Utah keeps gaining momentum with our craft beer scene. At press time, by our count, there were five breweries either just beginning to sprout or on the verge of a full bloom for opening. Here you’ll find some updates from Grid City Beer Works. You can also click the links to find more upcoming-brewery information from Grid City Beer Works, Maple Mountain Brewing Co., SaltFire Brewing Co., and a brand new, yet-to-be-named brewery.
Toasted Barrel Brewery
Sage Dawson, CEO/Owner
SLUG: You’ve reportedly been working 16–18–hour days toward the goal of opening up. What’s your target date to be open?
Dawson: [Co-owner Lynn Litchfield and I] both work that plus our full-time jobs. My goal [had been the] end of March, but with how slow things go with the city and state, April is realistic.
SLUG: When we last spoke, you were going to focus on wild ales, wild fermentation, etc. What beers/styles in that vein do you plan to have upon opening?
Dawson: So barrel-aged beers are our focus, sours, bourbon-barrel beers and spontaneous fermentation. These beers take months to make properly, so we will be opening with four packaged beers and then a rotation of growler-fill-only beers. These are the beers we’ve been brewing for years and are great day drinkers.
1. Four Saisons. This will rotate four times a year as the seasons. It will be brewed in the more traditional Belgian-farmer style with mixed fermentation—sometimes slightly tart, sometimes more floral.
2. Doll Face. This is a go-to white IPA. It’s made with Belgian yeast, orange peel and coriander.
3. Utah Double. A smooth wheat IPA brewed with six different hops and coming off more floral then bitter.
4. WeisseMan. A Berliner Weisse–style beer, kettle-soured for a crisp, lemonade-like tartness—very refreshing light beer.
Then we will start releasing our barrel-aged beers, but we believe in waiting until the quality is where we are proud of instead of rushing the beer.
SLUG: Given your somewhat specialized approach to brewing, what are some elements of what you’re building that have got you excited?
Dawson: We are very excited to highlight the barrels. You can’t see the microorganisms that make these beers very special, but you can see the beautiful barrels that help the process. So our design concept is all related to barrels, from our red-wine barrel-stave bar and light fixtures to the local barrel art we will feature in out tasting room.
SLUG: A lot of what you cued SLUG readers in to last year was beer education. Will Toasted Barrel be ready to educate consumers about your beer—and beer in general—upon opening? If not, what’s the timeline for that?
Dawson: Education is important to us and our consumers. Our goal to help people expand their beer experience through the enjoyment and education of styles that might be new to them. Day One of opening, we will focus on this—think a fun, friendly, [unpretentiousness] wine-tasting experience.
SLUG: You’ll be neighbors with Red Rock and Mountain West. What hopes do you have for this part of town as far as Toasted Barrel adding to this dynamic?
Dawson: Our neighbors are awesome, friendly and inspirational. We believe we are a great complement to them and the area. Hopefully in the future, we will all collaborate on projects and events to highlight this up-and-coming area.I truly think we will be creating a “brewery district” with them.