Mountain West Hard Cider
It’s no secret that our fine city’s passion for and production of libations is straight-up legit (think Uinta and Epic, Beehive and this bad-ass), but what may still be under wraps is that we are equally game for the business of cider making. Hard cider, for those unaware, is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented crushed fruit, typically apples, and our very own Mountain West Cider makes some of the finest ales out there. We sat down with owner and soon-to-be bestie, Jennifer Hamilton, to discuss entrepreneurship, design and, mostly, cider.
First order of biz: let’s talk company name and the stellar artwork. Jennifer–who proved to be every bit as refreshing as her bevvies–says the Utah scenery has been hugely influential on Mountain West Cider’s look and feel. “My husband and I moved here 7 years ago from Philadelphia, and I quickly fell in love with the people and the landscape. It’s a great place to do business.” Their flagship sip, Ruby Hard Cider, gets its namesake from Utah’s Ruby Canyon, and its lighter cousin, 7-mile, is a direct nod to Seven Mile Canyon near Moab. They’re currently working on two other lines, Cottonwood Dry Hopped and Stillwater–a Bourbon Barrel-Aged, flat cider–due out this summer. If you’re picking up on a theme, good work, gumshoe. Says Jennifer, “There are over 100 canyons in this great state, so we have a lot to work with!”
Mountain West is officially Salt Lake City’s first urban cidery, but it also happens to be a member of Utah’s Own, and they source their apples locally from a fifth-generation farm in Santaquin. The ciders produced differ from mainstream, commercial brands in more ways than one: there are no added sugars, sweeteners, or artificial flavors, and they never come from concentrate. When the company hired award-winning cider maker, Joel Goodwillie, the accolades from regional and international cider competitions (yes, they have those) came pouring in. (Get it? Pouring in? We have fun.) Mountain West launched in November of 2015 and their doors at 425 N 400 W only barely opened, but demand has been robust. “We’re excited to bring our hand-crafted cider to Utah and to share this artisanal beverage with folks who may not be familiar with it.” The gang at MWC has big, big plans. Soon, they’ll be expanding from their home base as distribution to Colorado, Texas, and Arizona becomes a reality. For now, though, Jennifer encourages folks to stop by, pull up a bar stool, and enjoy some of the really good stuff. What, with these blazing summer days and all, we’re thinking it’s a stellar idea. We’ll see you there.
Mountain West Hard Cider | 425 N 400 W | 801.935.4147