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Offset Bier Co.: local beers for locals

PARK CITY, Utah – Every decision behind Offset Bier Co. is exceptionally thoughtful and intentional. Co-founder Conor Brown is a self-proclaimed marketing and branding nerd, while partner Patrick Bourque is the head brewer with the professional know-how. The pair bonded over home brewing, and the idea to open a small locally-minded brewery came to fruition and officially opened its doors in September

Brown has worked in almost every position with ski equipment manufacturer Tecnica and Blizzard for over 20 years. He has been homebrewing for five years as a passion and creative outlet. Bourque has been a brewer and head brewer for just under a decade with Uinta Brewing, Salt Fire Brewing, and Ogden River Brewing.

“We’re obsessed with how we present our beer and with foam,” said Brown. “Every pour has a really nice thick head and we’re trying to do everything with a purpose and present the beer in the best way.”

The name Offset is more than just branding; it encompasses the goals and concept of the microbrewery. From its inception, the duo wanted to offer something different to Parkites than a typical brewery. Even the beers are embodied in the name. The “Offs” (or one-off) beers are impression beers like sours, punchy tropical LIPAs (lie IPA, hence the 5% abv), and hoppy. The “set” beers are the standard or simple go-to beers, or what they call the “Bier flavored Biers.”

“[The set beers] are the ones that we as brewers obsess over because those the simplest beers are often the hardest ones to make,” said Brown. “You can’t add a ton of hops or a ton of fruit, and you can’t mask anything. If you screw it up, it’s blatantly obvious. Those are the beers that brewers really like to make. They’re also the beers that the average person really likes to drink. [The off beers] are where craft beer has always been going; it’s all about in your face hops, bitterness, sourness, or flavor that’s intense. And that’s what a lot of people are looking for. Those are designed to be much more provocative and blow people away with an aroma or flavor.”

Brown even designed the labels and cans to represent the beer the lies inside. The set beers have a straightforward label; you know what you’re getting. The off beers have funky text or bright colors to indicate a more enthusiastic experience.

The names of each beer represent what the drinker should experience. Dopo, the house beer, is Italian for after and should be enjoyed after work or a day on the mountain. Divi, named after the tropical divi-divi tree grows along with the wind patterns in its environment, offers bright tropical notes. Roto, named for a classic Marker binding, is the classic hoppy L IPA.

These seemingly innocuous four-letter words with repeating vowels is just one example indicating the level of thought behind every detail at Offset Brewing. Even the glasses are etched (called nucleation points) to release carbonation to maintain a healthy head on the beer.

Gather 'round for a pint after work or a long day adventuring.
Gather ’round for a pint after work or a long day adventuring.

Being in the alcohol business, Brown felt the desire to counterbalance the potentially adverse health effects of drinking. The brewery has started a run club and plans to host other active events and give back to the community via donations to local nonprofits.

“[We want to] promote exercise, get people together and go for a hot lap down the bike path or on Lost Prospector,” said Brown. “We’re trying to engage more people in getting out and exercising. We plan on donating a lot of the profits from some beers to a local nonprofit that helps facilitate all the awesome outdoor activities we have. We want to be a bigger part of the community and give back as much as possible.”

When you walk into Offset, you’ll find modern, subdued Scandinavian décor, some cozy egg chairs, a few tables and chairs, and of course, the bar from which the nectar flows. More importantly, you won’t find any televisions because Offset wants to keep guests in the moment and talk with each other.

Offset is located off of Bonanza with other small businesses and artisans. It caters to locals who don’t necessarily want to hang around Main Street with its high pricing and parking challenges. The brewery space is on the small side and doesn’t have any plans for large-scale growth.

“This model of being small, we can sell direct to consumer, provide people with fresh beer all the time, interact with the person that’s buying our beer, and educate them,” Brown said. “I think a lot of people don’t understand how fragile beer is. So, it allows us to communicate with the end consumer, but also create, and curate an experience as well.”

Where the brewing magic happens, in these 210-gallon fermenters.
Where the brewing magic happens, in these 210-gallon fermenters.

 

From the brewing standpoint, the duo is constantly experimenting. They have five small-batch fermenters with which they divide batches and use different hops and techniques to create unique flavors. During a typical week, two batches are brewed in their 210-gallon fermenters to have a consistent flow of the freshest beer.

“We have pretty modest aspirations of trying to provide Park City with fresh beer and a cool place; that’s really the goal. I think if we could do that, then then we’ll be successful.”

It’s easy to see the creativity and sincerity in every pour of beer and behind every decision at Offset, from the nucleation points to the polite refusal of flight offerings. Offset Bier is a mindful addition to Park City’s small business community and a welcome addition to the locals’ handbook.

 

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