South Salt Lake could get its third brewery in 2019, the first under new ‘liquor-friendly’ rules

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Owner Mark Medura and head brewer Chris Detrick at the location of what will be a new brew pub at 2496 S. West Temple in South Salt Lake.

South Salt Lake — which recently changed its liquor laws to be more welcoming to alcohol producers — could get its third brewery in 2019.

The new brewery, which does not yet have a name, still needs to get federal, state and local licensing and approval, owner Mark Medura told The Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday.

It will be in a warehouse Medura bought at 2496 S. West Temple, next to the South Salt Lake water tower, which is visible from I-15.

Medura, a former vice president for Park City’s High West Distillery, said the brewery “is still in the planning and design stages” and likely won’t be open until early 2019.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) A new brew pub is planned for this former warehouse at 2496 S. West Temple, next to the South Salt Lake water tower.

In addition to the production facility, Medura wants to include a tap room, a package agency retail outlet and a wood-fired pizza restaurant.

“It’s been my personal dream to work for myself and follow my passion,” said Medura, who left High West in 2016.

He has hired Chris Detrick to be the head brewer. Detrick is well-known in Utah’s home-brewing circles, having won numerous state and national awards. His Double Rye IPA, which won a first in the Beehive Brew-off, was one of the first collaboration beers produced with Uinta Brewing Co. under its Cahoots label.

Detrick also worked with Epic Brewing Co. on a Jack Mormon Coffee Stout. He will leave his job as a photojournalist for The Salt Lake Tribune, a post he has held since 2005, later this month.

If all goes as planned, the new brewery would be the third in the neighborhood — not far from Shades of Pale Brewery and SaltFire Brewing Co., which is expected to open this spring. South Salt Lake also is home to Sugar House Distillery and Dented Brick Distillery.

A series of new city laws helped give Medura the confidence to go ahead with the brewery project.

In December, the South Salt Lake City Council, led by outgoing Councilman Johnny McConnell, repealed a series of old, restrictive liquor laws in the hopes of attracting more breweries, distilleries and wineries — and ultimately revitalizing parts of the city.

The most significant change was eliminating the quota for breweries within city limits. Previously, the city allowed only one for every 10,000 residents. The city already had met the cap with Shades of Pale Brewery, which received the first license several years ago, and with SaltFire Brewing Co., which was approved in 2017.

The city also removed its five-barrel production minimum, which limited smaller brewers getting started in the business. (One barrel equals 31 gallons.)

“The council is really being proactive about bringing businesses into the area,” said Medura. “We’re super excited about that.”