T.F. Brewing: A Legacy in the Making

T.F. Brewing Founder and Head Brewer Kevin Templin is a 25-year veteran of Utah craft beer. In 2018, he opened Templin Family Brewing in Salt Lake City.
T.F. Brewing Founder and Head Brewer Kevin Templin is a 25-year veteran of Utah craft beer. In 2018, he opened Templin Family Brewing in Salt Lake City.

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 β€” 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.”

(article continues below)
The flagship Granary Kellerbier at Templin Family Brewing in Salt Lake City.

πŸŽ™ Listen: Templin Family Brewing

BONUS: Subscribe to the Utah Beer News Podcast and listen to our interview with Kevin Templin, T.F. Brewing founder and head brewer. Learn what’s next for the brewery, hear his thoughts on the Utah beer scene, and find out what challenges he sees facing craft beer β€” the biggest of which might surprise you.

Listen Now

“We want customers to come in here and have a good time. You can come here and chill out and drink and feel very comfortable with a 22-year-old goggle-eyed skier or my mom sitting there having a martini β€” and everyone in between.

Templin Family Brewing on the eve of its official opening in October 2018.

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.”

Kevin Templin and his brother, Chris. Photo courtesy of T.F. Brewing

It’s while working at an Alta restaurant that Templin brewed his first batch of beer β€” 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 β€” Avalanche, Tracks, Rivers, etc. β€” 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 and Britt Templin often travel to watch their son, Porter, play competitive hockey. Photo courtesy of T.F. Brewing

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.

More on T.F. Brewing

Photo courtesy of Templin Family 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:

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.

The exterior of Templin Family Brewing, which is located at 936 S. 300 West in Salt Lake City in what used to be an auto repair shop.
The barrel room at T.F. Brewing in Salt Lake City.