A group of skiers sat at the bar in the Rooster's B Street Brewery and Taproom, exchanging war stories about their big pow day up at Powder Mountain. On the brightly colored chalk board were the beers of the day, most brewed up in the huge tanks behind the taproom. It was a boisterous atmosphere with a nice blend of skiers, snowboarders and just plain locals all enjoying the lifestyle of the sport.
A century ago Ogden was the crossroads of the west as a vital rail junction. Today, it's revitalized as a ski town with 25th street downtown teeming with restaurants and bars, and the outdoor industry calling Ogden home. At the core of Ogden's energization is Kym Buttschardt of Rooster's Brewing Company, who lives and breathes her community.
Kym Buttschardt stands high atop Snowbasin with Strawberry in the background in a stunning alpine scene.
In the past quarter century, a renaissance has turned Ogden into a thriving ski town. Taking full advantage of the 2002 Olympic leadup, two pioneering mayors and business leaders like Buttschardt, rallied the town. New and innovative tourist-oriented businesses opened downtown. And Ogden became a calling card for leading ski and outdoor industry brands who moved their national operations to the outdoor-oriented town.
What was the catalyst for all of this? It's a community that thrives on outdoor recreation, from biking to hiking to kayaking and skiing. From the heart of downtown Ogden, you can drive to Snowbasin, Powder Mountain or Nordic Valley in about 30-35 minutes. Or, take the bus.
In this week's podcast with Ogden skier, entrepreneur and community leader Kym Buttschardt, you'll learn:
What did you find interesting about skiing when you started out as a young girl in Ogden?
Just the freedom of it - the total freedom of it. And just kind of the coolness and I still feel like that as a 50-something year old woman. I just still get such a rush from being outside and breathing the cold air or sitting in the sunshine.
Snow-covered Mount Ogden frames a gorgeous sunset with Rooster's and 25th Street in the foreground.
Mar 22 2021 / Ogden
Famous 25th Street, looking down towards Union Station, is the epicenter of the ski town of Ogden.
Mar 22 2021 / Ogden
Photo Bryan Butterfield Mar 22 2021
How have you seen downtown Ogden evolve since you opened before the Olympics?
We were young, in our mid-20s. We were kind of one of the ones who planted our flag. And then what's happened on 25th Street since then is just beautiful to my heart. I love walking out, looking up at the mountains, looking at my neighbor restaurants and friends around there. There's something very special about it.
How did the community engineer this renaissance?
It really was a combined recruiting effort. We do a lot with a little up here in Ogden. Mayor Godfrey, at the time, had decided, with the input from residents, that the vision of our town was going to be an outdoor adventure place. The GOAL Foundation was born right after the Olympics, which is a big thing for us up here. It's a volunteer organization that can bring all those wonderful events and support them with volunteers. "We just got together with our friends and said, 'how are we going to make this happen?' And we did it together and keep doing it together today.
Join us for a beer in the ski town of Ogden in this episode of Last Chair: The Ski Utah Podcast presented by High West Distillery on your favorite podcast platform. Subscribe to get first access to every episode.
Brewmaster Steve Kirkland was employee #1 when Rooster's first opened its doors in 1995. The Chicago-area native still wears a Bears mask but has long settled down in Utah, recognized as one of the best brewers in the state. He made a nice selection of six beers for Last Chair.
GOAL Foundation: Get Out and Live
One of the legacies of the 2002 Olympics and Paralympics in Ogden is the GOAL Foundation. It was designed as a catalyst for Ogden's outdoor lifestyle, galvanizing the community and volunteers to support outdoor events. Nearly two decades later, it continues to thrive.
Tom Kelly: One of the beauties of doing your own podcast is you have the opportunity to pick the programs and we are yet again at another tasting this week. Today, I am in Rooster's B Street Brewery and Taproom here in Ogden, Utah, and I should say this ski town of Ogden, Utah. And with me today is Kym Buttschardt. And Kym, thank you for joining us on Last Chair.
Kym Buttschardt: My pleasure. I'm happy to be here and chat.
Tom Kelly: So we're going to talk a little bit more about beer later. We're going to do a tasting down at the bar. But I have to say my first impression, I've been coming to the 25th Street location of Roosters for many, many years. But this taproom is unique. There's really nothing like it here.
Kym Buttschardt: It's pretty special. And I love that you've been coming to Ogden for a long time. That means you're a hip guy, Tom.
Tom Kelly: Well, I don't know if I'm a hip guy, but we've always enjoyed Ogden. And I moved here in 1988. And Ogden was a town we discovered fairly early on. And it's been fun to come here over the years and it really has grown up as a ski town. We're going to talk more about that in a little bit. But just to give us a little bit of a primer, why don't you kind of run through just a little bit of history on Roosters? I know you started on 25th Street, have a couple of other locations and this being the newest one.
Kym Buttschardt: Yep. We opened our first location on 25th Street in 1995. So we're celebrating 25 years, well actually pandemic 25 years on 25th Street. And we opened our second location in Layton 15 years ago. And then our place out here, Roosters B Street Brewery and Taproom is a totally different concept than what we've done in our other places where much more beer focused. We have a big, you know, we built a big building out here in West Ogden. We have a big production brewery and a super cool taproom with the best of my husband's kind of bar food. So we have delicious food out here, which and we have all crowds, all ages and our beers getting out there. And it's really exciting.
Tom Kelly: I will tell you that I had a little lunch today here, decided I thought I was going light. You warned me, though, in advance. I had the calamari taco and a fish taco. Tell us about that calamari taco.
Kym Buttschardt: The calamari taco is awesome. So it has a little bit of ranch, but it has our buffalo sauce. Pete's kind of known for his really flavorful sauces on all kinds of things. I think you guys had the nachos with all the salsas and that's like crispy calamari and a corn tortilla and it's delicious. And I get it like every time I come out here, which is good that I don't come out here as often because I would eat one every day.
Tom Kelly: You know, I want to get into your background a little bit, but first just connect, if you could, what's the importance of food and beer and drink in the hospitality aspect of the lifestyle of skiing and snowboarding?
