Craft Canyon Dining: Emigration Brewing Co
Emigration Brewing Co. sits amid the picturesque mountains of Emigration Canyon in a modernized, rustic, Swiss-style building. Opening their doors on the verge of a global pandemic in 2019, the concept of this European-inspired restaurant dramatically changed from what was initially planned to what it is today.
Director of Operations Jake Connor came to be a member of the Emigration Brewing Co. team in 2020 by happenstance. Always passionate about food, he described how his mother was a wonderful cook who inspired his love for good food and beverages. Seeing how much SLC has changed since his childhood, Connor says the local beer scene is very important to him personally, and it has been incredible to witness its growth over the years.
While a mountainside location has its perks, it also comes with a handful of challenges. Connor explains that because the restaurant is on its own water well, brewing on-site was less than ideal. Partnering with local brewers, distilleries, coffee roasters and local and regional farmers, Emigration Brewing Co. focuses on quality and seasonality and heavily rotates their side dishes to reflect this. Items that are not accessible locally are imported from Italy for the most authentic and delicious ingredients and flavor combinations. To showcase the collaboration with local artisans and the talent of their kitchen staff and executive chef, Sheldan “Shelly” Dockstader, Connor chose three plate and brew pairings to share with me.
The first was a Traditional Bavarian Pretzel ($13.00) paired with a pint of the Emigration Lager ($7.00) brewed by Bohemian Brewery. The pretzel is garnished with stone ground mustard, dijon mustard and Marzen beer cheese. Tender and soft, the well-seasoned breaded knot has an even, hickory colored crust that Connor says is the result of their secret baking method. This was, by far, the best soft pretzel I have tasted in a very long time. The use of the Emigration Lager in the beer cheese adds an earthy depth that is unexpected and thoroughly unique. The lager is crisp and, as Connor puts it, the “perfect, refreshing ‘summery’ brunch beverage.”
This was, by far, the best soft pretzel I have tasted in a very long time.
The second dish was the Smoked Salmon Hash ($20.00) paired with a pint of the Emigration Pale Ale ($7.00) brewed by RoHa Brewing Project. The hash is served with herbed breakfast potatoes, onion jam, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, arugula and avocado with a drizzle of Hollandaise sauce. It is most popular with two added eggs ($3.00). The fresh, bright flavors of the hash and sauce marry seamlessly with the hoppy bitterness of the pale ale. It is their driest beer and has “no fluff,” says Connor, making it the perfect beverage to have alongside this brunch dish. A newer menu item, it provides a pescatarian option in addition to being packed full of flavor—successfully elevating the beer-and-brunch experience for guests.
Lastly, Connor brought a beautifully plated filet mignon (4 oz. $42.00, 8 oz. $53.00) with a pint of Moab Brewery’s Emigration Stout ($7.00). The medium-well steak is artfully seared in rosemary and garlic and rested atop a pile of roasted Brussels sprouts and crispy chopped pancetta with a ramekin of drinkable chile Béarnaise. Scallops ($22.00) or lobster tail ($23.00) can be added for a “surf-n-turf” option. The dark stout is surprisingly light, enhancing the buttery, garlic taste of the steak and pulling a sweeter side from the sprouts. Connor himself is a “sucker for dark beer” and enjoys the richness of it.
The dark stout is surprisingly light, enhancing the buttery, garlic taste of the steak and pulling a sweeter side from the sprouts.
Emigration Brewing Co. plans to open a second location in Holladay that will feature a restaurant, bar, taproom and their own microbrewery. While still a couple years from fruition, their current location will not disappoint with year-round brunch service and creekside and “treehouse” patios open during the warmer months. Follow them on Instagram @emigrationbrewing for the inside track on specials and new menu items.
Read more food reviews:
Slackwater: Finding Success in SLC
Downtown’s Not-So-Secret Spot: Franklin Ave Cocktails and Kitchen
Always FREE, thanks to READERS LIKE YOU!
Donate $10 OR MORE to get a SLUG sticker pack!