In early 2014, James Fowler introduced Sugar House Distillery and became Utah’s very first "grain-to-glass” small-batch spirits distillery — where the entire production, from the raw ingredients all the way to the bottle, is done in-house using their own still. And it all happens in their warehouse in South Salt Lake that just so happens to be South Salt Lake's first privately-owned liquor store since prohibition.
Needless to say, Sugar House Distillery is a pioneer. Which is the very attitude you need if you want to start a liquor distillery in Utah. There were permit and license issues, questions about how to deliver quality spirits without expensive stills, and an uphill battle to convince people in Utah that good liquor was worth paying extra for.
Fortunately, Sugar House Distillery is a part of a burgeoning movement, not unlike the craft beer movement. James Fowler says the small batch distillery trend is just as large as craft brewing, but a mere 10 years behind — and we’re just seeing the crest of the wave of a trend that will result in a lot more local distilleries across America, and here in Utah.
On today’s episode we talk with Sugar House Distillery’s owner, James Fowler, and his assistant distiller Jake Wood to learn about their distilling process, their liquor, and how they got started.
Sugar House Distillery
2212 West Temple, #14, Salt Lake City