Kym Buttschardt: Well, I think that the lifestyle of skiing and snowboarding is a whole ecosystem. From the time that you get up on those fresh tracks or groomers and, you know, you're with all your friends and then you meet up for lunch or you meet for an afternoon beer and hopefully have a Rooster's beer on Snowbasin or Powder Mountain patio. But, and then it's just all about the lifestyle afterward. And we love it. I mean, I love all the, you know, the skiers have found us here at all of our places. And they just want to keep the camaraderie going. And they're hungry. They've expended a bunch of calories. And to be able to come to a place that's warm and welcoming with people who live the lifestyle like our staff and our company does, it's a pretty special tie in all the way around.
Tom Kelly: Kym, you grew up right here in Ogden. Tell us about growing up here. It was a much different town then, but how much did skiing factor into your youth here in Ogden?
Kym Buttschardt: It was so fun to ski when we were young so we would go night skiing all the time at Powder Mountain. And I have fond memories of that. And then we would take the Snowbasin bus up to Snowbasin on Old Snowbasin Road. We would puke. The Standard Examiner ran a bus up there and we would puke on the way up maybe to the bus would break down. We'd have to walk the last mile you know. But you're with all of your friends, both and my parents were pretty. They, they weren't afraid to let us go and do stuff and they were busy, so they just would drop us off or let us go with friends. Same thing. Nordic Valley. I mean, all three of those resorts are super ... Like that's just part of our whole my whole background growing up here.
Tom Kelly: Just to clarify, the road you're referring to is no longer used.
The lifestyle of skiing and snowboarding is a whole ecosystem. From the time that you get up on those fresh tracks, then you meet up for lunch or an afternoon beer and the apres lifestyle afterward. We love it.
Kym Buttschardt: No longer used although it's a very nice bike, you know, road, bike, road to go up or a place to go hike in the winter. But no, that is that is no longer used.
Tom Kelly: One of the beautiful things of having the Olympics and the downhills were right up here at Snowbasin was the construction of a new road into the resort, which dramatically cut down the drive time. Whether you're coming up from Salt Lake City, Park City or even Ogden. And it's a pretty easy shot now.
Kym Buttschardt: It is. And, you know, we and it's definitely on people's radar. People are skiing and others aren't like, oh, you've got to go to Snowbasin. And it's it used to be so far to get up to Snowbasin or Powder Mountain. But with that road It's just not with Trappers Loop Road and then the road on up to Snowbasin.
Tom Kelly: So what did you find interesting about skiing when you started out as a young girl in Ogden?
Kym Buttschardt: Just the freedom of it. Just the total freedom of it. My dad worked at a sports store, so he was way into it. And just kind of that the coolness and just being and I still feel like that as a 50 something-year-old woman, I just still get such a rush from being outside and breathing the cold air or sitting in the sunshine. I prefer a really snowy day, but I don't mind a nice, perfect grammar day like you had it Snowbasin last week either. And I had at Powder Mountain and I mean, I ski, you know, Snowbasin is my home resort. But holy goodness, Powder Mountain is lovely. I had a wonderful day there a couple of weeks ago and it just reminded me how much I love it up there as well.
Tom Kelly: So we're doing this podcast in kind of earlyish to middle of March. How many days do you have in so far this year?
Kym Buttschardt: I think I have 30, but combined, not also based on I mean, I'm a member of Ski Utah, so I take advantage of that. I've been up to Sun Valley and I think I have 30, which for a working mom and business owner is a lot.
Tom Kelly: Let's go back to Roosters and particularly 25th Street over the years and I know the Olympics was a big catalyst for this. Ogden has really evolved. 25th Street right now is one of the most, I would say, famous streets and ski towns across America with the development that's gone on there. You were one of the first in that kind of new wave of lifestyle that was breathed into 25th Street in downtown Ogden.
Kym Buttschardt: We definitely were. And we were young. I mean, we were in our 20s, mid-20s. And know, you and I were talking about this because we are kind of one of the ones who planted our flag. And then what's happened on 25th Street since then is just beautiful to my heart. I really I love, like walking out, looking up at the mountains, looking at my neighbor restaurants and friends around there. And it's just there's something very special about it. But it took a good while. The Olympics were the catalyst, really, but I wanted to share one of my best memories. So in 2001, which I just figured out, I was asking some friends, it was literally twenty years ago, that's when we hosted the World Cup. And I have pictures of my cute son. He's 20 buff guy now, Philip, seven months old in a backpack. We were up there watching Daron Rahlves and Hermann Meyer, but it snowed like twenty seven inches so that, you know, that races had to be delayed. But also because along with World Cups, as you know, in other towns, they have these big celebrations. And that's what you and your gang really wanted to do, is have a big celebration. So they had a big parade downtown. They had Earl Holding up in the top of the Clydesdales, the carriage and all of the skiers. And they had tons of people downtown and fire pits. And I mean, it was really the first and tons of snow. And I had you know, I had two sons at the same time. My best friends had a couple of sons and we had a Huey Lewis and the news concert outdoor on the plaza at Union Station. And that was really when I got a glimpse and my friends up here of what really what our downtown potential was. There still wasn't a lot of businesses up and then but more than there were in 1995. And I just look back and I think that's exactly how it is now. Like it's like this dream come true.
Tom Kelly: It really was. I mean, it was like a template was laid out for you. And then over the succeeding years, more and more businesses filled in on 25th Street
Kym Buttschardt: And more and more authentic businesses like these are owner operator. You know, not most of them all are very, very special neighbor businesses.
Tom Kelly: Yeah, they really are. I talked with Mayor Caldwell,
Kym Buttschardt: My dear friend.
Tom Kelly: Your dear friend, a year ago. And we talked a lot about this revitalization, but a lot of things were going on in Ogden in those years, not just the 25th Street, but also the influx of the equipment industry to the community, the outdoor equipment industry.
