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Ogden River Brewing, latest on the Northern Utah craft alcohol scene, set to open Wednesday

By Mitch Shaw standard-Examiner - | Oct 27, 2020

OGDEN — The newest addition to Ogden’s growing craft brewery and distillery scene is set to open its doors.

Ogden River Brewing will open a 250-seat, state-of-the-art gastropub and 10-barrel working brewery on Wednesday. Located at 358 Park Blvd., just west of Slackwater pizzeria, the new craft brewery features two large patios, and a rooftop bar and lounge with unobstructed views of both the Ogden River and the Wasatch Front, according to spokesperson Lauren Boyack.

Boyack said the brewery project has been years in the making. Originally the brainchild of head brewer Pat Winslow, the idea initially gained steam with crowdsourced funds from a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $30,000. Boyack said the crowdsourced funds essentially served as seed money for the project, with local developer Bryan Wrigley of Lotus Company stepping in to make the $2.4 million brewery a reality.

“Everyone who knows Pat loves Pat,” Wrigley said of the business partnership. “And it’s not just because of all the free beer.”

Wrigley said he was swayed to join the venture because of Winslow’s enthusiasm and passion for it.

“It’s infectious,” Wrigley said. “Early on, I knew that I wanted to grow this dream with him.”

Since the original partnership between Wrigley and Winslow, the endeavor has evolved to include several veterans of the Utah craft brewery circuit, including Doug Hofeling, former Chief Operating Officer of Squatters and Wasatch Pubs & Beers; Patrick Bourque, former head brewer for Uinta Brewing; and Landon Jeffery, who won Utah’s “Homebrewer of the Year” award in 2019.

Ogden River Brewing will be open seven days a week, opening at 11 a.m. on weekdays and 10:30 a.m. on weekends. The brewery will feature lunch, dinner and weekend brunch menus, along with a full bar in addition to the 10 draft taps.

The new brewery is one of several Ogden craft breweries or distilleries that either opened or expanded their facilities during the past two years.

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 beer a year, which is five times the capacity of Roosters’ other locations. 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. In May, Ogden’s Own distillery opened its new 32,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at 615 W. Stockman Way, in the heart of the city’s Trackline development and Ogden Business Exchange business park.

Other popular craft alcohol facilities in the Ogden area include the Talisman Brewery at 1258 Gibson Ave. and the New World Distillery, 4795 E. 2600 North in Eden.

According to the Brewers Association trade group, the number of craft breweries and distilleries operating in the state has increased by nearly 400% since 2011. The association says there were just 16 such facilities in Utah in 2011, but by 2019 the number had jumped to 42. The association says the industry had a $477 million economic impact on Utah last year.

“It’s definitely a growing industry,” Boyack said. “I think it’s good for the economy, but it’s also a great community builder. It brings people together.”

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