It was the middle of the night and without warning, nor explanation, it happened again explained Adam Curfew, director of cellar operations for Utah Brewers Cooperative, which brews for both Wasatch and Squatters beers.
No, the beer master didn't have a premonition of the brewery going up in flames – again. He has brainstormed the newest beer to join the illustrious adult-flavors provided by Utah's oldest brewery, Ghostrider, a new American IPA, with a twist.
The architect of Utah's famous Devastator, double- bock lager, brewed by Wasatch Brewery, explained to The Park Record during an interview, a flash of brew-master genius woke him up from a deep sleep one night. In this instant moment of inspiration, all Curfew recalls is a dead guy, on a dead horse, and he needs to start brewing a new IPA – a ghost white one.
To keep the color very light, Curfew used super pale malted parley and wheat. Wanting the IPA to be completely American, he chose citrusy American hops, rather than the typical Belgium, combined with coriander to give this dry-hopped IPA a complexity of aroma and flavor – he describes as a highly drinkable beer.
“The idea to create the Devastator came to me out of nowhere too,” Curfew said. “I get these ideas that come to me in a flash, and I worry that I will forget them. I need to tell these things to my fiancé (Kellee Corbitt), or they'll be gone forever.”
According to Greg Schirf, owner of the brewery, the strongest movement in the beer industry is: What's new. In order to be one of the leading designers and producers of micro-brew in the state, Schirf explains he only hires a select few to create and brew new beers in his facility.
“Back when we first started, it wasn't abnormal to hire a guy brewing beer in his garage,” Schirf said. “Now with the way technology and beer making has evolved, I only hire professional beer makers that have educations in chemistry. You could get away with a bad batch of beer back in the day, but now you don't get away with those kinds of mistakes.”
Curfew has come a long way since kegging beer when he first joined the Wasatch Brew Pub 12 years ago.
Purchasing a home-brew kit when he was 20 years-old, he said he fell in love with the hobby and read every book on brewing he could get his hands on. Curfew even went as far as changing his major to chemistry to learn more about the craft. Earning the degree from the University of Utah, helped lead him to Wasatch Beers.
“This was the first time in my life I found a hobby that I stuck with,” Curfew said. “I couldn't imagine doing anything else.
In addition to the new Ghostrider IPA, Utah's first brew pub, opened in 1989 at the top of Main Street, is also revealing its recent renovation and new menu, including the addition of weekend brunch.
Now that the fire and the 2012-13 ski season is behind the brew pub, they are happy to introduce a new taste to enjoy with spring, but also a chance to show off the Wasatch Brew Pub's recent face lift.
“We kept a lot of the original raw wood beams and reflecting the atmosphere of Park City's old mining community,” said Meredith Risley, brew pub manager. “This was a great opportunity to bring some new energy to the space. We bounced back pretty well considering, but it was a lot of hard work from all of our employees.”