Kym Buttschardt: Yes. Salomon, Atomic Suunto eventually. Yeah. And, you know, it really was a combined recruiting effort. We do a lot with a little up here in Ogden, you'll hear me say that. But it's because we we utilize each other's resources. So, you know, Mayor Godfrey at the time had decided that the vision of the with a number of factors, the vision of our town was going with, you know, input from us as residents was going to be an outdoor adventure place and just even the recruiting of the company of those brands. And we all just kind of worked together. I donated my restaurant space. You know, you got friends who hosted people, you know, on the recruiting effort. And the GOAL Foundation was born right after the Olympics, which is a big thing for us up here. It's a volunteer organization that can bring all those wonderful events and support them with volunteers. So there's so many people that we just got together with our friends and said, how are we going to make this happen? And we did it together and keep doing it together at.
Tom Kelly: You know, one of the hallmarks of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City was the legacy that it brought to all of the communities around the world. Absolutely. The GOAL Foundation was one of Ogden's pride and joy projects. Talk to me a little bit more about how that has brought a legacy here to the community in Ogden.
Kym Buttschardt: The GOAL Foundation - get out and live - I'll give you the acronym. Literally has changed the trajectory of this community for the residents, for visitors. It's like we hang our hat on this, get out and live life style. And it's been it's everything that gave us self-esteem. You know, everybody comes to everybody gets self-esteem around working together. And so if you're, you know, cheering someone on after a 26.2 marathon or an extra triathlon, it combined with what the city was doing, what the businesses were doing, us being discovered, it just it gave our town a sense of soul. And then everything else kind of came around and continues to come around. It is still very viable. We have youth programs. We have programs for, you know, people just getting into learning to hike or learning to play baseball or, you know, it's just I get so emotional about it because it's such a special it's such a special legacy in this town. And it was because we all got together right after the 2002 Olympics in July of 2002 and decided, what do we want? What legacy do we want the Olympics to leave in our town of Ogden.
Tom Kelly: Kym relative to skiing and snowboarding, are there more kids getting involved in it now with this program?
Kym Buttschardt: So much more. I mean, and just everything and running in. You know, that's how my kids became runners, basically, and hikers and the do tours. And I just all of these things like, you know, bringing people up to spectate, we call it, you can either volunteer, donate, spectate or participate. And as you know, time in your life, at one time, you might be a spectator. One time you might that might motivate you to be a participant and your knees hurt. And then you're a volunteer. And definitely obviously donating is a big thing up here. We're a generous community. We have a lot of resources, but we are a generous community with our time, treasure and talent.
Tom Kelly: Kym, you yourself have also been very involved, not just with the GOAL Foundation, but with.
Kym Buttschardt: Lots and lots of stuff.
Tom Kelly: We can do a whole podcast on the list of mass Kym's been involved with. But what are the things that you've done within the community, within the county, within Ski, Utah, that have really brought gratification to you and what you've been able to give back to the sport?
Kym Buttschardt: Gosh, I've done a lot of stuff, but I would say really rolling up my sleeves and helping the GOAL Foundation get off the ground. I served on the Utah board for seven or eight years and I went to everything I get. I say yes to something. I show up, you know, and I rarely miss a meeting. And I feel like really understanding, you know, that the ski community, which rolled me into the Utah Office of Tourism Board and which has rolled me into the whole tourism for the state. And those are those are some really I mean, I've been a lot of other things. And one that's really also special to me is serving on the Weber Basin Water Conservancy Board, because that's totally not with this. But obviously, water management, our climate, all of that is very important. And those are probably my biggest and but more than anything else, just because I love people, I love connecting people. And it is an ecosystem within tourism, within the ski and snowboard community. And it's I'm grateful to be a part of all of that.
Tom Kelly: One of the things that I've noticed over the years with folks in Ogden, yourself included, is there's a lot of local pride involved here. This is a unique community and you guys are proud of it and you're proud to be attracting more skiers and snowboarders here.
Kym Buttschardt: What I think is so special about that is because I think that I said that before we had our children and my husband like we're going to make this town a place because we did struggle with an identity when the railroad left. I mean, as a lot of communities do when you're big, your economic center leaves. There was many years and we're just like, hey, we choose Ogden and we're going to plant our flag. And to me, that's I'm so proud that the self-esteem of a community has risen. And it's the younger people, too. To me, it's all about the younger people. I am like when I kind of got on the scene, I thought we were kind of part of it, somewhat dying town. But I'm not in charge anymore. Like there are people that are way smarter, younger, hipper, using all of our skills and resources. And I just have you know, we just happen to have the great gathering spaces for him to get it all done.
Tom Kelly: Well, it's an amazing place where with Kym Buttschardt at Rooster's B Street Brewery in Ogden. And we're going to be right back after this break. And we're going to talk more about Ogden Snow Basin, Powder Mountain, Nordic Valley and the great ski and snowboard opportunities we have just a short distance away. We'll be right back on Last Chair, the Ski Utah podcast.
Tom Kelly: And we're back with Kym Buttschardt here at Rooster's B Street Brewery in Taproom in Ogden, Utah, ski town of Ogden, Utah. Kym, thank you again for joining us. We want to talk now a little bit more about, first of all, the history of Ogden and then get up and talk about the skier's itself. But Ogden really has quite an illustrative history that goes all the way back to the 19th century.
Kym Buttschardt: Yes, it does. We were I mean, the real you know, that where the east meets the west on the railroad and all trains had to come through Ogden, Utah. And that was a big part of our economy. And that's kind of how 25th Street became its heyday in the old days. And there's still a lot of really cool remnants related to that.
Tom Kelly: Now, we don't think about it so much right now, but there's been a number of mini series on television that have kind of documented the building of the railroad to the west. And Ogden was really central. It was a really primary, a primary junction in the West.
Kym Buttschardt: Yeah, it's super cool. We just had the sesquicentennial for the railroad and Union Pacific and and we had a big community celebration. And so we're really, you know, the younger people and people even like me really got a big dose of history and celebration. And, you know, they did the reenacting of the golden spike. And I always say that we're a gritty town and even our brand, we're gritty town, good people, great beer. But when I say gritty town, I mean, we're a hard working town. But because those are our roots, right? Like that being a railroad town, you know, the bordello is on 25th Street, the underground during prohibition. You know, we just have a really colorful, awesome past and it really lives on.
