By Kathy Stephenson, The Salt Lake Tribune -- The number of distilleries in Utah nearly doubled on Tuesday when the state liquor commission granted licenses to two new Salt Lake County spirit-making operations.
Sugar House Distillery, 2212 S. West Temple, and Beehive Distillery, 1745 S. Milestone (3000 West), are the fourth and fifth small-batch distilleries licensed by the state.
High West Distillery has two licenses in Park City and Salt Lake City, while Utah’s Own in Ogden has the third.
Sugar House Distillery owner James Fowler, an avid home brewer, walked into his first distillery about five years ago and immediately "knew it was what I wanted to do."
He has traveled around the country to learn the business and recently hired Dan Feldman, from Mother Earth Brewing in North Carolina, to be the head distiller.
The company’s first product will be a vodka, but it also plans to make a honey whiskey.
The liquor commission also approved a package agency license for Sugar House, which means consumers will eventually be able to buy the small-batch spirits at the distillery.
Matt Aller and Chris Barlow are the owners of Beehive Distillery, which plans to make high-end gin.
"We feel like it’s an up-and-coming spirit and something no other Utah distillery is offering," Aller said. Beehive products will be available through state liquor stores.