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Good times on tap at Karlsson Brewing

by: Contributed photo, Brewmaster Jeremy Carlson serves beers at last year's grand opening of the Karlsson Brewing pub in Sandy.

Hobbies are satisfying endeavors for many people, but Jeremy Carlson took that feeling to another level. An avid homebrewer, Carlson made the leap to a full-scale microbrewery, Karlsson Brewing in Sandy, late last year.

Like most homebrewers, Jeremy's first attempts at his own beer were learning experiences. He started with the typical five-gallon plastic bucket, a glass carboy, a little siphon, and all the hope he could muster.

'First couple batches were touch and go,' Carlson said. 'The more you get into it, the more you figure it out. Then when you go to all-grain recipes, it gets get better, and you start thinking, 'Hey this turned out pretty good.''

Jeremy continued to hone and develop his beers, and built a three-tier brewing system in his garage for easier and better production. His father joined in with the hobby, and together they constructed stainless steel fermenters, with a capacity for 26 gallons, to up their homebrewing production.

'(My dad) had five or six taps at his house, and I had three at mine,' Carlson remarked. 'We could never keep everything running all at once, we homebrewing all the time.'

At that time, Jeremy had a hardwood floor business with his father-in-law, but he was tiring of it and his father-in-law was about to retire. Serendipity arrived when Jeremy found some great brewing equipment online and decided it was time to start a microbrewery.

Karlsson Brewery was born, and while the recipes have remained the same, the scale of production did not. Jeremy went from brewing two kegs to 28 kegs with new equipment that provided a better brewing environment.

'Once you figure out figure efficiencies and what's going on with all the valves, it tastes exactly like the old,' Jeremy said. 'My first batch was close (to the homebrew recipe).'

Jeremy's recipes have found many fans in the taproom, which consists of a selection of his own brews and a number of guest taps. His scottish ale has been the best seller, with the pilsner he recently added as a close second. Originally planned as just a spring-time beer, the pilsner has taken off and will remain on tap for at least the near future. A rye beer and two different IPAs (India Pale Ale) have also been well received by customers.

Patrons of Karlsson's tap room and beer fans everywhere will be pleased to hear that Jeremy is planning on some fun and interesting beers to come. One he's considering is a raspberry ale based on an old recipe of his. Created using a raspberry puree, look for the concoction sometime this summer. Other's he's considering are an imperial IPA, a bock, a barley wine aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels, an ESB (extra special bitter), and a pumpkin ale.

'It's a different beer, but once people try it they usually like it,' Carlson said.

The beer selection won't be the only thing that's expanding at Karlsson's. Although the brewery has been in business less than a year, they're already looking to expand. Included in their plans are creating a lab for working with yeast and adding to their taproom.

'We're trying to figure out how to stuff a full kitchen in there, or go somewhere else with the taproom and move up to a full kitchen and more space,' Carlson remarked. 'If you don't roll when it's going, you might miss the boat.'

This is all music to the ears of beer lovers. No one will want to miss the boat when Karlsson trots out their microbrew magic that started not long ago as Jeremy's hobby.