Utah Stories is honored to pay tribute to one of our favorite Utah home brewers, Jim Hollinger. Jim was a homebrewer extraordinaire who shared his love of the craft with all those around him. For over two decades he created what he called “celestial brew” in his Bountiful garage, but his ever-present smile and open door will be missed even more than his tasty homebrewed concoctions.
Jim regularly kept four (fully alcoholic) beers on tap in his garage/brewery, dubbed “The Temple View Brewery” due to its proximity to, and great view of, the Bountiful Temple. The garage, which was part workshop, part brewpub, and (amazingly) still had room for a truck and a car, was decked out with multiple kegerators and a brewing operation that mimicked what you’d find in many local breweries, complete with custom-logo merchandise.
Over the years word spread and Jim’s beers became wildly popular. “One day we had a knock on the garage door,” Jim’s wife, Ranee, said. “When we opened up there were strangers standing there who said that they’d been at the bowling alley and someone told them that they just had to try Jim’s beer. So we invited them in and they sat down for a couple hours and drank and visited.”
Utah Stories was saddened to learn of Jim’s passing in January. He may have lost a fight with leukemia, but his legacy of both kindness and brewing will endure for years to come.
“He influenced a lot of people,” Ranee said. “Over 300 people showed up here in Utah for his funeral, and over 100 people in Pennsylvania. He did a lot of things that made a difference. I remember one of the guys from our neighborhood who moved here from Texas said the first person to come over to him was Jim. Jim was carrying his toolbox and said, ‘What can I do to help?’”
Jim’s generosity and welcoming spirit were well-known in his neighborhood and among his Presbyterian church family, where his delicious brews livened up many a church activity. In addition to the beers he kept on tap, Jim always had homemade root beer on tap as well, “for the Mormon neighbors so they could come in and have one with him, too,” Ranee shared.
In fact, one of Jim’s LDS neighbors once used a “Temple View Brew” t-shirt during a Sunday morning lesson as an example of tolerance for all people. I had the distinct privilege of enjoying both Jim and his beer for many years. He was one of those rare creatures who could put anyone at ease and made everyone feel they mattered.
With much love and appreciation, this one’s for you, dear friend.