Tom Kelly: It's in a different character, of course. But I think the town really has that vibe of the great history that it has.
Kym Buttschardt: I think so, too. And in the beginning, when we opened Rooster's, because that was the age of like, you know, chains and malls and whatever, you know, but that's communities have gone away from that. They're restoring their downtowns. They're, you know, embracing these old relic buildings. And we luckily we still have those. And they weren't all, you know, raised because that's what makes us special now.
Tom Kelly: We talked a little bit earlier about the connectivity to skiing. Can you relate now, maybe over the last 20, 25, 30 years how Ogden has become a ski town? What are the characteristics that have really lent it to taking on this new persona of a modern ski town?
Kym Buttschardt: Ok, well, I'll start with the last 25 plus years because that's how long we've been operating restaurants down here. And, you know, we are only 25 minutes from Snowbasin, about 35 minutes from Powder Mountain, probably 25 minutes to Nordic Valley. And so in the beginning, it was just people that ski out here, more locals that ski, you know, people. Ski racer, Spence Eccles, he was a ski racer. And then it sort of started to evolve. And I knew and then obviously when the Olympics came before that. So, you know, well before the Olympics, I was realizing that we are a ski town and we didn't have the infrastructure of, you know, much of the nightlife or the restaurants. But all of that just keeps coming and keeps getting better and better. And then also just our affordability. You know, you can stay downtown, kind of have that downtown fun experience, but then or you can stay in Ogden Valley and have a beautiful winter vacation experience. If you want that mountain destination, you can kind of have both, but it's still very affordable.
Tom Kelly: And to these world-class resorts, how is Ogden being marketed right now by Visit Ogden, are you looking to are you getting skiers coming from around the country to make this their destination?
Kym Buttschardt: Well, I can tell you that our whole winter business model has absolutely changed in the last especially the last 15 years. So, yes, that is definitely one of their pillars. It's not just about selling a convention or, you know, a sports event. It's about the individual traveler come and spend time here because we have this Four Seasons destination. And, yeah, they do a lot digitally. Obviously, there's a lot of park, you know, partnering with Ski Utah, and then a lot of it is just kind of word of mouth. And obviously with the power of social media and review sites and all of that these days, it just does kind of blown up. And I love it. I love seeing looking on 25th Street or out here at Beale Street and seeing a bunch of skis or snowboards on the car. And people are in their beards and hats and drinking a beer. It's it's pretty, you know, eating a really good burger, enjoying themselves. I mean, to me, that's like, OK, we made it, you know, we made it as a ski town.
Tom Kelly: Let's go up to the ski areas now. And you have three uniquely different resorts. Can you tell us a little bit about each one of them?
Kym Buttschardt: Yes, I can. So I'll start with Nordic Valley, which is more of a it's more of the learn to ski hill. It's a little lower elevation, but they also just they have big plans to. Get bigger, and they also just put in this really, you know, high speed, got our high speed four pack that goes high and then Powder Mountain ... I just skied there a couple of weeks ago and like I said earlier, Snowbasin is my home resort. But every time I go there, I'm like, why am I not buying season passes to both? One, because I just don't have much time. But it is it used to be a smaller hill and I have a lot of memories growing up there. But now I mean, there has they have put in beautiful lifts. It is I don't have the acreage and you should fill that in. But there's a lot of a lot of acreage, a lot of unskied and just a beautiful destination. And when people go there and it's different, you know, it doesn't have the lodge vibe like Snowbasin does. So Snowbasin is as we know, we are very grateful to the Holding family for the investment that they made in Snowbasin and around, you know, pre Olympics. You know, we have these we have been so spoiled. Here are these, we have these just world class lodges and the mountain is so beautifully groomed. They have the best team up. It's now based on right now. Davy Ratchford is the general manager and they've had great people over the years, mountain guys, finance guys. But Davy, I call him the Vibe Guy because that they are kind of clicking on all four cylinders and it's just fun to be there. And they have it all. I mean, it's a huge acreage resource as well and just beautiful.
Tom Kelly: Amidst the covid pandemic, they also found a way to manage their 80th anniversary. And I think you've got an example of it right in front of you now.
Kym Buttschardt: Ok, so Tom can see me smiling so big. So I am I what, 30 year pass holder? Our families are all of our boys are we hang all of our ski passes on our Christmas tree from past years. And I'm holding the 80th anniversary Snowbasin Pale Ale established in 1940. And to me, because we all are we are all about partnerships like this one's a big one for me. I mean, I have always claimed Snowbasin and we don't always get claimed by snow on because maybe we weren't cool enough. But now we are. We're totally cool.
Tom Kelly: And you're definitely cool enough now.
Kym Buttschardt: Definitely cool enough. And it's a great beer. It's doing great up at the resort, is doing great in the places where, you know, we can keep it in stock and hopefully we're going to do one with them every year. But it's it's a beautiful can. So hopefully we'll get some image on the what the podcast or how do you do that? You're the blog.
Tom Kelly: We'll have it on the blog for sure. And I think we're going to do a little tasting a few minutes. Yeah. I want to ask you about the graphic on it. I mean, how did you I mean, it's a trail map graphic, but anything innovative in coming up with that idea?
Kym Buttschardt: Yes, it's the Snowbasin trail map. I mean, if you really look closely, you can see all the runs. And obviously, Snowbasin is they consider themselves a Sun Valley resort. So there's the eight and the gorgeous sun, which there's a lot of sun up there and a lot of sun in our town. And I mean, I love that I was up there last weekend and I was talking to the mountain manager and I'm like, is this the best graphic? How can you get a better graphic than the trail map of Snowbasin? Right.
Tom Kelly: So a guy could have this in his pocket on the chairlift and utilize it as a map, right?
Kym Buttschardt: They could. And I, I don't advocate this, but because this is one of the cans that it's wrapped with a sticker like I, I have to admit that I've seen in some of the gondolas that people have taken the sticker off the can and stuck it on the gondola. And I wasn't me, Davy. It wasn't me. I promise.
