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Uinta Brewing Tour

Uinta Brewing Tour

Uinta Brewing is one of Utah’s largest and most popular beer makers, a Salt Lake City favorite just west of downtown. The scope of Uinta’s offerings, 15+ year-round beers, seasonal releases, small-batch releases and more, is driving business into the colder days of fall and winter.

Uinta’s package store is open, offering cans, bottles and merchandise to go. The brewery is planning to return to in-person service soon.  

“We are currently revamping our taproom and patio space with a goal of opening later this fall,” said Leonard Gath, Uinta Brewing’s field marketing manager. 

The many reasons to visit Uinta include Hazy Nosh, a 5.0 percent ABV brew with mango and pineapple notes, and 801 Pilsner, a 5.0 percent ABV craft pilsner with citrus and floral flavors. Both beers are best sellers this year. 

“Hazy Nosh is a relatively new beer to the market... pulling in sales with that new-beer allure and low price point. 801 Pilsner has been around for closer to five years. (It’s) firmly propped in the German-style pilsner category,” said Lauren Lerch, Uinta’s brewing supervisor. 

Lerch said fall also brings Uinta’s malt-forward lagers back into play.

uinta brewer checks on a fermentation tank
A team member uses a scissor lift to dry-hop beer, standing between Uinta Brewing's fermentation tanks.

Baba Black Lager, a year-round schwarzbier, and Yard Sale, a seasonal märzen, pick up and push hard when the 100-degree days are traded for crisp afternoons. It’s a great time to roll out our barrel-aged selections too,” said Lerch.

Lerch said Uinta engaged in a late summer release of a whiskey barrel-aged barleywine collaboration with their Salt Lake neighbors at Kiitos Brewing

Sea Legs, our beloved barrel-aged Baltic porter, found its way back into our lineup after a few years sea-bbatical. We’ve got maibock in barrels right now for release when she’s good and ready,” said Lerch. 

Two other year-round favorites at Uinta include Golden Spike Hefewizen, an American wheat beer at 5.0 percent ABV with floral and citrus finishes and Hop Nosh IPA at 7.3 percent ABV, which tastes of pine, lime, and grapefruit.  

Gath further recommends visitors take advantage of Uinta’s limited brewery-only releases. These beers can only be picked up at the brewery’s general store. Two new additions are Ataraxy New England Style India Pale Ale, a citrusy, tropical hazy IPA at 7.0 percent ABV with mango and pineapple flavors, and Turn Farm, a cream ale that tastes of corn and cereal at 6.0 percent ABV. Gath said the sale of Turn Farm recently helped raise funds for the Utah Avalanche Center, a nonprofit that helps prevent avalanche fatalities. 

Uinta’s seasonal brews deserve an honorable mention. The fall 2020 lineup includes a Pumpkin Ale, a spiced ale at 5.0 percent ABV made with cinnamon and nutmeg and Rise and Pine, a junipery, piney dark ale at 7.5 percent ABV. 

What's In Store

A new one-off brew, Peppermint Patty Pastry Stout, should be released before the end of the year. Peppermint Patty will join Piña Colada Milkshake Pale Ale and Sea Legs in the “Crooked Line” of beers. Gath said Uinta will debut some beers in 19.2-ounce cans this fall. 

In addition, Uinta expects to continue a partnership with Protect Our Winters (POW). 

“On the heels of a successful effort last season, we will continue to donate a portion of Yard Sale draft proceeds and raise awareness of POW’s mission…(to) protect our world today and for future generations,” said Gath. 

POW is a Boulder-based nonprofit that helps outdoor enthusiasts protect the environment and advocate for clean energy policies. 

uinta brewer strolls by a fermentation tank in the brewhouse
A pleased worker walks past the Brew Kettle and Lauter Tun at Uinta Brewing Co's brewhouse.

Gath said Uinta is meeting the challenges of the can shortage by revisiting its brew calendar and diversifying its supply chain. 

“Our team works very hard to assure the availability of our beers. Thanks to the steadfast support of Utah beer drinkers and strong partnerships with our distributors, Uinta can be found in every corner of our home state. Our distribution footprint reaches 26 states. Our team is constantly working to expand availability,” said Gath. 

A Green View From Outside

Visitors who come to pick up their favorite brews will notice Uinta’s focus on renewable energy. It’s hard to miss architectural details that reveal Uinta Brewing is one of the greenest businesses in Utah.

“(There’s) rooftop solar arrays, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, and (we keep) a steady eye on waste stream diversion. When we built this facility, systems were put in place to hold true to our mantra: Earth, Wind and Beer,” said Gath. 

Uinta’s current 5-acre facility is large and efficient. Its LED lighting and state-of-the-art brewhouse are a huge improvement from its original home, a 15-barrel brewhouse in an old mechanic’s garage. Today, Uinta runs solely on wind and solar power. 

uinta brewer testing wort samples
Lauren Lerch, brewing supervisor at Uinta Brewing Co. tests wort samples during a brew at Uinta Brewing Co.

Gath said Uinta is committed to reducing carbon emissions and remaining environmentally friendly. 

“We are constantly working to improve our process and be responsible members of our community,” said Gath.

Keeping Customers and Beer Safe

Uinta is putting a great deal of effort in ensuring beers, customers and workers are protected during the pandemic. 

“We follow CDC guidelines and have extra measures to ensure employee safety. At the beginning of each week, employees are required to fill out a health survey. (This) serves as a personal and company check on employee health and any potential compromising factors,” said Lerch.

Lerch said everyone at the brewery wears a mask at all times. Employees are asked to wash their hands each time they travel between physical departments. 

“There are hand sanitizing stations everywhere. Once per week, we have a cleaning company walk through and spray shared workspaces with a non-toxic chemical that kills COVID on contact. We’re not trying to take any chances,” said Lerch.

Having the brewpub closed makes it harder for Uinta to give customers a taste of what goes on behind the scenes. Social media has become an excellent way to maintain the bond with customers. 

uinta brewing exterior
Uinta Brewing's environmentally-friendly facility, located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“A more vigorous and responsive social media presence has been key in keeping a connection. Our employees are fairly active on those channels. They often respond to consumer questions about when products are coming out or where the best place is to purchase them,” said Lerch. 

Lerch said even this fall, customers will get a sense that Uinta Brewing has a “big face but a small family.”

“Having a 120-bbl BrauKon brew system allows us to keep crews smaller than you might expect of a brewery with our distribution footprint. I get to be friends with people from warehousing or packaging the way I would at smaller breweries I’ve worked at in the past,” said Lerch.

Lerch also shared that the pandemic has shone “a lot of light” on the importance of each worker to keep the beer brewing. 

“A huge part of that is making sure people know we’re still here. We want them to feel our beer’s worth buying when money might be tight,” said Lerch. 

All Photos Courtesy Uinta Brewing

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