Wasatch Brew Pub
Prompted by the airlines' spring fare wars, I packed up my skis and headed for the state rarely thought of for pleasure potential, Utah. A short drive from Salt Lake City lies the ski resort town of Park City. Located at the top of the inclined Main Street is Wasatch Brew Pub. From the outside, curious visitors can peer through the glass first story walls and observe the brewing process. The grain, crushed in house, is funneled to the mash/lauter tun from the second story. Gravity moves the resulting liquid to the 15 bbl. boil kettle and later, after a manual whirlpool, on to one of five 30 bbl fermenters. Two consecutive brews are required to fill each fermenter. The 7000 foot elevation allows an early 200º boil of the wort, whose components include city water and a variety of pelletized hops. Only ale yeast is used, regardless of the beer style. The natural carbonation is decreased when the beer flows through the diatomaceous earth (DE) filter so more CO2 is added using a carbonator stone. From the counterflow chiller the beer passes to the fermenters. The view from the lower inside bar is of the multiple stainless steel fermenters, conditioning tanks, and the keg processing area. The bottling lines in the basement are not visible. Downstairs offers dining in a pub setting while upstairs provides another bar, large-screen TV, a pool table, electronic darts, and plenty of music. Every beverage over 3.2% alcohol by weight (ABW) is classified as "liquor" by the state of Utah and the sellers' permits are outrageously priced accordingly. Not surprising, since a look at the state capitol reveals that the separation of church and state in Utah is less than 500 meters. All brews created here are technically "3.2" beer.
The Premium Ale was a deep amber color with a slight hop aroma, medium-bodied, it yielded a hoppy palate with no aftertaste. The Irish Stout opened with a slight malt aroma, provided a smooth body, and finished with a dry aftertaste. The Weizen Beer was noticeably clear, golden, well-carbonated, with an interesting, possibly grainy, aroma. Made for easy drinking, the light body and mellow wheat character of this American-style wheat made it very popular. The Lager offered a fairly clear, hoppy, medium-bodied beer whose head easily lasted until the last of the liquid was drained, at least it did at my pace of consumption. Priced under three dollars a pint, you can enjoy a few without feeling like a one-time customer being gouged by "tourist" pricing.
Wasatch Brewery freshness dates its cases sold by local establishments and is now available at nearby Park City, Snowbird and Solitude ski resorts. This high regard for quality in their products and the friendly atmosphere throughout the brewpub make Wasatch well worth a visit in this most unlikely locale.
Wasatch Brew Pub / Schirf Brewing Company
250 Main Street
P.O. Box 459
Park City, Utah 84060
Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - February, 1993
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