Can beer help save one of Utah’s favorite bookstores?
A. Fisher Brewing Co. and Ken Sanders Rare Books will find out, as the two Salt Lake City originals are teaming up to produce a line of beer based on the characters from Edward Abbey’s iconic novel, “The Monkey Wrench Gang.”
The series will include six styles of beer, each with a different name, the owners said in a joint news release.
Each of the cans will feature R. Crumb drawings from Abbey’s novel — which Sanders and his Dream Garden Press published as a 10th anniversary edition in 1985.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Ken Sanders Rare Books, which is being forced to move to make way for a new downtown development.
Sanders’ partnership with Fisher Brewing is a natural one, as the bookstore owner collected memorabilia from the iconic brewery. It originally opened in the 1800s, and then was revived by the great-great-grandson of Albert Fisher — and three partners — in 2017.
These will be small releases, the statement noted, so there will be a six-can limit per customer. Here’s a description of each beer in the series and its scheduled release date:
Nov. 28 • The Gang, a West Coast pale ale.
Dec. 5 • George Hayduke, a bitter and bright rye pale ale.
Dec. 19 • Bonnie Abbzug, an East Coast style hazy pale ale.
Jan. 2 • Seldom Seen Smith, a hoppy ale made with three hops, one for each of Seldom’s wives.
Jan. 16 • Doc Sarvis stout.
Jan. 30 • Wrench juniper red ale.
Fire destroys home of Bumbleberry pie
A fire recently destroyed the gift shop of the Bumbleberry Inn — the home of the famous bumbleberry pie in Springdale.
The Nov. 3 fire also destroyed Porter’s Smokehouse & Grill — the Bumbleberry Inn’s on-site restaurant.
“The building has been there for over 50 years and there is a lot of sentiment attached,” the owners wrote on the website. “It is hard for all of us to see it go, but we are so grateful no one was hurt.”
The owners of the Inn said they plan to rebuild — with a tentative reopening in mid-2021.
The lodging portion of the Bumbleberry Inn was not damaged and is accepting guests.
Bonus bucks help downtown business
No place in Utah has taken more of a hit during the pandemic than downtown Salt Lake City — home to more than 250 restaurants, bars and retail shops.
Before the coronavirus arrived, these businesses typically served office workers, patrons of concerts, theater and sports, business travelers and tourists, explained Dee Brewer, executive director of the Downtown Alliance. Today, most employees still work from home and large events remain canceled.
To help these small businesses survive, the Alliance has enhanced its Downtown Dollars gift card program to include “bonus bucks.” Customers who purchase a $50 electronic gift card receive $10 in extra cash, while those who pay $75 can get an additional $25 to spend at participating businesses.
For more details, go to downtownslc.org/dollars.
Best cheese in Utah
Winners in the annual Utah Cheese Awards were announced last week, and Mesa Farm in Torrey was the big winner, coming away with three gold medals including Best of Show and first in the goat/sheep milk category for its Mesa tomme.
The farm also took gold in the soft cheese category with its Crottin.
The competition also included awards for the best accompaniments — like honey, jam, sauces and dried fruits.
Here are the other category winners. For the full list or to order gift packs, visit utahcheeseawards.com.
Swiss • Old World Swiss, Gossner Foods.
Cheddar • White Pine vintage cheddar, Aggie Creamery.
Hard • Aggiano, Aggie Creamery.
Add-ons • Wasatch Back jack, Heber Valley Artisan Cheese.
Exterior rubs • Barely Buzzed and Truffle Hive (tie), Beehive Cheese Co.
Curd • Southwest Fiesta curd, Hollow Farms.
Mozzarella • House burrata, Caputo’s Market and Deli.
Graffiti Bao opens
Graffiti Bao, a fast-casual Chinese restaurant that originated in Las Vegas, has opened its first Utah store inside HallPass — the street-level food hall at The Gateway.
Signature items include dumplings, spring rolls, soups (including pho and ramen), chili garlic noodles and an assortment of bao buns, including the Royal, owner Marc Marrone’s twist on a classic cheeseburger.
Graffiti Bao is one of three food concepts — along with Blaze of Thunder and Beer Zombie — now serving lunch and dinner inside the downtown food venue.
HallPass • 153 S. Rio Grande, Salt Lake City. Open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-11 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
The Salt Lake City Greek Orthodox community is selling trays of baklava for the holidays. A 13-by-9-inch pan of the traditional nut-honey-phyllo treat is $50. Order at gocslc.org or 801-328-961 before Nov. 22. Pick up on Dec. 15 or 16 from 2 to 7 p.m. at Holy Trinity Cathedral, 279 S. 300 West, in Salt Lake City.