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Uinta Brewing | Beer & Idolatry

  • May 29, 2015

     

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    Missouri has a Budweiser plant, Massachusetts a brewery named after that American Revolutionary fellow; but here in the Beehive state, we have Uinta. From a COLLECTIVE standpoint, our brewery suits us just fine, and apparently, we aren’t the only ones crushing hard. Fact: Uinta is ranked 46th in the country in total beer sales volume–this from a list that includes the likes of Anheuser-Busch, Miller Coors, and aallll the other bigguns. Yeah. And when you crop that list to just the top 50 craft breweries in the U.S., Uinta slides cooly into spot #38 (they’re the only Utah game on both lists, come to that). Not bad for a company that started in a mechanic’s garage just over 20 years ago. The Uinta brew crew produces nearly 80,000 barrels of suds per year. Translation: 219 kegs of beautiful, golden, thick-as-shaving-cream-line-of-foam-across-your-upper-lip bliss every single day. The garage worked for a minute, no doubt, but these days it takes 26,000 square feet of stainless steel, concrete, and engineering moxy to keep up with demand for all that malted grain.

    Uinta makes three different lines of beers: the classic, the organic, and the Crooked. The alcohol content ranges from 4.0% to oh-my-god-I-have-fifteen-fingers (13.0%), and the local love is evident in the entire line. The brewery itself is coined after our handsome mountain range (the only East-West facing range in the U.S., thankyouverymuch), for one. But the naming of their beers is a respectful nod at Utah, as well. Cutthroat? The state fish. Dubhe? Our centennial star. King’s Peak? Highest in the state. Yard Sale? A tribute to the way your mom skis. 801? Duh. The Crooked line of Uinta beers are bottled in 750ml bottles and cork finished (and some aged in bourbon barrels for up to six months), and feature the artwork of several of our favorite local talents (think: Leia Bell, Travis Bone, and Trent Call among them). Uinta is also passionate about giving back to the community; proceeds from the 801 line are on a rotating donation schedule. For the time being, they’ll support Trails Utah, a non-profit organization dedicated to trail advocacy, facilitation and promotion throughout the state; but supporters can hop on the Uinta website and nominate other, non-profit, local organizations, as well. It’s regional thinking meets good giving.

    As staunch supporters of local biz (especially those with an eye toward sustainable and responsible business practices), we were thrilled that we got to join Uinta owner/founder, Will Hamill, and marketing director, Lindsey Beck, on a tour of the recently-remodeled brewpub and facility for a some priceless lager-learning (it required that we drink, you understand). The space is impressive; a beautifully-functioning beast that smoothly produces, bottles, and boxes more brew than you can shake a drunken stick at. Says Will, “We have a traditional 130-barrel brewhouse that was custom designed and built in Germany by BrauKon. It’s a very efficient system designed with green technologies specifically for the session beers and big, hoppy IPAs that we brew at Uinta.” It was added to the facility a little over a year ago, and it’s a thing of beauty: installed by the very crew that built it (with the likes of a crane and the guiding hands of the gods), Uinta is now capable of making thirsty, discerning beer drinkers ’round the world happy for years. And years. And to that, we say “cheers”.

    Uinta Brewing | 1722 S Fremont Drive, SLC | 801.467.0909

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