Waldorf Astoria, Park City Brewery team up for new beer
Kerry Hing, general manager of Waldorf Astoria Park City, has seen the definition of luxury change during his career in the hotel industry.
The signs of luxury used to be white gloves, tuxedoed servers and silver platters. Those elements, while still important, have given way to something else.
“A big part of it is the luxury hotel fitting with its destination and having elements of that destination within it,” he said.
To that end, the Waldorf Astoria began searching for a way to bring more of Park City into its restaurant, Powder. What the hotel came up with was tapping into the craft beer culture that has become an essential element of mountain towns, including Park City.
The hotel teamed up with Park City Brewery and, shortly after, debuted Pow Day, a pale ale with a taste of rye. Waldorf Astoria believes the beer, which is only available at Powder or Park City Brewery’s taproom, encapsulates Park City luxury.
Hing fondly recalls the first time he tasted the beer. He immediately knew it was exactly what he had envisioned.
“It was perfect,” he said. “I already had a great trust in these gentlemen because I was a fan of their beers. But to know we sat very carefully and ate a lot of great food (from Powder) to try to figure out how we pair that, to me, that got my anticipation up and my expectation was high.”
Creating a beer that fit with the Powder menu was essential. Hud Knight, co-founder of the brewery, said the spiciness of the menu stands out, so it was clear that a beer with rye, which has a spice of its own, would complement the food.
Coincidentally, the brewery already had a recipe for a rye beer after nearly making it a flagship offering when the brewery opened. The partnership with Waldorf Astoria proved to be the right time to break it out, though a quick turnaround date meant Hing and other hotel representatives did not get a chance to taste it before committing to the beer.
Fortunately for both the hotel and the brewery, Pow Day turned out just right.
“It’s not overly rye, and it’s very drinkable,” Knight said. “You want it to be something that any customer is going to have and like. It’s not so unique that it’s too much for the palate.”
Powder patrons have been quick to embrace the beer. Hing is optimistic that it will become known as just one more touch of luxury synonymous with the Waldorf Astoria brand.
“You just don’t know what people are going to say or how they’re going to react to it,” he said. “And the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Flat-out, people think it’s just a great rye beer.”
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