Brewmaster Chris Haas for years has wanted his own brewery, but it wasn’t until two years ago that everything clicked. He and pal Rob Phillips, a fellow beer enthusiast, met Josh Stern, and the trio went to work. A year later, RoHa Brewing Project was born, “RoHa” being a blend of “Rob” and “Haas.” “Everybody brings something different to the table,” says Chris. Rob is the planner, Josh is the driver, and Chris brews the beer, something he’s been doing for 22 years.
RoHa opened in April of 2017 on Kensington Avenue between State and Main, Salt Lake City, in the Ballpark District. “We really like the neighborhood,” Chris says of RoHa’s location. “We visited a lot of places that could’ve worked, but everyone in the neighborhood here is really solid, so that’s the reason we picked it.” The place is small, intimate.
RoHa currently offers five brews. “We have two draft beers—an American Ale, which is a little more full-flavored than a light lager, and a classic pale ale, which is a nice hop-forward, good, easy-drinking ale,” Chris explains. “Then we have our three high-point beers: the Thursday IPA, the Big Green Couch Double IPA, and the Kensington Grand Saison.”
All are available at the brewery, while the drafts can be found at prominent Utah grocers and gas stations, the high-point beers at Utah State Liquor Store locations—except the Kensington Grand, which will be on shelves in the next month or two.
The Kensington is “grand” because it’s an elevated twist on a classic brew. Saisons are brewed with Belgian yeast, fermented warm, unfiltered, and are generally of low-alcohol content. They are also often brewed with spices such as coriander and orange peel. “But our saison is different,” says Chris. “It’s fermented cooler and filtered, so it’s a little more red than usual. And to distinguish it, we use juniper rather than just coriander, then finish it with oak, which rounds out the spice notes.”
RoHa will release two new beers in the coming months: an 8.5% ABV Belgian stout, and a four-percenter made especially for Utah firefighters, which they’ve collaborated on.
Once or twice a month, patrons can join RoHa in giving back during Pints For A Purpose, a designated night of drinking where a percentage of proceeds goes to charitable organizations and their local chapters. Beer lovers have raised money for The Humane Society, The Red Cross, and Engineers Without Borders, to name a few. Think of it as drinking for a cause, or a good cause to drink.
As for long-term plans and projects, Chris says, “We brew well-balanced, solid beers and everyone who has tried them likes them. So we’ll just keep pushing forward and continue making beers that people want to take home.”
Sounds like a recipe for success, and good beer.
RoHa Brewing Project
30 Kensington Ave S,
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
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