Diamond in the Rough: Alta Ski Resort Celebrates its 75th Anniversary With Wasatch Beers

Posted November 2, 2012 in

Owner of Discrete Headwear and Professional Skier Julian Carr raising his index finger signifying that the new Alta pale ale is number one. Photo: AHB
Times have changed and so has the beer. The idea that a state could have world-class breweries and skiing actually started over a century ago. With the incorporation of Salt Lake Brewing Company in the late 1800s and the founding of Alta Ski Resort in 1937, Utah was a very different place than most people imagine. However, due to legal restrictions imposed by the state leading up to Prohibition (1920-1933), these two never got a chance to meet. Seventy-five years later, the stars have aligned and enabled these fabled organizations to join forces and create something special.

Nov. 1, 2012 marked the culmination of nearly six months of hard work and collaborative efforts to produce a product as unique as Utah powder. “Our companies share a lot of the same core values. They have an amazing line of products and we are very excited to introduce this simple, yet complex and quirky beer for our skiers, “ said Connie Marshall, Alta Director of Marketing and Public Relations.

Standing in the halls of the Utah Brewer’s Cooperative among a cadre of fellow beer lovers, we enjoyed the smell of freshly milled hops and listened to Wasatch Beers founder Greg Schirf describe the latest release. He noted that the 75th Anniversary Ale was an important step in their brewing history and represented a continued commitment to local businesses. He then led us to the bottling plant for the inaugural tasting.

With the flip of a switch, the futuristic contraption kicked on and began the process of packaging this lovingly crafted libation for the masses. At 380 bottles per minute, their machine is one of the fastest around. The crowd marveled at the speed and precision of the entire process and we were enlightened on how the Alta 75th Anniversary Ale came to fruition. “Sitting down with Alta over a few beers, we talked about the aspects of what they wanted in a beer. I took that to our design team and we came up with a pretty cool idea. It is really fun to see the smiles on people’s faces who don’t do this all the time and we get a charge out of it,” said brew master Dan Burick.

This beer represents Wasatch’s first experience with a Pacific Northwest hop charge called Falconers Flight. Its citrus and piney floral aroma entices the nostrils and the hoppy finish leaves drinkers begging for another lap. The deep caramel color of this pale ale would make the perfect après ski beverage after a day of slaying Alta’s steep and deep powder.

Limited edition six packs will be available at all Squatters and Wasatch pubs, the Beer Store, restaurants, resorts, grocery and convenience stores surrounding Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. Keep your taste buds alert for more beers hitting the shelves this winter. As a throwback to the days of old, Squatters and Wasatch have recently inked a deal that brings both companies under the umbrella of Salt Lake Brewing Company. For more than a decade, the two have been crafting beer under the moniker Utah Brewers Cooperative, and this final stage of the merger will solidify their spot in the craft beer community.
Owner of Discrete Headwear and Professional Skier Julian Carr raising his index finger signifying that the new Alta pale ale is number one. Photo: AHB Wasatch Beer founder Greg Schirf and Head Brewer Matt Beamer, introduce the unveiling of the new Alta Beer, commemorating the resort's 75th anniversary. Photo: AHB Wasatch's Brewmaster Dan Burick and Alta's director of marketing, Connie Marshall pose for photos in front of the first pallet of Alta's new beer. Photo: AHB