Homebrewing in Utah Has Never Been Easier
Utahns are no strangers to the stereotypes cast onto their home state by people living outside its borders. To many, Utah is a polygamous quasi-theocracy frozen in time somewhere between the 19th century and “Leave it to Beaver.” Nothing, however, seems to attract as much ridicule as the state’s perplexing drinking laws. This is especially true when it comes to the unofficial state drink, sometimes derisively referred to as “Beer-flavored water.”
“Can you even get a drink there?” a friend from New Jersey recently asked me, as if Utah were a province in Saudi Arabia and not the 45th state admitted to the USA.
Obviously these people have never been to The Beer Nut. The store is committed to helping Utah brew the best beer possible, all from the comfort of home. It offers the finest malts from Belgium, Germany, England, Scotland and the US, and yes, they can all be brewed stronger than the much-maligned 3.2 percent beer found in Utah’s grocery stores.
Long-time beer aficionado and first-time brewer, John Conlon, is one satisfied customer. Inspired by a homebrewing co-worker, Conlon purchased his Homebrew Starter and India Pale Ale ingredient kits from The Beer Nut and set out to try his luck as a beer maker.
“I’ve always been interested in homebrewing, but I never had a way to get into it,” Conlon says.
That’s where The Beer Nut came it. Conlon assembled his kit, followed the instructions and got some crucial last minute advice when the whole process was coming down to the wire.
“I think it would have been difficult if I didn’t have guidance. I actually had to call the people from The Beer Nut halfway through because I didn’t know what time to put in the different hops. There was one that went in with five minutes left and one that went in with 10 minutes left. I called them and they let me know which one was which .” Conlon’s first batch of beer, a pale ale he named “MC Hammered,” took about four hours to prep. He then let it ferment for two weeks before he bottled the beer and allowed it to carbonate for an additional two weeks.
“I had a minor slip up during the fermentation process. I wasn’t checking it so I let in a little more air then I should have, but it turned out fine,” he says.
Conlon produced 60 beers from his India Pale Ale ingredient kit that advertises for $39.95 on The Beer Nut’s website. He says that overall he’s satisfied with the results and looks forward to brewing his next batch. “I want to try to brew a stout . . . Something heavier. I think if I brewed a beer resembling a Miller Lite I’d drink them all in one night! I want to brew something I can savor.”
He feels more confident about his brewing skills and knows he can call on The Beer Nut to guide him through any problems he might encounter while brewing.
The Beer Nut is located at 1200 South State Street.