When it comes to crafting high quality beer, Red Rock Brewing Company digs deep! Although the brewery has experienced substantial growth in the past two decades, the focus has always been on producing a quality product rather than wide-ranging expansion. They invest in talent, education of staff, superior ingredients, and improving distribution to ensure that the product stays as fresh as possible. The company prefers to cultivate a more robust local presence and a reputation for the best beer, best food, and best brewpub, not only in Utah, but beyond.
Rather than rigidly adhering to set recipes, head brewer Kevin Templin is encouraged to make incremental adjustments to improve and fine-tune each beer. This continual evolution in its product leads to an excellence that distinguishes the brewery in its field. The gin-like spiced Belgian style ale, Gineva, recently won a European Beer Star award. Marvella, a big (11% ABV) Belgian style tripel, has made waves this year with its enchanting drinkability. Red Rock was also the first brewery in the state to make barrel-aged beer (Rêve), and its barrel-aging program continues to impress.
In its commitment to quality, Red Rock has begun self-distributing kegs to local bars and restaurants, as well as bottles to Harmons Grocery and coming soon to Whole Foods. Cutting out the middleman has enabled a more direct relationship with licensees and consumers. Any issues are promptly resolved and a strong rapport is built to ensure shelf space and maintain tap handle real estate.
This face-to-face approach with consumers can also be seen at local events. The core employees are few and wear many hats. It’s not uncommon to see staff like William Lowe slinging beers at a Saturday event and then managing a restaurant or tending the brew kettle on a Tuesday afternoon. No one knows the beer better, so they’re often the ones making small talk at the beer tents. Look for these familiar faces at the upcoming 4th West Fest on March 18th, hosted by Red Rock with neighbor Mountain West Hard Cider (425N 400W). You can also spot them at fundraisers for Camp Kostopulos, Girls on the Run, and March of Dimes, among others.
A history of success does not guarantee a future of the same, and Red Rock isn’t about to sit still. There are exciting plans in the works for additional cold storage space at its production brewery, and a new, larger brewery on the corner of 400N and 400W. The new location will allow for up to four times the current production capacity. Red Rock is also working on a program for reusing its bottles and sees this as a superior solution to recycling.
As part of a swiftly growing population of Utah breweries, Red Rock is confident that its high standards in beer, food and service will continue to support the community in the future as it has done for 23 years.
Locations: 254 S 200 W in Salt Lake, Fashion Place Mall at 6227 S State Street in Murray, 1640 West Redstone Center Drive in Park City, and the Beer Store at 443 N 400 W in Salt Lake.
By Lauren Lerch and Jenni Shafer – The Crafty Beer Girls