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Utah craft beer enthusiasts today owe a huge debt of gratitude to Wasatch Brewery. The state’s beer scene has exploded in popularity in the last few years with dozens of breweries and hundreds of beers quenching the thirsts of consumers.
But the beer landscape looked drastically different in the mid-1980s when Greg Schirf lobbied the state legislature to be able to open up shop at the top of Main Street in Park City. In 1986, Wasatch became the state’s first modern-day brewery and a couple years later it opened Utah’s first brewpub.
Since then the Wasatch Brewing brand has expanded and evolved. Yet the brewery that promises to “drink our share and sell the rest” remains a model of consistency and continues to innovate.
I had a chance to visit the historic building at 250 Main and chat with head brewer Nils Imboden. Nils, who joined Wasatch about a decade ago and has been head brewer in Park City for four years, is cranking out about 50 brands each year from the 15-barrel brewhouse. He also coordinates with the larger Wasatch/Squatters production facility in Salt Lake to satisfy the demand for the beer in 23 states nationally.
Wasatch is releasing a handful of new beers between now and the end of the year — everything from a Kellerbier Lime Lager (on shelves now) to a couple barrel-aged brews to a collaboration with L.A.’s Three Weavers Brewing to a Landbier Swiss-Style Lager that is near and dear to Nils’s heart.
In addition to our discussion about new Wasatch beers, this episode of the podcast includes:
- The historical significance of Wasatch Brewing in Utah’s craft beer history
- The advantages that come with Wasatch being part of the CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective
- A few notes on year-round favorites and recurring seasonal releases, including the popular wild-hop Clothing Hoptional
- Thoughts on the overall Utah beer scene — where it’s been, where it’s headed
- And what Nils hopes to be known for as a brewer
Thank you to Nils for taking the time to talk with Utah Beer News. And thank you for listening. Let’s dive right in with the Wasatch story.
For an accompanying article about Wasatch Brewery, please visit UtahBeerNews.com.
Enjoy the episode!
Episode 38 | August 24, 2020