Beer is living proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.” - Benjamin Franklin
Beer’s not only made Bowden and her husband Eric happy – it’s made them a living. Starting early next spring, beer is going to make a splash on the Vernal restaurant scene.
That’s when The Vernal Brewing Company, a brewery and restaurant, is expected to open. In addition to brewing and bottling beers to be sold, we host a family-friendly restaurant with patio seating and dining options ranging from comfort food and appetizers to local favorites like trout.Vernal Brewing Company is a great place for families to come and eat, with an array of fresh options.
Growing up in the Vernal area, she said, her dad homebrewed. She and her husband got a homebrew kit for Christmas. That eventually led to the opening of The Bucket, the couple’s homebrew supply store at 510 E. Main.
“We started out as homebrewers with a dream to open a brewery when we retired,” Bowden said. “It escalated from there.”
When finished, the brewery will be a notable landmark among Vernal’s architecture. Babcock Design, the same firm that did the Uintah County Library and Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum, is designing the structure. Construction work has escalated recently, with the frame of the building coming into focus. In the back, a cavernous open space will house the brewery. There, giant tanks will hold the beer destined for bottling, export and for the restaurant. Out front, the restaurant will be light and airy. Outdoor seating is available.
A unique feature of the brewery, Bowden said, is the garden. That garden will allow the brewery to give visitors a literal taste of Vernal. In lieu of a retention pond, the water runoff storage has been moved underground to a specialized system. The space that would have been designated for a retention pond will now house a garden. That’s where the brewery will grow its own hops, vegetables and fruits for the restaurant, Bowden said. To get the restaurant off on the right foot, Bowden brought in Chef Andrew Ballard from the Pacific Northwest. Ballard, who was trained at the Western Culinary Institute and worked nearly every position in a restaurant, has been busy crafting a menu for the restaurant.
“I want people to come to my restaurant and have a great meal, but not be intimidated,” Bowden said.
The brewery will be similar to other familiar breweries in Utah. There, workers will make any of several home-grown varieties of beer. Bowden said she was able to get a manufacturing license for the plant without much difficulty. She also secured a liquor license (the brewery will have a full bar), allowing diners to be served in the restaurant.
Vernal City drafted an ordinance to allow for the restaurant and brewery to operate, Bowden said, praising city staff for their help. She also said the construction superintendent, Larry Allred, with Layton Construction, has helped immensely. The beers they make will all be named after local landmarks or features, Bowden said, hoping to help give the Utah Basin a beer it can call its own.
- Article by Dustin Hughes with the Vernal Express Paper