January 13, 2020

A chat with Mike Riedel of Utah Beer Blog

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Want to know the man behind Utah Beer Blog? His name is Mike Riedel and he knows Utah beer. He's seen the vast transformation of Utah's craft beer scene for the 14 years he's been doing the blog

What are two or three beers early that got you into craft beer? Cutthroat for sure and Wasatch’s old, Superior Ale were a couple of labels I always kept around. Eventually I found Sierra Nevada Pale Ale as well. 

How do find time and prioritize making the blog happen? I used to hammer a lot of brewers every day for content, way back when there was no social media. I was writing every day, and there was plenty to talk about. It’s fallen off quite a bit in the last few years, because brewers can just as easily get their info out themselves on their social media pages - I’m still chasing avenues that keep the Utah beer blog relevant, via New Beer Friday and New Brews Soon For You. 

What's your day job? Though I’m eking a pittance writing about beer, I’m a photojournalist by trade - shooting news video at Fox13 news. I’ve always said, “it beats working for a living”.  

What are your hobbies outside of beer? There’s a world outside of beer? Huh.....

What's the coolest opportunity that has happened because of that blog? In 2007 I was awarded Best Digital Media at the Great American Beer Festival. If you thought my head was big now..... that helped me gain access to beer judging and many cherished friendship in the beer industry. 

Do you ever home brew? I am a proud home brewer, but it’s slowed a bit in the last year, because I have a mountain of beer in my cellar that’s not getting any smaller. Anyone wanna help a brother out?

What do you think about the current craft beer landscape in Utah now as compared to the past and where do you see it going? Selection has definitely exploded over the last few years due in part to places like BeerHive, Beer Bar & Bayou taking the initiative on getting new brands into their respective establishments. With all of these new brands in our market, it will obviously create competition for our local brewers. However, I believe that today’s craft beer culture enjoys and takes pride in their local suds. It may sting at first, but I think the pain will pass rather quickly. 

Check out Utah Beer Blog on instagram @utahbeerblog