In 2013, an act of historic significance came to pass: the first gin distillery in Utah in more than a hundred years opened in Salt Lake. Beehive Distilling is the brainchild of three men: Chris Barlow, Erik Ostling, and Matt Aller. The three had previously been in careers requiring creative mindsets - Matt is a graphic designer, and Chris and Erik photographers. They decided to apply that creativity to something they felt had been sorely lacking - the creation of fine craft gin.
Salt of the Earth: The People & Places of Salt Lake
Before starting Beehive, the three were already good friends and collaborators. All three are semi-serious food and spirits connoisseurs, and decided to put their interests and creativity to good use with the establishment of a distillery. Chris, the lead distiller, worked and prodded and tweaked many recipes before coming up with Jack Rabbit Gin, inspired by the smells of the Southern Utah desert: seven botanicals that have juniper as the base and sage and rose petals to balance it out.
After developing this signature flavor, it hit select DABC liquor stores in 2014, and is now sold in more than 30 stores. In addition to being the first Utah distillery bar in so long, Beehive opened a bar, making them the first distillery bar here as well.
Now, eight years after opening, Beehive has multiple offerings, and they can be found at bars that make excellent cocktails such as Bar-X, The Rest, and Copper Common, as well as on the menus of many excellent restaurants around the valley.
We're happy to have Beehive Distilling here in Salt Lake, and grateful to Chris, Erik, and Matt for being in this installment of Visit Salt Lake’s Salt of the Earth series.