Starting tomorrow, we are proud to announce that we will be on draft at East Liberty Tap House.
Take a look at the beverage racks at your local grocery and liquor stores. You may notice that the beer selection has greatly expanded over the last couple of years. This is due to a massive resurgence in the the popularity of craft beer; there are currently over 5300 breweries operating the United States, according 2016 data that’s provided by the Brewers Association. There have never been this many breweries in our fair land, and the last time we were even close to this number was back in 1873, before monopolies and, later, Prohibition managed to kill off what was a vibrant beer culture.
Utah has not been immune to this resurgence, despite our arcane liquor laws. Our growth in the craft beer market has lagged behind other states over the last decade or so, but Utah’s industry is catching up, and and we’ve finally gotten our second wind.
How much growth? So far since 2016, Utah has already seen the rise of three breweries: Talisman, Fisher and The RoHa Brewing. To finish out 2017, we may likely see an additional four breweries open up shop: Kiitos, RPM, Saltfire and Toasted Barrel. Kiitos Brewing Co.—the name, pronounced “kee’-tos,” means “thank you in Finnish—looks to be the next. Owner Andrew Dasenbrock has been managing dozens of obstacles and roadblocks over the last two years to bring his dream project to life. Thankfully, he persevered, because he/we all get a brand new brewery out the deal.
Every brewery has its niche; some do IPAs, some do low-point beers. Kiitos is shooting for green beer. No, not that shit you drink on St. Patrick’s Day. I’m talking beer that is made with as little impact on the environment as possible. What makes this brewhouse unique from other traditional breweries is its use of a high-efficiency brewing system (HEBS) with the ability to squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spent grains that are used. This cuts down on the amount of weight and waste, not to mention the savings on water.
All of these cool gadgets are great, but at the end of the day what we are really looking for are the beers that will be eventually be making their way into our tummies, this is the part where the brewers come in. Helming that big brewing machine is head brewer Clay Tunbow, who has been a member of Utah brewing community for quite a few years, first with Epic Brewing Company and most recently with 2 Row Brewing Company. Tunbow’s familiarity with our market provides Kiitos with technical expertise that will help them navigate Utah’s two beer worlds: the high-point and low-point alcohol game.
The plan for Kiitos will be to debut with three different 4 percent ABV beers. As early as next week, you’ll be able to purchase cans of Kiitos Pale Ale, Blonde Ale and Amber Ale. If all goes according to the beer gods’ plans, you should be able snag six-packs at Kiitos’ beer store (608 S. 700 West In SLC) by the third week of September. Dasenbrock and Tunbow aren’t content just to sell you their session beers; they’ve also got plans to get you the higher-alcohol stuff by December. At that time, look for IPAs, Porters, stouts and any other beer style that they can come up with.
Keep checking back here for more updates on this new brewery, and all of the other breweries that are making their way to a pint, chalice or stein near you. As always, cheers!
Kiitos Brewing Company has finally overcome it’s many hurdles and is ready to go online this morning. Owner, Andrew Dasenbrock‘s dream project has been in development hell since late 2015. The setbacks he’s endured would be enough to force anyone to throw in the towel, luckily for us Andrew has persevered, because he/we all get a new brewery out of the deal.
Andrew has teamed up with Brewer, Clay Turnbow – formerly of Epic Brewing and most recently 2 Row Brewing. Clay knows our market very well and is adept in Utah’s low-point and high point worlds.
When Utah’s greenest brewery fires up this morning, the first beer will be a blonde ale. In the coming days we’ll throw some more details your way. Other beers, opening date, etc. So join me in officially welcoming Utah’s newest brewery to the block.
If you’re not familiar with Kiitos’ story? here’s some good background info on the brewery.
Oh, just in case you’re keeping score, that’s three new breweries to open in SLC so far this year (Fisher, RoHa and Kiitos). RPM, SaltFire and Toasted Barrel are all on deck and are set to open sometime in late 2017. Pretty cool, eh?
Andrew Dasenbrock and his head brewer are planning to open Kiitos at their new location in the summer of 2017 and start welcoming patrons to test their craft beer. Dasenbrock has taken numerous precautions to ensure that his new pub is as environmentally friendly as possible.
