#72: Fisher Brewing Company – "We're Beer Guys Who Wanted to Make a Beer Place"

Fisher Brewing Company, located at 320 W 800 S, Salt Lake City, UT. Photo by Ryan Samanka | The Utah Foodie

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About the Episode

Fisher Brewing Company has a storied history and one few Utah establishments rival. In fact, the brewery out-dates our state itself, having opened a decade before Utah was founded in 1896.

A. Fisher Brewing Company’s story began in 1884, named after its entrepreneurial founder, Albert Fisher. But beer and life were different in the late 1800's. Craft beer wasn't yet a twinkle in Salt Lake City's eye, and it was rare for a company to grow beyond a few employees. Fisher Brewing smashed through both norms, employing over 200 employees and producing more than 75,000 barrels per year.

Even still, the beer business wasn’t easy. Prohibition shut Fisher down for 14 years, and when it finally reopened after the alcohol ban was lifted, Albert's son, Frank Fisher, invested a large sum of money to revitalize the brewery's manufacturing plant. $250,000 later, Fisher was re-born in 1934.

In the early 1900's, Fisher Brewing proudly declared that their beer was brewed using the fresh water from the Jordan River—a sentence you wouldn't hear a Utah brewery utter today. Located at 1206 W. 200 S., Albert Fisher's mansion still sits today, which can be seen just off Interstate 80. Their reputation was built on their unpretentious, regular everyday blue-collar beer. Fisher's beer wasn't craft, innovative, or special, and that's exactly what made it special.

A couple decades after its re-opening, California-based Lucky Lager and Fisher Brewing went to battle in court, and Lucky Lager acquired Fisher and quietly shut down the company, leaving Utah without Fisher Brewing Company for over 50 years.

“One of the things that differentiate us, is we’re the coffee shop of breweries. It’s a casual atmosphere.”
— Colby Frazier

That's when today's owners step in. Albert Fisher's great-great-grandson Tommy Fisher Riemondy, and his friends Tim Dwyer, Steve Brown, and Colby Frazier embarked upon a family dream of re-opening the family beer business.

Today, Fisher Brewing offers a variety of craft beer options, brewed just miles from the original location on the banks of the Jordan River. They re-opened on February 5, 2017.

In today's episode, we sit down with the owners of Fisher Brewing to learn more about their history, how they stay relevant today, and ask about their brewing philosophy and where they are heading as a brewery.

The four owners of Fisher Brewing Company: Tim Dwyer, Steve Brown, Tommy Fisher Riemondy, Colby Frazier. Photo courtesy of Fisher Brewing Company