Drinking in Utah

#49: Beehive Distilling – Gin As The Medium, Utah As The Canvas


The Utah Foodie has reached our one year anniversary, and to be honest, we’re a little blown away. It feels like yesterday when we sat down with our first guests from Whiskey Street and Forage, and we dove headfirst into the thriving and inspiring Utah food scene.

While we often focus on the entrepreneurial spirit and passion that these small business owners have, something that is not always obvious is their overflowing creativity. Whether it’s a unique take on a traditional dish, finding local partners that have the same vision, or even deciding on the look and color of a jam, a lot of energy is put into creating art in the form of food or beverages.

This creativity is especially apparent at Beehive Distilling, one of the first four distilleries in Utah. Founded by Chris Barlow, Erik Ostling, and Matt Aller, Beehive Distilling originally began as a fun idea that was discussed amongst these three friends. But once the idea was in Erik’s mind, he couldn’t let it go. What followed was research, research, and more research, and the realization that their idea could very much become a reality.

And a reality it became. Beehive Distilling opened their doors in January 2014, and quickly established themselves as a craft distillery that had two primary focuses: Make good gin, and make it look good. After 35-40 test batches, Jackrabbit Gin was created, and their popularity spread. Join us on The Utah Foodie as we sit down with Erik and Chris to discuss the history of distilling in Utah, and how gin uniquely stands out from other liquors. We’ll also dive into how their work as marketers, photographers and creatives influenced their approach to launching Beehive Distilling.

We also would like to say a special "thank you" to all of our listeners! This podcast has been a labor of love, and we're so thankful to have a community that is as excited about the Utah food scene as we are.

For more information or to browse our episode archive, visit theutahfoodie.com or follow us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter. See you next week!


This episode was brought to you by: 

KRCL 90.9fm Community Radio

Vive Juicery, a Utah-based cold-pressed juicery with three locations along the Wasatch Front.

#20: Sugar House Distillery - The craft distilling movement


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.

Join us.


Sugar House Distillery

2212 West Temple, #14, Salt Lake City




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