Uinta Brewing: Tasty Science
Little known fact: less than six miles from the SLC airport is one of Utah's very own breweries, Uinta Brewing, and they give tours. Ever wonder how that delicious Golden Spike you're drinking came into being?
Call ahead, schedule a time, and find out.
That's exactly what I did this week, and received a tour from the brewmaster himself, Kevin Ely. Kevin knows his beer. He also knows his biochemistry, which makes him both an excellent beer maker and a fascinating tour guide for a science geek like me.
We (a friend and her baby came along) started off outside, where Kevin pointed out the silos containing malt and told us about the pub, where you can sample, for a nominal fee, Uinta's beverages, as well as buy full size beers to go with your meal.Note: liquor laws require you to be 21 in order to enter the pub itself, but tours of the brewery are open to all ages.
Once inside the brewery, we were walked through the science of beer-making step by step. We tasted and smelled different kinds of malt and hops as Kevin explained the process (from boiling to fermenting, and everything in between) that turns water, malt (barley and/or wheat), hops and yeast into beer, "the most drinkable beverage in the world."
Our last stop was the lab, where various factors (such as pH) are closely monitored using a machine called, I kid you not, a Beer Analyzer. Genius. The whole brewing process was enough to make me want to break out my old bio books.
Touring Uinta is also unique in that every step is done on site - from brewing (about 2,000 barrels per month), to bottling or kegging and loading it onto trucks, it all happens in one big building here on the west side of SLC.
Kevin also told me that Uinta uses 100% windpower (purchased) to make its beer, as well as a nifty heat exchanger that captures about 90% of the heat from boiled beer, simultaneously cooling each batch before it heads off to ferment and heating up water for the next batch waiting to be boiled. Eco-friendly and local: two more reasons to smile the next time you enjoy a Cutthroat.
Details: 1722 Fremont Drive, (801) 467-0909, call ahead to schedule a tour. Pub open M-F 11-7, serving lunch 11-3. Outdoor patio.