Nicole Dicou

Nicole Dicou

Check out director Nicole Dicou's op-ed in the SL Tribune from this past week. 

If you love cracking open a local lager that’s been brewed with an artisan’s touch, Utah is a pretty great place to live. Especially recently. Today our state is home to more than 30 craft breweries. Amazing, right? Now consider this: Two-thirds of them opened in the last five years alone. Even if you’re not a beer fan yourself — just a Utahn who wants to see our economy thrive — you can likely appreciate this surging industry.Dreams, life savings, sweat — they’ve all been put on the line to grow businesses that create jobs, revive neighborhoods, give people a place to connect and elevate our state’s food and beverage culture. Utah’s intrepid, homegrown brewers are finding success in not just our large population centers where you might expect. They’re flourishing in smaller towns, suburbs and tourism areas — even as many navigate their companies through their early years. Read more...

 

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 

“So {Grid City Beer Works} is at 333 West. And the irony is all the things that become three with this project. There’s three owners. Our beers will be served three different ways. The kismet of it all is amazing,” said Grid City Beer Works CEO Drew Reynolds.  

I walked into Grid City Beer yesterday and happened upon the install of their big brewing tanks. The entire space is industrial, with poured concrete floors and wide wood ceiling beams. The building has had former lives as a bank and a tile warehouse. The feeling inside Grid City Beer is expansive with a big skylight and rooftop bar and patio showcasing extensive mountain views. Walk in the front door and see the brewhouse in full view. There are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with beer the Grid City way.

Head brewer Jeremy Gross has been brewing for 20 years with former stints at Uinta, Bohemian and High West Distillery.CEO Drew Reynolds said, “One of the special things we’re doing is a lot of beers on nitro. We’re also going to have traditional cask beer as well. You’ll be able to taste our beer on CO2, nitro and cask. What we’re trying to do is show all forms of brewing and beers in different ways. 

It will be a bar license, 21+ and include some food offerings. “We’re trying to keep food simple. Drew’s a vegan so there will be a vegan and vegetarian influence. Savory pub fare, tacos, burgers, wings. We want to hit the lunch crowd,” president Justin Belliveau said.“I’ve been doing the research for years. I’ve probably brewed our four main beers 40 or 50  times,” said brewer Jeremy. “I’ve probably spent the most money at the homebrew shop, the Beer Nut. Gotta rack up those points,” he joked.

“We’re coming on board at such an exciting time. We’re at warp speed now. We started the business plan on this four years ago when there were a lot of new breweries hitting the market. It’s amazing to see how successful they’ve been and how unique they are. The customer base has a refined palate. Our local breweries are getting their own niche. That speaks to the depth of the market. It’s just amazing,” said Justin. 

Drew’s passion for craft beer and how it facilitates community is evident. “One of the things that’s really important to us is how beer is a personal experience for everyone. Being in the beer community is really special. I’ve always wanted to open a brewery. When I met Jeremy I couldn’t believe the chops he had on a 20-gallon system. Here our core belief is: taste, balance and finish. When you try our beer, you will taste that and it will be balanced.”

Grid City Beer Works has a tentative opening date of mid-Febraury 2020.

Check out these relevant safety documents and files courtesy of the Brewers Association and OSHA. Download these and read them because updated safety protocol in your brewery helps everyone.

pdfOSHA: Hazard Communication: Small Entity Compliance Guide for Employers Who Use Hazardous Chemicals

pdfOSHA: Protecting Workers In Confined Spaces

pdfOSHA: Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs

pdfOSHA: Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respiration Protection Standard

pdfBrewers Association: Ensuring Safety During Brewing Tours

This morning the SL Trib posted an op-ed by executive director Nicole Dicou. You can read the op-ed here.

"Local brewers have built Utah’s craft beer industry from the ground up, busting through barriers and fussy alcohol policy to create jobs and grow our economy. Today, the local craft brewing industry has an economic impact of $453 million a year and employs about 3,000 people who earn an average wage of $44,000. Combined, Utah breweries make more than 200,000 barrels a year."

Are hoses in your brewery put away after every shift? How many workplace accidents has your brewery reported in the past year? Do your employees that use hazardous chemicals in the workplace receive training on their proper use and storage? These are all safety items that every brewer should be explore and implement in their own breweries. As a guild, our priority is safety and we're exploring these topics to encourage best practices by forming a safety subcommitee.

This is safety subcommitte is focused primarily on spreading awareness about standardizing and maximizing opportunities for safety in every Utah brewery. We're working to reduce accidents by learning from each other. The safety subcommittee is drafting a safety quiz for member breweries, and encourages everyone to take it to assess safety standards in their workplace.

