taken some awards and has been a great addition to our lineup. And then Spindrift is our hazy IPA. That one’s yet to hit the retail market. We’re holding out for the spring of next year before we launch that into the retail segment.
And then we’re the first brewery in Utah to brew a triple IPA. So we have our Hazards. Dagda and Hazards for bottle shop sales kind of run neck and neck with each other each month.
Talisman Brewing: Virtual Taproom
Williams joined Utah Beer News in its virtual taproom on Oct. 5, 2021, to celebrate Talisman’s five-year anniversary. In the episode, we talked about the milestone event, upcoming new releases, and the soon-to-arrive canning line.
Utah Beer News: What’s next for Talisman?
Joann Williams: Coming into the winter season is where we get to have the most fun with our beer lineup. We rotate a lot of stuff through our tavern in smaller batches, but not a lot of it makes it into bottles or into distribution. We sold out of our Oktoberfest in bottles, but within the next two weeks we’ll have another stock of it. We’re getting ready, we just brewed a Brown Ale. That’s going to be our fall seasonal beer, so look for that toward the end of October.
And every year come Christmas time, you can expect to see our gingerbread stout, which is phenomenal. It literally tastes like Christmas in a cup. And then we’ll do a barrel-aged version of that as well that we’ll release sometime around the first part of December.
We are playing around with bringing back our Seventh Wonder Pale Ale. That was a super-big hit. We sold out of that in the tavern faster than any beer we’ve ever put out that wasn’t a sour.
And then we’re looking to possibly do an Adventures in IPA release sometime in November. For those who aren’t familiar, Adventures in IPA is a rotating IPA label. So every time we brew into it it’s a different recipe — different hops, different styles, whatever that looks like. And then possibly an IPL for the back half of the year as well.
Next year we’re talking about putting some of the Witches Brew and barrel aging it in Chardonnay barrels. So if I get my way that will happen. I think it will be a very interesting twist on a wassail-inspired Kölsch to add that oakiness and a little bit of the buttery-ness from the Chardonnay in it.
And then the biggest news — and the most exciting thing for us — is that we’re getting a canning line. It’s literally stuck in customs in Canada right now. Some things will stay in bottles but a lot of stuff will rotate to cans. Looking in the spring of next year to launch at least two six-pack formats and a 12-pack variety that will most likely include that Spindrift Hazy IPA that’s been so popular.
About Talisman Brewing
To learn more about the beginnings of Talisman Brewing, please visit the following Utah Beer News resources:
- Talisman Brewing: ‘Veteran Owned, Ogden Made’ (Aug. 1, 2019) (Podcast Episode)
- Ogden Beer: A Thriving Craft Beer Scene in Northern Utah (Feb. 19, 2020)
- An Ogden Afternoon: Sips at Roosters, Talisman; Sneak Peek at Ogden River Brewing (Oct. 8, 2020)
Talisman Brewing in Ogden opened in 2016, becoming the northern Utah city’s second brewery. Husband-and-wife Dusty and Joann Williams own the brewery. Dusty brews and handles the website, while Joann oversees the business side of things.
Talisman, which is named after a charm believed to bring good luck, operates a seven-barrel brewhouse. The brewery offers a rotating selection on draft at its taproom. Visitors are able to purchase 22-ounce bottles of Talisman beer at the on-site package agency or at bars, restaurants, and liquor stores throughout Utah.
“It’s so rewarding to see two people who don’t know each other sit down, have a beer together, and then make a friendship out of it,” Dusty says. “(We’re) kind of part of that connection. It’s extremely rewarding.”
- Opened: 2016
- Address: 1258 Gibson Ave., Ogden, UT 84404
- Notable: When founded in 2016, it became Ogden’s first production brewery that didn’t also include an attached restaurant. Since then, Talisman’s led the way as other breweries have opened up shop — or expanded — in the Northern Utah city.
- Website: https://www.talismanbrewingco.com/
- Social Media: Facebook, Instagram