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 Toasted Barrel Brewery.
Mark Medura, Owner
SLUG: Who are you and what has inspired you start this brewery?
Medura: Three main characters: I come from eight years in the distilling industry with High West Distillery. Having considerable experience in the small-business-startup environment and an entrepreneurial spirit, I [continually] maintained the dream of working for myself and following my passion of one day owning/operating a craft brewery. I still remember my first home brew over 10 years ago. The results were less than perfect … however, that first brew lit the fire. I was hooked. Head Brewer Chris Detrick, sales/marketing guru Katie Flanagan and I serendipitously met through mutual friends and work relationships, and we quickly found many shared values and personal passions that made for an easy decision to do this. We are still working on the brewery name.
What’s your vision for this brewery? What all will it include for customers and/or clients?
Medura: Our mission is to foster a renowned, innovative, distinguished craft beer company where our thirst and delight for great brews resonates within each customer and throughout the industry.
Our vision is to become an award-winning Intermountain microbrewery with a unique brand, approach and sensibility.
We have plans for a 75-plus-seat taproom to highlight our brand and beers with a wood-fired pizza oven along with a music venue to allow local, regional and national acts to visit SSL. Whether its live music, stand-up, classic movies or Bugs Bunny shorts, we want to create an area that feels like you’re in your own living room, comfortable and calm … a place where you can literally put your feet up if you so choose.
What changes in South Salt Lake’s zoning laws(?) have enabled you to open up, comfortably, where you will be eventually? How will your brewery benefit from the new “liquor-friendly” laws?
Medura: The most impactful SSL legislative change occurred when Councilman Johnny McConnell was extremely focused on removing the licensure restrictions for breweries within South Salt Lake. SSL’s “MB” (microbrewery) license was based on a population metric of 1 per 10,000 population. In December 2017, SSLC council voted to remove this restriction with no cap on number of MB licenses. In large part—if not all—the credit goes to Councilman McConnell and the entire SSL council. They have recognized the importance and benefit of new businesses coming into SSL and were very proactive in their approach to listening to public opinion and recognizing the need to make the laws more brewery-friendly.
What kinds of beers do you hope to have available upon opening? How about down the line? Are there any kinds of stylistic themes that will guide what the product will be?
Medura: We plan on offering a large portfolio of core products that will be available year round, covering many classic beer styles along with seasonal releases and an elaborate, limited-release, barrel-age product line.