Dented Brick Distillery opened its doors to the public last week as well as the first bottles of their first spirit, Antelope Island Rum. Now Salt Lake City is the home to the second largest distillery in the West.
The vision for the distillery’s location was realized as CEO Marc Christiansen stood on the front porch of an old brick house located at 3100 Washington Street. Built in 1919, the house had undeniable “character” and very “colorful” history and he was inspired, but little did he know the real treasure was beneath his feet.
They were met with “geological serendipity” once they realized that special conditions existed along the Wasatch Front and flowed right to their new door step. The runoff from Utah’s legendary “lake effect” snow and rainfall cannot flow to the ocean but is captured by the closed basin of the Great Salt Lake. The water flows into and is stored in the water-permeable geologic layer – the aquifer. Here and there along the Wasatch Front, the natural pressure of the aquifer creates artesian wells. Low and behold, there was an artesian well on the property of the brick house – surely a prized procession of a pioneer well-driller. But what does this all mean? They had struck water gold. And great water makes great spirits. Even more mind blowing to think about: the same water that falls on Utah ski resorts as powder flows into the distillery and into Dented Brick Distillery Spirits. You feel my flow?
With an increasing appreciation for the geology and history of their new home, as demolition began they decided to pull the bricks from the house down by hand and kept them all – even the dented ones (get it?). They have been incorporated throughout the impressive 14,000 square foot facility, reminding them of their foundation.
They also utilized reclaimed wood, metal from the original gate and other materials from the original building to preserve some history. They suggested they may also have some other types of “spirits” hanging around but they said they’re friendly.
Now for the other spirits. The first of the many, their Antelope Island Rum paying tribute to Utah’s very own island, and because everyone know rum is for islands… and pirates. Their rum is unique as they use regionally-sourced, organic and non-GMO ingredients. Most distillery use either non-GMO sugarcane or non-GMO molasses but Dented Brick is committed to using non-GMO ingredients across the board (or should I say plank? OK, no more pirate humor).
In addition, they waited two years for a custom Vendome Copper batch distillation system from Kentucky. Yes, they mean business. They are geared up to start distilling vodka and gin (clear spirits are faster) and whiskey in the next year as well as creating spiced rums and other blends using wine and whiskey barrels.
The rum is delicious and the space is infectious. Really, you need to see the distillery to appreciate it. It is a fantastic juxtaposition of history and technology, old and new and art and barricades? Yes. Christensen is also in the barricade business and used to work in Park City and handled events like the World Cup. They will also be mixing up the super cool local art frequently, giving good reason to visit often. I kind of just want to hang out here all the time.
The space is great, the stories are better and the rum is even better. Book a distillery tour and tasting here. Tours are available from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Cover photo credit: Barry Martak