Tom Kelly: It's it's a badge of honor, though. We're going to be tasting the Snowbasin 80th anniversary pale ale in just a little bit. The it is interesting, as you described, Kym, the character of these resorts is is really so different. I have been up to Powder Mountain. It's been a few years, but.
Kym Buttschardt: It's a very just yeah, there's a very it's a snowboarder vibe. It's a sort of the mountain man vibe you know, those guys those people that don't want a really nice, really nice, although they have great food up there, the coal. But it's been hard for all of them, but they've all adapted and done a wonderful job with it.
Tom Kelly: And there's new ownership up at Powder Mountain over the last some years. Right.
Kym Buttschardt: And they're pretty special. I mean, I can't speak to the details of that, but it's very special what's happening up there. And I'll also give them a major summer shout out. I mean, their general manager, Mark Schroetel, he is just a great guy like Dave, and they are great community partners, you know, for our events, for mountain bike races with the Gold Foundation, we do this. It's called El dose say it's like a 24 hour mountain bike ride that, you know, my boys and they've got some really special things going on up there at Powder Mountain as well. Yeah. If and and Nordic and snow based. And I mean, you know, it's a year-round sport.
Tom Kelly: So one of the things that impressed me, I was overnighting in Ogden a year or so ago, staying at the Hampton Inn right downtown. You can take a bus right from downtown Ogden up to the resorts.
Kym Buttschardt: Yes, there's two different buses that go and they a couple of times a day, they go from the hotels right up to Snowbasin and Powder Mountain. And you can't take there is not bus. Nordic Valley, but how easy is it, throw your skis on. You can go up there if you choose to have a drink after the bus brings you down to your apres or second apres ski. And and then the residents use it to my 16 year old. He is on that bus in the morning and happy to be there.
Tom Kelly: You know, one big element of the Ogden community is the fact that you have a major U.S. Air Force base here with Hill Air Force Base. And I know that there are a lot of skiers and snowboarders out of that group of pilots and other support staff there.
Kym Buttschardt: Yeah. And, you know, I'm we're really tied in with the Air Force. Like when we opened our late in place, we really I got invited to be part of an honorary. I forgot. That's my one other special thing when you asked me what's been special to me. But yes. And a lot of them retire here. I mean, they love skiing and all of the resorts are very military friendly and they get special, you know, special pass pricing and they get their kids up there. And it's a that's why people love to be stationed at Hill for for so many reasons. But then they end up living here, too, which is great, too, because we hate to see them leave, but they retire here.
Tom Kelly: So, Kym, we're going to head down to the bar here in just a minute for a tasting. Can you give me any kind of a preview of what I can expect down there?
Kym Buttschardt: Well, we're going to go down to the taproom. It's just we'll get some photos on there. But it's just like such a fun, colorful place. My brewmaster, Steve Kirkland, he was our original brewer when we opened in 1995. And now he has a whole brew crew. You know, we have a female brewer. We have, you know, brewery out in Layton, and then we have other staff and they really collaborate on what's going on. But Steve is rock solid and you're going to taste, I think, for four or five different beers. I mean, we have more than that, obviously. But I think you're going to ...You want to taste our best seller hands down, it's honey wheat, but I let's ... I'll let Steve tell you about all that.
Tom Kelly: I was just enjoying a couple of weeks ago at home, the blood orange IPA.
Kym Buttschardt: Yep. I don't think you're going to taste that today. That's one honey wheat and blood orange IPA our five percent available in the grocery stores and then we have liquor store beers as well. And of course, you can get anything at Brewsters B Street Brewery and Taproom, seven days a week. We have a beer store there.
Tom Kelly: nd are you also are you brewing at all three locations?
Kym Buttschardt: We brew at all three locations. We used a bottle and we'll do special bottling out there at our Layton location. But we're basically producing at our Ogden location and Layton location for the pubs themselves, although we're doing some seltzers that we're distributing from there. But for the most part, we'll definitely all the canning the production brewery is here.
Tom Kelly: We're going to head down to the taproom right now. Kym Buttschardt, thank you for joining us. We're going to join you down at the bar in the tap room and see what Rooster's has to offer today.
Kym Buttschardt: My pleasure. Thanks, Tom.
Tom Kelly: Well, welcome back, everyone, and this is the most important part of the show here today, because we have now moved downstairs at the end of the taproom here at Rooster's B Street Brewery and Taproom. And with me today is the head brewmaster, Steve Kirkland. And Steve, welcome and thank you for joining us here today on last year.
Steve Kirkland: Thank you for having us. Appreciate it.
Kym Buttschardt: Number one guy.
Tom Kelly: So before we get started on the beers, let's just establish that Steve and I are both from the Midwest, but he's from the Chicago area and I'm from the Wisconsin area. So naturally, he has a Bears mask on today. I don't have my Packers mask on.
Steve Kirkland: Just as well,
Tom Kelly: Just as well. I kind of figured that's what you say.
Kym Buttschardt: I'm a Packer fan to your Packer fan, too. Yeah.
Tom Kelly: OK, excellent.
Kym Buttschardt: Sorry, Steve.
Tom Kelly: So, Steve, why don't you walk us through? We're going to taste we have six beers in front of us right now. I am already starting to think about what some of my favorites probably are going to be. But why don't you get us started? I think we're going to start with the Honey Wheat. Tell us a little bit about it and get us going.
Steve Kirkland: Ok, so, you know, all beers are made from essentially four ingredients water, malted barley, hops and yeast. So you can have dozens and dozens of styles with only those four ingredients. And what makes them unique is how the different malts that you use, the different hops that you use and the different yeast that you use. In our honey wheat, we use very, very light malts and very few hops. So what we're really looking for is the crisp, clean taste and slightly sweet of the honey itself. So we do add honey in this beer that's called an adjunct when you make beer with something other than those four ingredients. And so what we have here, we have our honey wheat and it's very light. It's crisp and you can drink it all day it's very slightly sweet. I wouldn't say, you know, most of that, honey, the sugar in the honey is fermented out, so it doesn't leave a lot of residual sweetness. So but what you're getting is some very subtle malt characters and a little bit of sweetness, but not a lot of hop on this one. Take him. Cheers.
