Step aside Budweiser, there is a new brewery in town
Trent Fargher was accustomed to having an ample selection of locally brewed beers when he lived in Colorado, choosing his favorites to drink while he resided in the Breckenridge, Colo., area.
But when he moved to Utah five years ago, now living in Summit Park, he found that there were just "fairly limited" choices in local beers. Fargher, an information-technology consultant, and his fiancee, Alexandra Ortiz, are entering the brewery market with a small outfit, called Shades of Pale, in 950 square feet at 1950 Woodbine Way.
"Coming from Colorado, we had quite a wide selection of brews to choose from," says Fargher, a 41-year-old Ohio native.
Fargher recently won an important permit from the Park City Planning Commission for the brewery, one of the approvals he needs before Shades of Pale is able to open. He also must obtain a permit from state alcohol regulators as well.
There was little interest from regular Parkites as the City Hall panel awarded the Shades of Pale permit. There are talks continuing between the municipal government and Fargher about hazardous materials that will be at the site as part of the beer-making process.
But it appears that Shades of Pale will be the second alcohol-related business to open a manufacturing location in Park City within a short period, following the upcoming debut of High West Distillery, a whiskey maker, in Old Town. Taken together, the two reinforce Park City’s reputation as a rollicking resort in a state known for its teetotaling ways.
"When people come from out of town, they want to drink the local stuff," Fargher says.
Shades of Pale, which was launched in mid-2009, plans to start with a line of three or four beers, including a Belgian, a stout and an Indian pale ale. Fargher says he hopes to start producing beer and distributing the product in kegs by early 2010. He plans to start a bottling operation as early as the middle of 2010, depending on the demand for the beer. Construction inside the building could start as soon as next week, he says.
Fargher says he eventually wants to move from the Woodbine Way building, with him envisioning opening a custom-made brewery someday. Shades of Pale could offer tours of a new building, he says, another off-the-slopes attraction for Park City.
"In today’s craft brewing line of business the operation doesn’t have to be big to compete with the likes of Budweiser or Miller, it can be small, local and produce a high quality product for consumer enjoyment," Fargher writes in a description of Shades of Pale that he submitted to City Hall.
The brewery’s Web site exclaims that "everything else pales in comparison." The site features the word ‘Bud’ circled and crossed out in red.
Shades of Pale is entering a growing industry of small breweries, sometimes called craft breweries, with a trade group reporting nearly 8.6 million barrels of beer were produced by them in 2008. The Brewers Association, based in Boulder, Colo., at the end of July counted 1,525 breweries in the U.S., more than at any time in the past 100 years, according to the group.
In the first six months of 2009, the Brewers Association says, the small breweries sold an estimated 4.2 million barrels of beer, slightly more than the 4 million sold in the same period the year before.
"I think there’s a demand for people to buy local, support their local brewers," Fargher says.
Shades of Pale will open across Park City from the Wasatch Brew Pub, part of the long-established beer maker Wasatch Brewery. Greg Schirf, the founder, was unaware of the Shades of Pale plans until early in the week. Schirf says there is "plenty of competition" in the industry, and he expects the new brewery will compete with his own.
"People enjoy drinking fresh, local beer," Schirf says.
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