In his mind’s eye, Kevin Templin knew exactly what Templin Family Brewing, T.F. Brewing for short, could and should be. Family, community, and drinking handcrafted bier the way it’s meant to be enjoyed.
Templin describes it as the “total package.”
“We knew what we wanted, we knew the vision,” says Templin, as he thinks back prior to T.F.’s opening in 2018. “I wanted an open-air concept, I wanted people to be part of the brewing process. To smell it and see it.”
From the moment customers walk through the door, they feel as if they’re part of the family. A friendly greeting to start. And then the opportunity to sit at the bar or take a seat at one of the brewery’s communal tables. Each option comes with a view of the 15-barrel brewhouse.
A draft list is hand-written on a mirrored wall above the tap handles. It’s flanked by a half-dozen different glassware designs. Appropriate glassware is vital for T.F., as are proper pours.
“The presentation of the beer is super important to us,” Templin says. “I’d rather people come in here and sit down at these nice Russian Oak tables with the proper glassware and be served in the whole environment — smell the mash, see the guys working.”
For the brewery aesthetics, he turned to his wife, Britt, whom he met a few years after moving to Utah in the early 1990s.
“This place would be nothing without her,” he says. “She made the place how it looks, she makes the place run. I got the easy job. I brew beer.”
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Making a Home in Utah
Templin, 50, says it wasn’t snowing enough in Maine in the winter of 1991-92, so he bought a one-way ticket to Utah. He joined his brother, who was living in Alta, and spent the next four years as a “professional ski bum.”
It’s while working at an Alta restaurant that Templin brewed his first batch of beer — a homebrewed German-style Doppelbock. The carboy wouldn’t fit in his fridge so he lagered it in an old mine.
The beer turned out, and after a few years bouncing between Alta and Jackson Hole, Wyo., Templin snagged a job at Desert Edge Pub & Brewery. He left there to help a few other now-former breweries — Avalanche, Tracks, Rivers, etc. — get started.
Templin did contract work for Eric Dunlap, a part-owner of Red Rock Brewery, which was one of the first craft breweries in Utah. In 2000, Dunlap needed a brewer and Templin obliged.
“I cleaned my first day and then my second day I made an American Light Lager, which is like the hardest beer in the world to make,” he laughs. “I was a total greenhorn.”
For the next 18 years, Templin brewed for Red Rock, developing countless recipes and winning dozens of medals. In 2007, the Great American Beer Festival awarded Red Rock Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year.
“It was a great place to work,” he says. “I raised my kids there, traveled the world, got educated. I think we made some good beer down there.”
But he knew one day he would open his own brewery.
“I always knew Kevin was a great brewer and knew he would make sure whatever we did, we would succeed,” Britt Templin says.
T.F. Brewing: Building for the Future
Kevin Templin didn’t open T.F. Brewing so he could buy a Ferrari or other extravagances. Rather, he says, “it’s more about so when I retire I can hand the keys to my nephews and my kids and say, ‘here you go.’ Don’t mess it up.”
But that could still be a ways off. While Templin acknowledges owning a brewery is more work than he anticipated, it’s not work work.
“You’re just living,” he says, comparing the brewhouse to a big man cave. “I just hang out here. Whether that includes me canning beer or scrubbing the bathroom, it’s just life. Your living it and it’s good.”
For Britt Templin, she knew embarking on this path would require a lot of learning.
“The brewery industry was not my background,” she says, adding that she works closely with General Manager Brittany Watts to keep the brewery running smoothly. “I make a lot of lists and have learned to be flexible.”
The beer-drinking community, which welcomed T.F. Brewing with open arms, continues to be top-of-mind when it comes to the brewery delivering a total package.
“We are very lucky to have the people that we have working for us,” Britt Templin says. “While things are crazy at times, we are so very fortunate to do what we do. The beer community is pretty amazing.”
Kevin Templin echos that sentiment.
“I feel lucky,” he says, taking a final sip from his Kellerbier. “It’s not me, it’s the crew. I’m just the guy who’s been doing it forever.”
No doubt Templin Family Brewing will be an important part of the craft beer community for years to come.
About Templin Family Brewing
Templin Family Brewing opened to the public in October 2018. Located in the Granary District of Salt Lake City, the brewery occupies what used to be an auto repair shop. It’s actually three connected buildings and features a 15-barrel brewhouse, a taproom with a bar, barrel and lager rooms, and a spacious outdoor patio.
- Opened: Oct. 26, 2018
- Address: 936 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
- Notable: Already, Templin Family Brewing’s won several awards for its beers. In 2019, it took home silver at the Great American Beer Festival for its Rauch Bier. And in 2020, T.F. Brewing earned a bronze for its Granary Kellerbier. Not for nothing, the Kellerbier also won the inaugural Utah Beer News Beer Bracket Battle in 2020.
- Website: https://www.tfbrewing.com/
- Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
More on T.F. Brewing
To hear more about T.F. Brewing and the beers, please listen to the accompanying podcast episode. And to learn more about the beginnings of Templin Family Brewing, please visit the following Utah Beer News resources:
- T.F. Brewing: Welcome to the Neighborhood (Oct. 25, 2018)
- Beer Tastings: Granary Kellerbier (Oct. 30, 2018)
- Get Your (Drinking) Game on with Ales & Allies (April 1, 2019)
- A Utah Six Pack: Local Brewers Win at GABF (Oct. 5, 2019)
- 8 Utah Beers Battle in ‘Beer Bracket Challenge’ (March 17, 2020)
- GABF 2020: Proper Wins Gold; T.F., Grid City Each Earn Bronze (Oct. 17, 2020)
- T.F. Brewing Virtual Taproom for German Beer Day (April 23, 2021)
Templin Family Brewing: German Beer Day 2021
Kevin Templin joined Utah Beer News in its virtual taproom on April 23, 2021, to celebrate German Beer Day. In the episode, we talked about the history of T.F. Brewing, as well as the influence German beer culture has on Templin’s own brewing.