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Brewing with Jon Lee of Wasatch and Squatters

The man behind Wasatch Brewery and Squatters Craft Beers answers questions about his storied brewing career. (Issue 23)
(Photo Courtesy of Jon Lee)


BC: On paper, Utah is around 60 percent Mormon, and Mormons are supposed to abstain from alcohol. How does this dynamic play out?

Lee: It definitely limits the customer base since the majority of the population doesn’t drink. But if you look at the possible numbers that are non-Mormon you’re looking at around 1.2 million people. That means that the competition for beer drinkers in the state is fierce. Over the years we’ve had a lot of fun and success by playing on this dichotomy between those that are part of the club and those that aren’t (Polygamy Porter, also the image on Devastator Double Bock). We have numerous fans that have grown up in the religion only to realize in their adulthood that beer is awesome and they should totally drink it!

BC: What's a common misconception people have about your state?

Lee: A common misconception might be that we don’t have bears in the state. We totally do. Also that it’s hard to find a good bear. Also false – we have some of the best bears in the nation. Bears? Sorry, I meant beers.

Utah brewers have historically done very well in competitions all over the nation as well as internationally. This includes the bigger national competitions of GABF and World Beer Cup. In fact we won the GABF Mid-Size Brewery of the year in 2010, which is something I’m very proud of.

Lee stares up at the towering fermentation tanks at the Wasatch/Squatters brewing facilities.

(Photo Courtesy of Sam Oliver)