Construction plans were made so they could install a treatment system to limit water waste. This new system ensures that they are only disposing water waste into the public system that is as clean as it can possibly be.
When it comes to the distribution of their beer, Kiitos is definitely in favor of cans. As an environmentally friendly company, Dasenbrock says cans are, “…better for the brewery, better for the beer, better for the planet, and best of all, better for the consumer. Cans are highly recyclable, and require less energy to transport…”
When Kiitos finally opens their nature-friendly doors, patrons will be able to get their hands on a number of specialty ales and lagers that have been masterfully crafted by the brewmasters. There are also some great surprises coming up in the next couple of months that will be sure to catch the attention of any craft beer enthusiast in Utah.
Normally, when I talk about green beer, I’m usually trying to dissuade other would-be craft beer drinkers from steering toward decaliters of mass-produced Saint Patrick’s Day macro beers. You know, the ones that have been dosed with vials of blue dye No. 5. You can imagine my delight when I heard that there’s a new brewery coming to Salt Lake City that’s planning to produce green beers that are more on the environmentally friendly side and less on the chromatically gaudy part of the spectrum. The Kiitos Brewing Company (pronounced ‘ki:tos) hopes that this concept of Earth-friendly brewing will pay off, not only for our planet, but also for the palates of Utah’s beer lovers.
“Being green is something that I’ve always cared about,” says Andrew Dasenbrock, homebrewer and President of Kiitos Brewing. “It’s not always cheap, but whenever possible, I always try to leave as small of a footprint as possible in my daily life. I’d like that to continue in this new enterprise.” Kiitos involves a medium-sized local brewery that uses a HEBS (High Efficiency Brewing System) platform. This is a new, high-end brewing technology that will smoothly produce larger quantities of locally made beer using less water. “It’s also extremely fast,” Dasenbrock says. “It will allow us to brew multiple types of beers per day with much less water than a conventional brew system could.”
The secret of this brewing technology relies on its ability to squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spent grains that are used in the brewing process. “Having this unique ability cuts down on time, weight and waste,” says Dasenbrock. “Combine these benefits with our 100-percent wind-powered facility, and it makes this a very green brewery that’s highly efficient.”
This process is not only efficient in its use of energy, but also leaves behind useful byproducts. Dasenbrock says, “Our waste output will be much friendlier to the environment as well. The water will have a lower PH than most breweries, as well as less solids going into the waste system, and that will save us money.” This is important because their waste fees from the city are based on what they put down the drain. “That’s a part of being green that people sometimes forget about,” he says.
All of this high-tech, super-brewing wizardry is just a cool toy if you don’t have a skilled brewer to utilize it, though. “I’m a homebrewer that’s smart enough to know that my palate exceeds my skills,” Dasenbrock says jokingly. “I got over 200 responses to my ad, including three from China, but the perfect candidate was right under my nose, here in Salt Lake City.”
Dasenbrock’s Head Brewer is Adam Bulson. Bulson is a Michigan guy whose time in the brewhouse has been long and prolific, with breweries that stretch from New York to Oregon. “We clicked immediately, which is real important when you’re going to spend eight to 10 hours a day with someone,” Dasenbrock says. “Plus, he’s got the knowledge and the experience that was integral for this position.”
Bulson’s proficiency and savvy in the brewhouse will come in handy as soon as he begins to shape the direction that the Kiitos brand will take. “We want to make beers that are not only environmentally friendly but will have a noticeable difference in the taste,” Bulson says. “I think the HEBS will get us there.”
He may be right. There are some beers that many brewers will have to shy away from when using conventional brew systems because of the complicated nature of the ingredients. “Grains like rye, wheat and oats are very thick and sticky and are often cut with barley and rice hulls to make them less so in the mash,” Bulson says. “This system will allow us to make beers that are made with 80 percent of these more difficult grains—compared to the more common 20–40 percent that are normally used. This should make a noticeable difference in our beers.”
Highly efficient green beers deserve packaging that reflects all that has gone into them. Keeping with their theme, Kiitos has decided that 16-oz. cans will be their preferred packaging. “Not only are cans more easily recyclable, but they treat the beer better than bottles,” Dasenbrock says. “We also want to use recycled boxes whenever possible.”