Kym Buttschardt: Where do you get your honey Steve?
Steve Kirkland: Our honey actually comes from Idaho, so it's not that far away. Up in Blackfoot.
Kym Buttschardt: And this is our one of our it used to be called the Bee's Knees and.
Steve Kirkland: It's still Bee's Knees, absolutely Bee's Knees Honey Wheat. And that is our best selling beer.I sell more of that.
Kym Buttschardt: lifetime still?
Steve Kirkland: Yep.
Tom Kelly: I think that's true with a lot of breweries. I'm a big honey wheat fan. I still though don't understand exactly what part of the process do you inject the honey.
Steve Kirkland: It goes into the ... so after you boil your wort. Right. That's where you have this, this sweet malt solution and you add the hops in there for the bitterness. From there it goes into what's called a whirlpool, which which you spin out some of the precipitates that come through in the boil and we add the honey in that. So right before it gets heated up in the whirlpool, right before it hits into the fermenter.
Tom Kelly: That's really tasty. You know, one of the things maybe you guys have some expertise on this. We're doing a tasting here today. We've got six beers in front of us. We have to be able to walk out of here tonight. So how do you pace yourself?
Steve Kirkland: Oh, well, you sip. You sip, you know.
Kym Buttschardt: Tom, you don't have to drink it all. We have big vats for all that stuff.
Steve Kirkland: Everybody thinks that a brewer is just got the greatest job in the world. They can drink all day. Well just like any other job, you don't really get to drink on the job a whole lot. So we sip, we do taste everything we make. We make sure that it's on spec, but we don't sit down and pounded, you know, by any means.
Tom Kelly: Well, it's it's it's really a good one. So we are with the Rooster's Bee's Knees Honey Wheat to kick things off. And where to from here.
Steve Kirkland: Well, so the other. So if the malting company from where we get our malt, they can manipulate the drying process of the malt, the barley to give it varying colors and flavors. So even though we're still using just those four ingredients are red ale, for example, that I'll pour for you now has a lot of what's called a caramel malt in it. So that gives it something of a a brown or red color and a very slightly sweet caramel like flavor. We do add a fair amount of hops in this one to to give it balance. We don't want it to be all malt or all hops. So this is a very balanced red ale, seven percent alcohol. So it is a little bit higher on the alcohol range. Nice ruby color if you hold it up to the light, so it's it's a pretty beer,
Kym Buttschardt: It's a very pretty beer and can I ad lib here? So this one Tom is called the Rude Ram Red Ale. And the Rude Rams are the first flying fighter squadron for the F-35. I told you earlier.
Tom Kelly: Oh, Yeah.
Kym Buttschardt: So they're very proud of this. And obviously every squadron wants a beer, but we just it just happened. It was a beer that we made for them before and now it's in a can. And so I didn't even know that was going to happen.
Steve Kirkland: Did you go up in one of their planes?
Kym Buttschardt: I haven't been in an F-35, but I've flown in an F-16.
Steve Kirkland: Oh, there you go.
Tom Kelly: I don't think they let anybody out on the F-35.
Kym Buttschardt: The F-35 is a single seater, you know.
Steve Kirkland: Did you pick up the caramel malt in there?
Steve Kirkland: This is mostly what malt does for you, it gives you that roasty quality, the caramel quality and that sort of thing.
Kym Buttschardt: Steve, you're kind of a pro. You're impressing me.
Steve Kirkland: Well.
Tom Kelly: Well, he's the brewmaster.
Kym Buttschardt: I know. I think he's my friend. But I forget this is what he does.
Tom Kelly: Ok, where to next?
Steve Kirkland: Ok, so very, very popular style these days are IPAs. IPA stands for India Pale Ale. It's a variation of the pale ale style. Pale ales tend to be somewhat pale in color. The original pale ales were called as such, even though they were kind of an amber almost just because way back when early beers were more of a brown color. So if it was less than brown, it was considered a pale. So pale ale is not necessarily light in color, but it generally is a kind of gold into an amber. But the trademark, a bit of a pale ale is that it's hoppy. So where the red was mostly focused on malt qualities, pale ales are very hop forward and hops can provide fruity character to beer. It can provide a very floral character. So we have a few of them. Of course, the Snowbasin, I think you probably talked about earlier.
Kym Buttschardt: And he's had that.
Steve Kirkland: OK. So you've had the Snowbasin. I can crack it for you anyway because why not have another one is what I'm saying. So this is a the pale ale that we brewed for Snowbasin's 80th anniversary. It's a nice, you know, light lighter color. It is hopped nicely. And I think it's one of our more balanced pales. OK, so it's not super hot forward it you could still get a good malt quality out of that.
Tom Kelly: That's very nice. Pale ales have become really popular.
Steve Kirkland: Hugely. Yeah. They're all the rage right now.
Tom Kelly: When when you were having the discussions, Kym, with Snowbasin on doing an anniversary beer, did you look at different types of beers you might use or did you just decide, hey, we're going to go with the standard?
Kym Buttschardt: You worked with Snowbasin?
Steve Kirkland: I did, that was something they wanted.
Kym Buttschardt: They wanted. And we all wanted a really what would you call it? Drinkable.
Steve Kirkland: Very drinkable. But, yeah, something that you could do a couple runs. Yeah. Go in the lodge or yeah. Wherever they were having it. Right. Have a beer and then go out and do some more without hurting yourself, you know.
Kym Buttschardt: I tell them that I have found some label cans stuck on gondolas and I told them it was not me, ever, I would never deface Snowbasin property.
Tom Kelly: It's very important though. It's it's what's called branding.
Kym Buttschardt: Branding.
Tom Kelly: Well, that was nice. That was nice. Steve, where to next.
Steve Kirkland: Ok, so another example of the IPA. We have our Untamed Juicy IPA, Juicy. It describes the kind of hop you use. So it's very citrusy again, that we don't actually add fruit to this beer. There's no passion. There is no grapefruit, there's no fruit at all. But there is hops that's tasty, exemplifies a very fruity flavor. And so so they call it juicy, like almost like if you're drinking some kind of a tropical fruit juice.
