I’ve never looked at an old meat packing plant and thought, “Hmm… a brewery would fit nicely in there.” But then again, I’m not Trent Fargher! Trent is the owner, brewer, and wearer of many hats at Shades of Pale Brewing Company in Salt Lake City, Utah. Success is difficult to achieve without a visionary like Trent, who cannot only see the beauty beneath the dirt and grime, but can also make everyone else see it through passion and elbow grease. Who do you know that can turn a meat packing plant into a charming brewery hangout?
Creating a place where people want to spend time seems to be the goal at SOP. Trent and company have crafted tables, chairs, and space dividers from pallet wood to make their tap room at 154 W Utopia Ave cozy and inviting. And look at these adorable branded pallet coasters! To make the place even more inviting, they offer a variety of board games and a dart board for your entertainment. They also host a game night on the last Thursday of each month for you game types!
The SOP tap house hosts more than just game nights. They have 8 different events planned for the next two weeks starting this Sunday! If you haven’t committed yourself to a Pie and Beer Day celebration yet, consider heading over to the SOP tap room for tasty festivities. Keep tabs on what’s coming next through their facebook page.
At the heart of all the events and pallet wood is the beer. The beer is why they come, why they stay, and why they return. Everything else is icing on the cake. And who wants cake without icing? I was able to try six of their draught beer offerings, all of which were at the legal limit of 4% ABV. SOP is not yet able to serve their high point beer because of their license limitations. However, that may soon change if they’re able to acquire one of six club licenses up for grabs this month. It’s just a waiting game at this point.
This is what I tried on draught…
Jack Wagon Wheat
Cream of wheat aromatics accompany flavors of light grains and a fluffy body, followed by a slightly bitter finish.
The gently sweet malt character plays well with the smooth body and modest bitterness. It’s a great summer go-to!
Ready To Fly Amber
Hints of sweet pie crust are balanced by an earthy hop bitterness. Consider this the gateway beer for malty beer lovers to start considering pale ales and IPAs.
Dank, piney, citrusy hops push an aggressively bitter flavor. There’s a touch of malt sweetness on the front, but the finish is dry like tree bark (in a good way!).
Aromas of cold brewed coffee foreshadow flavors of bitter, dark chocolate. It’s silky smooth, and incredibly drinkable on a 100 degree day.
Forté White IPA
Fruity fermentation characters join hands with tropical hops to bring flavors and aromas of sweet pineapple and mango. Firm bitterness pushes the fruit-fest out of the way mid-palate to remind you this is, in fact, a white IPA.
Their high point beer can be purchased to go through their tap room, or from the DABC liquor stores.
Despite the limitations, you do not have to order food in order to have a beer. You can come in, belly up to the bar, and sip some suds without being suckered into buying food you don’t want. And if it is food that you want, there are several options nearby including take out from Pat’s BBQ and delivery from Jimmy Johns. You can always bring your own food, too!
Aaaaand there’s a patio. Patiooooo!!! Everyone loves a good patio. SOP’s patio comes complete with shade, more pallet wood creations for you to sit on, and even mist to keep you and your doggie cool while you enjoy the summer.
If you’re still not convinced that you need to get your sweaty ass down to Shades of Pale, let me use these three words…
B A R R E L . A G E D . B E E R .
Did I just hear your keys jingle? Yes, on this very day (7/23/16) they are releasing Hog’s Head Reserve No. 1 and No. 2!!! They are imperial red ales aged in High West rye and bourbon barrels, respectively. Only 80 cases were created, 40 of which have already been sold to local bars. If you do your math correctly, that only leaves about 40 cases for you and me. So what are you waiting for?
Location & Hours
154 W Utopia Ave, Salt Lake City, Utah 84115
Mon: 11:30 am – 6:30 pm
Tue-Thu: 11:30 am – 8:00 pm
Fri: 11:30 am – 9:00 pm
Sat: 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm