“In heaven there is no beer, that’s why we drink it here.” ~Traditional drinking song
Something new is brewing in Salt Lake City’s Marmalade District. Just off the 600 North exit from I-15, Toasted Barrel Brewery is transforming a former brine shrimp processing plant and abandoned dance club into Utah’s first barrel-aged and sour beer brewery. Toasted Barrel will complete a trifecta of breweries in the area.
The idea for Toasted Barrel began fermenting a few years ago. It came to a head last year with the idea of tapping into Utah’s growing and sophisticated craft beer demographic by brewing “very specialized, really complex beers.”
Sage Dawson is Toasted Barrel’s CEO. His business partner, Lynn Litchfield, is the COO and head brewer. Possessed by an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to produce “big bold beers,” Sage and Lynn proposed an alternative to current selections. “Our desire,” says Sage, “is to bring Utah something different, something new,” with an emphasis on vintage-aged sours and high-alcohol barrel-aged beers in the “Old World” style.
Old World sours are produced using wild yeast cultures or Lambic microbes that ferment in open-air containers known as coolships. After ageing from three months to three years in charred barrels, these Belgian-style beers are gaining in popularity for their tart or sour tastes.
Sage, a former firefighter and paramedic, began brewing in 2001, and has traveled extensively to study the intricacies of beer making. Lynn, a concrete contractor, house flipper, and Paul Mitchell certified hair stylist, is a Lagerpalooza gold-medal winner. In a market saturated with trendy, conventional brews, they believe Utah beer lovers are ready for a unique alternative.
Gone are the days of chugging national brands from aluminum cans. Today’s beer lover enjoys the intricacies of a finely-tuned artisan creation from a bottle with a custom label—especially if it’s local.
Toasted Barrel will have a tasting room for discovering your favorite brew out of four initial offerings: A kettle-soured Berliner weisse, a mixed fermentation saison, a white IPA, and an American hybrid hoppy wheat beer. Or perhaps one of the tangy spontaneous seasonals with a local twist will be more to your liking. These and other craftings are sure to bring a taste of urbane culture and Old World sophistication to devotees of Utah’s burgeoning brew scene.
Toasted Barrel is in the final phase of construction, and a kick starter ad campaign is underway. They plan to open sometime in March.
Toasted Barrel Brewery
412 West 600 North, Suite B
North Salt Lake City, UT
FOR MORE BEER STORIES GO HERE