Tom Kelly: So help me understand this, because I'm a big fan of juicy IPAs, big fan of hazy IPAs. What's the difference?
Steve Kirkland: You know, hazy is a kind of yeast that's used that doesn't settle out. And so the actual product has a little bit of a murk to it. It's not a pristine looking, although none of our beers are exactly you know, it's not like you could read your newspaper through them. We do try to clear them up as much as we can, but a hazy is intentionally a cloudy beer.
Kym Buttschardt: So that you see behind Steve. But we have the Rooster Tail Hazy IPA. We're not going to taste that one. But we could you could buy some and take it home. But it's that is a great beer if you like hazies definitely buy some of that and take it home. And this right here, this untamed so so Ogden's kind of branded around this untamed we're an untamed spirit, notoriously independent, blah, blah, blah. So we kind of did this as an ode to Ogden. And this is two actual skiers. This is Snowbasin here. Actually, a lot of people don't know that this is where Strawberry they're kind of hiking up here, the backside of the Moizy, and then that's the Strawberry Peaks over there. So kind of a fun fact.
Tom Kelly: This is one of the most gorgeous cans.
Kym Buttschardt: Hello. I know, right?
Tom Kelly: Who's the artist on it?
Kym Buttschardt: Who did that? Well, the photo is real.
Steve Kirkland: I don't know.
Kym Buttschardt: We have we have a designer that works with our canvas and he does. And he's awesome.
Steve Kirkland: He's done most of our stuff.
Kym Buttschardt: Do you notice that with the two kegs. We went through a big rebrand, when we opened B Street, and it just I feel like we just nailed it with that with the great beer, gritty town, good people, because that's who we are.
But it's not a pretty can I love that. Can't Untamed Juicy I'm sorry, untamed. Juicy IPA. This is a good one. Yeah. Do you like this one. I love this one. This is right in my wheelhouse. That's been a big favorite. The last podcast I did, it was coming off the line with these other two guys and they got to they're like, oh my goodness, you know, that's definitely an oh my goodness.Yeah.
Tom Kelly: Before we go on to the next.
Steve Kirkland: Yeah
Tom Kelly: You were talking to me about the clarity and what the ABC is just it's the.
Steve Kirkland: The appeal to that one is that it is it is essentially unfiltered. It it's not stripped down at all through any kind of a clarification process. It is a little bit hazy. And that attributes more to the mouth feel, too. It gets a little bit more of a coating on your tongue and your mouth. And that in addition to the a lot of hops as well, to give it that characteristic of a hazy IPA.
Tom Kelly: Steve, let's go back to our mutual childhoods. Back in the midwest, I drank Miller Miller highlight never Miller Lite, but Miller High Life. Right. What was your go to back then?
Steve Kirkland: Well, you know, I wasn't. Well, my first brewery that I ever worked in was Sprecher, I don't know if you've heard of Sprecher, not out of Milwaukee, so we were producing predominantly lagers. Now we're doing mostly ales. We do lagers here to our Niner Bock is a double bock. It's a lager. We do a pilsner. So those are some standard lagers that we have. So I kind of cut my teeth on the lagers. And so those were some of my favorites. I drank the special amber that Sprecher made, they had a terrific schwarzbier that was just wonderful. Deep, dark, dark beer times, but very in style, they called it.
Tom Kelly: Times have changed then. I don't know how you differentiated beers in that age. They just all kind of wear the same to me compared to today.
Steve Kirkland: Oh, well, yeah.
Before the craft it was all one basically what they called an American pilsner, which was a watered down version of the of the European style. So, yeah, that's not all. Most American beers were pretty much the same and still are for the most part. Well, thank goodness the craft brewery revolution came along, you know, so. So we have two more to go. Yeah. OK, so sticking with the IPA, we do have our double IPA again, double IPA. Liquor store beer. Yeah. Liquor store beer. The ABC.Yep. And believe it or not, I was at a taste a beer fest and we were pouring Ogden double IPA for people and one of the partiers at the scene said so we're systemis right and WIPA get three guesses anyway in this city is the Berlin Wall.
Steve Kirkland: Right. Exactly. Who's buried in Grant's tomb. Exactly. So the double IPA is all the way up to eight percent. So a double IPA is exemplified by the alcohol content. Most IPA technically should be, you know, at least five percent or more a double IPA. This is up to eight. And we dry hop this beer, which means that we add additional hops post fermentation to give it an additional citrus quality. We use El Dorado hops in this as well as Idaho seven hops, which give it a not only a tropical flavor, but also kind of a piney flavor, too. So you get some real complex hop character in this one.
Tom Kelly: I have a question on hops. One of my favorite is Mosaic.
Oh yeah. Can you tell me a little bit about that.
Steve Kirkland: Yes.
Tom Kelly: Do you use that in any beers?
Steve Kirkland: Oh, yes, our Blood Orange IPA is largely a mosaic hopped beer.
Tom Kelly: Probably. Why I really enjoyed that one.
Steve Kirkland: Yeah, it's a super, super citrusy, very tropical tasting and super. That's probably our second best seller I think behind the honey wheat is that so? It's also a very, very popular beer.
Tom Kelly: Well, I'm a big IPA fan. The double IPA here is a really good one. It is not too bitter. I mean, there's a lot of hop here, but it's not too bitter
Steve Kirkland: That's correct. You know, personally, I like better. I like a lot of bitter in my in my IPAs, but we were really going for more of the tropical flavor that the notes on, on the nose and not so much the bitter on the tongue on this one. This is a good one.
Tom Kelly: And we're down to the last one.
Steve Kirkland: The last one. I just wanted to give an example of, OK, so again, like the honey wheat, if you go beyond those four ingredients, you can create all kinds of different flavors. So I brought out B-Street Blackberry Cream Ale. So as the name implies, we do use a blackberry puree when we make this beer and that goes again post fermentation, it goes right into our bright tank. So it sits on this and goes right from there into the cans. So it's fresh, fresh blackberry flavor, so. Also proven to be very popular,
Kym Buttschardt: Steve, as you're pouring that, I don't ... These are beers are so good and I don't get that to give you a shout out very often. But to have Steve as a consistent brewer of clean beers like our I seriously. So can I just do that, Tom?
