It was roughly a year ago when Monster Energy Drinks gulped down CANarchy – the collective brewing company that both Squatters and Wasatch breweries called home. Thankfully for fans of the Utah brewpub scene, it didn’t take long for local clarity on the deal to emerge.
Just two months after the $330 million transaction, a newly minted Salt Lake Brewing Company confirmed they’d sealed the deal to ensure the continuity of all the popular Utah brewpub locations. Formed in part by Squatters original founders – Peter Cole and Jeff Polychronis – SLBC’s re-acquisition had a certain romantic elegance to it, effectively bringing the team full circle, back to their 1989 roots.
One item remained up in the air though. Would Salt Lake Brewing Co get back in the brewing game? If so, how, who and when? News released today wraps up all those unanswered questions in a rather exciting bow. Salt Lake Brewing have now taken ownership of the landmark downtown Squatters brew house. What’s more, also rejoining the fold, the undeniable talents of one Jason Stock – one of the elder statesmen of Utah’s craft brewing scene. We’re getting the band back together…
Like many brewmasters, Stock’s backstory is one borne of home brewing. First cutting his teeth in the late 1990s, Stock credits the The Beer Nut as a home from home where his craft was honed – and also where he first heard news that Squatters were on the look out for new brewing help. In 2000 Stock applied for position of assistant brewer at Squatters – his resume – a six pack of home brewed suds. That alone was enough to bag the position. A gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival instantly followed in 2001; Stock bagging the accolade for a Black Forest Schwarzbier.
By 2011 the Utah native was elevated to brewmaster at the downtown brewhouse. I once asked the ever humble Stock about the position, the stuff of many a drinker’s dream, “the main differences between being a ‘brewmaster’ and a brewer are less glamorous than one might expect. Basically I now handle tax reporting and I’m in a LOT more meetings than I used to be”.
Joking aside, Stock is a serious brewer and today saw the tapping of his first new creation for Salt Lake Brewing Company. Dog Lake Pale Ale is brewed with citra and comet hops, and dry hopped similarly for extra flavor and aroma. In the mix, Munich and caramel malts help that golden orange pour. Dog Lake is a classic American pale ale thats offers a fruity, resin-like flavor and aroma, plus it clocks in at a seasonable 5% ABV. It hit the taps this morning, and it’s ready and waiting for you as I write.
In the coming weeks and months expect the 10 barrel brewhouse to put out a lineup of five or so standby brews, everything from a hefe to a stout, as well as a number of seasonal specials; indeed a certain Mr Melling’s Cream Ale might even make a glorious return this year. And yes, I will keep going on about that till I kick the bucket.
For fans of the former lineup however – don’t worry. The new Salt Lake Brewing team continue to retain great ties with the CANarchy group, pouring many of the old family favorites. That means you can still grab a Hop Rising alongside sampling one of Stock’s new creations. For the time being, the latter will be available on site only, fresh from the newly acquired brewhouse next door. Time to re-investigate one of Utah’s most historic brewpubs if you ask me.
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Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV shows.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for the better part of fifteen years. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate”, “I thought he was older”, “I don’t share his feelings”. Want to know more? This is why I am the way I am.
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