There are few things in the brewing world more appealing to Kevin Templin than a small family brewery, with a German name above the door, that serves classic lagers to the neighborhood.
It’s a formula that has ”stood the test of time” in Europe and one that Templin said he hopes to capture when he opens T.F. Brewing in Salt Lake City sometime this fall.
T.F. — which stands for Templin Family — will involve his wife, Britt, his father, brother and several investors, including two parents on his son’s competitive hockey team.
Templin was one of the early players in Utah’s craft beer scene. He came to Utah more than two decades ago to ski but stayed to be the head brewer at Red Rock Brewing Co., a job he has held for 18 years.
During that time, he watched the state’s brewing scene grow from just two breweries — Squatters/Wasatch and Uinta — to 23 and counting.
“Red Rock treated me well,” he said.
But it was time to do something of his own, he said. “I wanted an opportunity to do my thing. To have total freedom.”
Templin is not going far. He bought an old auto repair shop, at 935 S. 300 West, between a tire shop and a barbecue restaurant in the up-and-coming Granary District. The brewery will include a 15-barrel brewhouse, a tavern and beer store, space for barrel aging, tastings and private events, and an outdoor patio.
Red Rock replacement
Replacing Templin at Red Rock Brewing is Kevin Davis, a New York native who has more than 20 years of commercial craft brewing experience, most recently at New Belgium Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, Colo.
New Belgium was a much bigger operation, producing 950,000 barrels of beer in 2017, compared with Red Rock’s 5,000 barrels, Davis said.
But bigger isn’t always better. At New Belgium, his job had become less hands-on and more analytical, collecting data and troubleshooting, he said. “I’m excited to get back to brewing beer.”
His experience will likely help Red Rock as it moves into the future. The brewery is building a new cold storage facility behind its beer store on 400 West, which will allow it to “store more beer and use the brewhouse more efficiently,” Davis said.
At T.F. Brewery, a major remodel of the building — actually three buildings that are connected — is underway. One of the things Templin insisted on was creating an open space between the brewing area and the tavern.
“I want people to feel like they are in the brewery, they are a part of it,” he said during a recent tour.
While there will be modern brewing equipment, Templin said he’s “old school.” He has restored the building’s original windows and is thrilled at the historic ceiling trusses, which, according to the former owners, were brought in from the airplane hangar in the West Desert that housed the Enola Gay. The B-29 bomber flew over Hiroshima, Japan, and dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on an enemy target during World War II.
Templin said his brewing equipment has already been ordered and manufactured. Before it is shipped to Utah, though, it will make a stop in Nashville, Tenn., April 30-May 3 for the Craft Brewers Conference.
“The company is using it as a showpiece for the conference,” said Templin, who also will take a break from construction to attend the annual event and help judge the World Beer Cup competition.
When the brewery opens, customers can expect to find a wide selection of beers, from ales to stouts on tap and in cans. Lagers, however, will be Templin’s signature offering.
“What I love most are German lager beers,” he said. “There’s a lot of history behind them, and they take a long time so you have to be patient.”
Crisp, clean lagers take more time than ales to produce because after fermentation, they require aging or storing in low temperatures before they are ready to drink. In fact, the word “lager” means storeroom in German.
While Templin doesn’t mind taking his time, Salt Lake City beer fans won’t be as patient and will be eager for T.F. Brewing to open.