(L–R) The Beer Nut’s Davis Slaugh and Chaz Smith.

FIY: Ferment It Yourself

Beer & Spirits

In the spirit of SLUG’s Craft Lake City DIY Festival issue, you might be interested in one of the longest-running handcrafted traditions: fermenting your own beverages! Whether it’s ancient quaffs like mead, hard cider or wine, or the most modern hop-heavy beers, fruity seltzers and probiotic kombuchas, the ability to make these tasty drinks lies in your hands. But you may not know what you need to get started. Here is a brief overview of homebrewing shops along the Wasatch Front to guide you. Whether you make it easy with a pre-made kit or dive in fully with books, equipment and your own experimental recipes, these places will be able to help you make it happen.

Chaz Smith of The Beer Nut will teach you all you need to know about fermenting.
Photo: LmSorenson.net

Let’s start with the O.G., Salt Lake City’s The Beer Nut (1200 S. State St., SLC). It’s been there for decades now and has helped many professional brewers get their dreams of fermentation started. This is the quintessential homebrew shop, with numerous options for malted grains and a mill to grind them, dozens of hop varietals in cold storage and a huge cooler full of yeasts. Your options aren’t limited to beer, though, as this shop also sells wine kits, honey, rents equipment like apple presses and has even been known to carry cheesemaking supplies and cultures. With expert staff and a great library of books, you should be able to ferment any tipple your heart desires.

Moving outside of Salt Lake, we have two sister shops: Salt City Brew Supply (723 Fort Union Blvd., Midvale) and Ogden City Brew Supply (2269 Grant Ave., Ogden, 84401) can handle your needs if you’re further south or north, respectively. Similarly beer-focused, that doesn’t mean these shops don’t have what you need to get started. With two convenient locations and a wide selection of products, you can get going with basic equipment kits or more complex recipes. The founders of these shops also started Bewilder Brewing Co. in Downtown Salt Lake two years ago, so you know they know what they’re doing.

Lastly, down in Utah County we have relative newcomer Beverage Buddies in Spanish Fork. Because of the pandemic, this start-up is currently only selling online, so stay in touch on their Facebook at facebook.com/BeverageBuddiesUtah. But with a new brick-and-mortar location predicted to open by the end of 2021, they’ll soon join the ranks of experts helping Utahns ferment. Especially interesting here is their wide array of extra-small kits, perfect for those who just want to dip their toes in the world of beer or wine fermenting. A perfect way to try out a new potential hobby!