Kiitos hopes to debut with 10 beers later this summer, five of which will be year-round offerings. “We are still trying to formulate what those beers will be,” Dasenbrock says. “Adam and I keep going back and forth on what styles will work best. What we do know is that they will be higher-alcohol beers, with some 4-percent ABV beers down the line.”
When the time comes to purchase some of Kiitos’ new brews this summer, you’ll be happy to know that their bottle shop will be able to accommodate not only you but your horse, too! “Our beer cave is going to be massive,” Dasenbrock says. “Four hundred square feet of refrigerated heaven … We’re also planning on a bar area at some point, after we get through all the state’s red tape.”
I’ve been in a lot of breweries and seen a lot of brew systems. Kiitos has overloaded my tiny brain—to the point where I forgot to ask what the hell is up with that name? “‘Kiitos’ is Finnish slang for ‘thanks’ or ‘thank you,’” says Dasenbrock. “My family is from Finland—it’s part of my heritage. Plus, it just sounds cool.”
I predict that there will be a lot of happy, beer-coated tongues out there this summer exclaiming, “Kiitos!” to this new Utah brewery.
Andrew Dasenbrock’s goal is “to make the best damn beer we can.” And he’s got a good headstart. Kiitos Brewing is a trifecta of environmental, social and beer-making concepts. Adjacent to the railyard in the burgeoning Granary District, Kiitos is the brewing, canning and on-site sales location for Salt Lake’s latest microbrewery.
Andrew testifies that he’s been “home-brewing for a few years,” but his humble assertion belies his knowledge of beer science. The real expert though is experienced brewmaster Adam Bulson who moved here from Montana to help launch the business.
Kiitos high-efficiency brewing system (HEBS) is one of 10 in the US, Andrew claims. Investors have also financed other eco-friendly operational choices such as wind-generated electricity. “We will produce beers that no one else can with the lowest environmental impact,” he asserts. Andrew is also is intent on promoting gender equality in the business, and creating “gender-agnostic” marketing.
Production will begin at 5,000 barrels of beer annually, and the plan is to offer an expansive selection of year-round foundational brews augmented by rotating seasonals. The HEBS will allow the team to craft a 100-percent wheat ale, an achievement impossible for other breweries to accomplish, Andrew notes, because the wheat chaff clogs a traditional system.
The business moniker acknowledges Andrew’s maternal heritage. Kiitos means thanks in Finnish, and Andrew is quick to list that for which he is grateful–the planet, the community and, of course, beer. “It’s who we are,’” he says. “We want to be thankful all the way around.”
I love new brewery announcement day. It’s like I’m Vishnu, and I’m in one of those cash tornado machines – flailing and grabbing cash. It’s like I can’t loose! You should probably take a moment and absorb that image… Anyhow, I have the pleasure to announce Salt Lake City newest brewery – Kiitos Brewing Company. Kiitos is the state’s newest entry into Utah’s craft beer scene and is the long time dream of founder and Utah native Andrew Dasenbrock. Their Head Brewer, Adam Bulson, while originally from Michigan has spent the last ten years at various great breweries in mountain towns throughout the United States.
Kiitos will start with a capacity to produce about 7000 barrels per year and will launch with five varieties of ales in 16 ounce cans, and will then introduce additional ales, lagers, and unique brews as time goes on. In short the specially designed brew system that Andrew is currently installing will allow their brewers to produce high quality recipes using much less water and fewer inputs. This will help the brewery keep their environmental footprint lower than most craft breweries in the nation and world. This system will also allow Kiitos to produce highly unique beers that standard systems would choke on, like completely gluten-free sorghum beers, or 100% wheat ales.
Kiitos Brewing is located at 608 w. 700 s. in Salt Lake City. They hope to start brewing by February/March 2016. And just in case your keeping score, Proper Brewing Company and Talisman Brewing in Ogden both have similar timelines.
Pretty cool endeavor, eh? Kiitos looks to be a great addition to Utah’s exploding craft beer scene. Congrats to Andrew and his team!