OGDEN — Something new is brewing next to the Ogden River.
Ogden River Brewing broke ground on its new pub and production facility on Wednesday, complete with a ceremonious beer bottle breaking on a backhoe. The brewery will have a 10-barrel system capable of producing at least 1,000 to 1,200 barrels of beer in its first year.
“Oh man, I can’t tell you how excited I am. I’m still kind of in a daze,” ORB founder Pat Winslow said. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long, I can’t believe it’s here.”
The goal is to have the brewery’s doors open by early 2020.
Winslow, a former railroad conductor turned home brewer, announced plans to construct a brewery for ORB in 2017, after he raised $31,800 in funds from a Kickstarter campaign.
Since then, Winslow has been working with architects, partnering with Lotus Craft, a hospitality company, and working on his beer recipes to make this dream come to life.
“I spent a lot of time brewing beer, making sure I could produce a beer at 3.2%,” Winslow said, adding that his initial plans were to have low-point beer on tap and serve the higher point beer in bottles.
Then in March, the Utah Legislature voted to increase the state’s alcohol by weight limit for retail and on-top beer from 3.2% to 4% (5% by volume). The new limit goes into effect Nov. 1, a few months before the brewery’s planned opening.
Winslow then had to rework his recipes to bring most of the on-tap beers up to the new level.
“Changing a beer from 3% to 5% is pretty difficult,” Winslow said. “There’s a narrower window to layer the flavor profiles and come together to the end goal.”
But, he added, “There’s just a lot more you can do with a beer at 5% ABV than at 4%. We’ll be able to have a lot more fun out of the gate.”
ORB will be located at 358 Park Blvd., next to the Ogden River Parkway and just behind Slackwater Pub & Pizzeria. The building will feature an outdoor patio next to the pathway and a second-level event deck with views of the river and mountains.
The restaurant’s menu hasn’t been set yet, but Winslow said it’ll likely be an “American bar-type menu” with hamburger and steaks among the offerings.
ORB’s motto is “From the Neighborhood, For the Neighborhood,” which Winslow says sets them apart from other craft companies.
“This is going to be a place where people really want to come hang out, bring their friends and enjoy each other’s company,” he said. “That was my vision from the beginning.”
ORB is one of several Ogden craft breweries that either opened or expanded their facilities in the last year.
In December 2018, the Roosters B Street Brewery taproom and production facility opened at 2325 B Ave. The location can produce up to 5,000 barrels of bear a year, which is five times the capacity of Roosters’s other locations.
And in March, UTOG Brewing Co. opened the doors to its restaurant and brewery combo in downtown Ogden near the corner of 23rd Street and Grant Avenue.
“The thing about craft beers is that people will come to your place one week and go to the next place the next week,” Winslow said. “It’s synergenic for all the breweries. It’s going to be a long time before we hit that saturation level in Ogden.”