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Restaurant Happenings - June 2006

Do the Brew!
By Deirdre O. Keating

Moab Brewery
686 South Main Street
Moab UT 84532
(435) 259-6333

The Moab Brewery is the largest restaurant in Moab. It’s big in size. It’s big in reputation. It boasts a big selection of beer. And it offers a big menu of favorite food items. The only thing that isn’t big about this place is the brewery. It’s a small, personal enterprise of fresh hand-crafted ales. This isn’t just any micro-brewery; this is the Moab Brewery.

Moab BreweryThe Moab Brewery is a local landmark. Even if people haven’t had the pleasure of eating at the restaurant, most are familiar with the first rate brew. The tastes associated with ales sporting the names Derailleur Red and Scorpion Pale are popular well beyond Moab’s borders. Considering that this little-brew-pub-that-could serves beer drinkers in Utah, Montana, Idaho and will soon expand into Wyoming, it’s no wonder they’re getting the Moab Brewery name known in a big way.

The Moab Brewery was established in 1996 by two gentlemen who were well equipped for this type of venture; John Borkoski, who had previously founded a brewery in McCall, Idaho and Dave Sabey, who proudly avows his “appreciation of good beer anywhere.” The Brewery operates under the good guidance of General Manager Mike Miller, Chef Van Hartenstine, and Jeff Van Horn, who sports the enviable title of Master Brewer.

The ales are made right on the premises, as evidenced by the enormous shiny stainless steel vats enclosed by a glass wall along the south side of the restaurant. The elongated brew room is so clean, it literally sparkles. Van Horn began his infatuation with brewing beer at home and found a career in it. Van Horn has been in Moab for years and can not think of another place he would like to be brewing. When he isn’t brewing, Jeff is outside enjoying the Moab sun and fun.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH

Moab Brewery

Pickled Ginger Vinaigrette

1 1/3 cup pickled ginger
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup cider vinegar
2 cups Pomace olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pureé until completely smooth

The Brewery offers eight of its own beers on tap. The ales range in flavor beginning with the lightest, Lizard Light, described as “a classic American ale...golden in color and delicately hopped for a refreshing dry finish.” The darkest beer is the Raven Stout, “an oatmeal stout with plenty of roasted malts....a creamy start and a crisp finish.” The selection also includes a pilsner, a hefeweizen and an amber lager. The Park City Pilsner is brewed with traditional saaz hops for a full flavored ale and the Elephant Hill Hefeweizen is an unfiltered wheat ale which imbues the beer with its traditionally distinctive flavor. Seasonal brews rotate throughout the year. Jeff especially enjoys coming up with ideas for seasonal brews.

The menu of the brewery is designed to offer foods that pair well with the beer. Unlike many brew pubs whose food takes a back seat to the beer, the Moab Brewery runs its restaurant like the food is as much of a draw as the drink. This explains their success.

The copious menu offers a variety of foods, including soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, chicken, burgers and fish. The kitchen incorporates the on-site brews into their recipes, such as the restaurant’s signature item, Beer Cheese Soup. Beer is also blended into the Barley Stout Mustard and the Jack Daniels Beer-B-Q Sauce, which spread over a half-pound burger makes a dynamite accompaniment to a glass of ale.

The Moab Brewery helps diners choose a beer to accompany their meal that enhances the enjoyment of the food, which is particularly reflected in the daily specials. They also offer suggestions in the menu insert, such as recommending the Park City Steamer with the Salmon Dill Ravioli or the Smoked Half Chicken. Miller offers the following general guideline, “Choose a lighter beer such as the Lizard or the Hefeweizen when ordering seafood and a darker ale such as the Scorpion or Pale with beef or pasta.” Although beer is the mainstay of the brewery, wine and liquor are also offered.

The Brewery is located in a sizeable building, which at one time housed a mechanical store. The restaurant has taken good advantage of the sweeping spaciousness of the building, now painted in a soft sandstone and trimmed in natural wood. Although the bar is separated from the restaurant, the dividing walls don’t reach the ceiling, which give both areas the open and airy feeling of an atrium.

The Brewery is decorated with colorful outdoor gear, such as bicycles, kayaks and a hang glider, all borrowed from adventure outfitters around town. The restaurant is large enough to house a novelty jeep, cut in half lengthwise and attached to a half wall with a dummy poking its fabric head out of the driver’s seat. Murals depicting wildlife and red rock scenery contribute to the outdoor adventure atmosphere. An exterior patio allows patrons to enjoy cool desert evenings in the summertime.

In the meantime, Moab Brewery offers plenty to keep customers fulfilled during the winter months. The Brewery celebrates Thanksgiving with several special entrees each year - including the traditional turkey – and they give the first 50 ladies a rose on Valentine’s Day.

Bar specials include $7.00 pitchers on Monday and Wednesday nights; $2.25 pints on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and Triple Nickel wings (15¢ each) on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 4-6 pm.
Moab Brewery also does on and off-site catering. They can create a menu for your special occasion, flexible to your wishes. They cater weddings, reunions, etc and buffet style or served 3-course meals, appetizers, and lunches for groups large or small.

Considering the big selection, the big tastes and the big savings, the Moab Brewery is hard to miss. Summer or winter, evening or daytime, with lots of friends or on a special date, anytime is a good time to do the brew.

The Moab Brewery is located at 686 South Main Street and can be reached at (435) 259-6333. Gear and beer can be purchased on the web at themoabbrewery.com. Entrees range in price from $6 to $18. Beer can be purchased to go by the bottle or growler.

Don’t forget, if you need catering, Moab Brewery can do!

 

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