When brewers use standard operating procedures and train their employees on safety, everyone wins. 

This committee is meeting regularly. Our next safety subcommittee meeting is on Nov. 5 at 4pm at Shades Brewing. Member breweries are welcome to join us

Check out these safety resources for breweries, also perma-posted here.

OSHA general industry standards

BA Safety main page: How to developing Standard Operating Procedures and safety plan.  

BA Free Online Brewery Safety Training: Check out safety training courses on: Grain Handling, Mashing, Transfer and Boiling, Whirlpool and Cooling, Fermentation Cleaning and Sanitization, Fermentation and Cellaring, Filtering and Carbonation, Filtering and Pumping, Keg Cleaning, Keg Filling, Bottling, Canning, Grain Handling and Grain Silos and Powered Industrial Trucks. 

BA Best Management Practices: Check out downloadable BMPs for: Protective Clothing, Hazard Assessment Principles, Compressed Gas Cylinders, Powered Industrial Trucks.

What other safety resources do you use for your brewery? Email us a link and we'll add them to our list.

September 19, 2019

Resources for Brewers

Whether you're looking to learn about the industry, find out more about specific rules or starting your own brewery, check out these resources. They cover everything from brewer safety to food handling.

Safety:

OSHA general industry standards

BA Safety main page: How to developing Standard Operating Procedures and safety plan.  

BA Free Online Brewery Safety Training: Check out safety training courses on: Grain Handling, Mashing, Transfer and Boiling, Whirlpool and Cooling, Fermentation Cleaning and Sanitization, Fermentation and Cellaring, Filtering and Carbonation, Filtering and Pumping, Keg Cleaning, Keg Filling, Bottling, Canning, Grain Handling and Grain Silos and Powered Industrial Trucks. 

BA Best Management Practices: Check out downloadable BMPs for: Protective Clothing, Hazard Assessment Principles, Compressed Gas Cylinders, Powered Industrial Trucks.

 

Food Safety

Food Safety Plan for Craft Brewers


Getting started 

Beer: Getting started in a TTB-regulated industry

Brewers Association: Guide to starting your own brewery

UDABC: Alcohol Laws in Utah

Michael Best Consulting: pdfRaising capital for your brewery

Education

pdfAll About Yeast (Not Even Close) by Marcio Buffolo

 

Please note that these links are not affiliated with the Utah Brewers Guild and provided as guidance.

September 10, 2019

New directors in the UBG

The UBG members are pleased to welcome newly elected members of the UBG board of directors. Ginger Bowden of Vernal Brewing Co. and Ryan Miller of SaltFire Brewing to the Utah Brewers Guild joined the guild board earlier this month. Directors serve two year terms and there are a total five directors on the board. The UBG Board represents a diverse group of Utah's thriving craft beer industry. A complete list of all board members can be found here. 

DEF 5803

A big welcome to Utah's newest brewery and member of the Utah Brewers Guild! I spent the morning at Heber Valley Brewing visiting with owner/brewer Clint Jones. Clint and his business partner Greg Poirier opened this brewery in Wasatch County just two weeks ago.  

Clint, a former Olympic team member for ski jump in the Olympic Torino and Salt Lake City games was also a homebrewer for 13 years. Homebrewing gave him the foundation for his current brewery.
Heber Valley Brewing has 8 beers on draft currently, including Belgian styles as well as a kolsch. The hops in the amber ale were grown and harvested by Clint.

The interior is very well appointed: it's decorated with found wood, iron and corrugated metal. A farmhouse table made from an old door Clint found adds character and coziness to the space. The tables and bar have beautiful centerpieces that include found wood, succulents and cacti. Clint designed the HVB's logo that includes a profile of Mt. Timpanogos, a prominent mountain near Heber.

Clint and his business partner remodeled the former "custom soda shop" that was in the space before them.

Offerings include pizza by the slice, charcuterie and a pretzel. 

 

HVB Hours:

Monday: 3-9
Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday: 3-9
Thursday: 3-9
Friday: 3-11
Saturday:  11-11
Sunday: 11-8

Save the Date! UBG Fest 2020 

Thanks to our event sponsors, volunteers and guests for a fantastic inaugural Brewers Guild Fest!

Next year's Utah Brewers Guild Festival will be held on Saturday June 27, 2019, stay tuned for early bird and VIP specials! Look forward to more collabs and a celebration for local Utah craft beer.

A link to the full photo gallery from the event is here.

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