Tom Kelly: I think he just did.
Steve Kirkland: Thank you Kym. I appreciate that.
Tom Kelly: You know, the thing I like, Steve, about you and doing this tasting is, you know exactly how to describe the beers. You continue talking and you let the host simply drink beer. And isn't that what it is about?
Steve Kirkland: That's what a host does, right? We're hosting you today and we want you to have a good time. So drink up.
Tom Kelly: Cheers. Cheers. Cheers. Cheers.
Kym Buttschardt: This one is also a DABC Liquor Store. Beer.
Steve Kirkland: That's right.
Steve Kirkland: Yeah, you don't need to, you know, twist my arm too much, sit around talking about beer. So it's been my pleasure really so far.
Kym Buttschardt: Yah, it's so fun.
Tom Kelly: I am generally a little bit mixed on fruit beers.
Kym Buttschardt: So is Steve.
Steve Kirkland: Yes. This is not my go to. But you know what? What we strive for in a fruit beer,
Kym Buttschardt: Funny You should ask.
Is is is a beer with some fruit in it, not a super fruity tasting. Yes, sir. And that's what I write about this. Yes.
Steve Kirkland: So we're going for you know, in our blood orange is it you can taste the blood orange in it, but it's not beating you over the head. Same with the blackberry. We just want you to have a beer that has a little subtle flavor of blackberry in it. And I think we've achieved that.
Tom Kelly: Well, you've done very well. You know, the other thing you've done as you've livened up cream ale a little bit here with.
Steve Kirkland: Yeah, yeah, exactly. A cream is typically a lighter beer as well. And just a nice, creamy, you know, mouthfeel. But we've kept it up a little bit with the blackberry.
Steve Kirkland: Good. Well, Steve Kirkland, thank you very much for this tour.
Kym Buttschardt: Thank you, Steve. Number One employee and partner.
Tom Kelly: Steve Kirkland, thank you very much for joining us on Last Chair.
Steve Kirkland: You bet.
Tom Kelly: Well, Kym, thank you very much for bringing Steve out of the Brewhouse.
Kym Buttschardt: Yea,
Tom Kelly: to serve us a few beers here today.
Kym Buttschardt: He is way better at that than I am. I have learned more on these things than, you know, I have I have a different job here.
Tom Kelly: Well, we're going to wrap things up here in Last Chair with a fun section that I call fresh tracks. And a few what I used to post. This is really simple questions to my guests. But then they come back and say, oh, man, that's really difficult. But hopefully this won't trick you too much. But just what I hope will be an easy one. Again, to start with your favorite ski run here in the ordinary, when you if you've got one like Great Glory run you want to take, where's it going to be?
Kym Buttschardt: My favorite ski run is Sisters Bowl on a powder day off of Strawberry Gondola at Snowbasin.
Tom Kelly: Nothing like that, huh?
Kym Buttschardt: Right. Nothing like it. Not for everyone. But that's a glory. That's a glory run to me.
Tom Kelly: When you get out and about around the state of Utah, do you have another favorite ski area? You like to go when you decide, hey, we're going to take a little road trip today and go somewhere else?
Kym Buttschardt: Well, I love them all, but I love it down at Brian Head too. I mean, just because you're there, it's kind of like being in an old ski town and you're right on the mountain. And I just have fond memories of my kids as little ski racers and cross, you know, just all of it. So I'd say Brian Head, but I love them. This state is fantastic.
Tom Kelly: Kym, you grew up here in Ogden. I know you left for a few years to pursue a business career, but ultimately found your passion right back where you grew up. As you think back to your time here in Ogden over the years, do you have like a favorite memory that is quintessential Ogden?
Kym Buttschardt: I said it a little bit earlier and it might have been cut, but my favorite, just literally for me still is walking out of Rooster's on 25th Street and looking up at those mountains as the sun sets because the mountains are pink. It's time to drink as they're pink. And I look at my neighbors and my community and I'm just like, we live here. That's my passion phrase: we live here.
Tom Kelly: Ok, now let's get down to the really important lifestyle items. Do you have a favorite High West Whiskey brand.
Kym Buttschardt: Oh, I knew you're going to ask me that. The original Rendezvous Rye. I'm not really much of a whiskey drinker, but I love that one. And then Steve's wife, Julie, her favorite is the American Prairie. So love the love both of those. Steve's wife is a big whiskey drinker.
Tom Kelly: Have you guys done any blends or any barrel age?
Kym Buttschardt: Some. We'd have some bourbon barrel aged things. Yeah, I love those. Yeah. OK, that's good to know. I'll let you know when you do another one.
Tom Kelly: You don't have one right now.
Kym Buttschardt: I don't think so. No. Sure to ask the brew man should have asked him. But Caitlin do we have any barrel bourbon barrel age stuff right now. Yeah we just had some.
Tom Kelly: But word is they're all out of it. OK, this one I ask every one of my guests this question for you. It has special meaning, your favorite Utah craft beer.
Kym Buttschardt: Of course, I have to say one of mine, even though there's amazing bears out there. But Steve's one of Steve's originals was a Junction City Chocolate Stout. It's a dark, rich robust stout, has a little bit of a cult following. And it was one of our originals. We don't, can it? It's only in draft, but it is still just a delicious beer.
Tom Kelly: Last question I ask all of my guests: groomers, moguls, glades or powder.
Kym Buttschardt: Powder
Tom Kelly: Powder. Everybody wants to go there. And what's your favorite run again?
Kym Buttschardt: The Sisters Bowl off Strawberry Gondola at Snowbasin Ski Resort.
Tom Kelly: Kym, thank you so much for hosting last year here today at Rooster's B Street Brewery and Taproom.
Kym Buttschardt: Tom, it was so fun. Thank you so much for knowing Ogden. Cheers.
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