Every holiday party needs some holiday spirits, but if the thought of spending a blustery evening in line at the state liquor store has you feeling overwhelmed, check out The Hive Winery & Brandy Co. It's a local company specializing in fruit and honey wine made from local produce. The Hive's wines and brandies are designed to complement any meal and they vary in sweetness levels. Batch sizes are small, which allows The Hive to ensure quality and make a larger variety of wines available throughout the year. And in addition to supporting local business, buying from The Hive means you will have a pleasant shopping experience.
"We have short lines, plenty of parking, a cheerful staff and tastings of our wines," says The Hive co-owner Jay Yahne. "My favorite part of working here is our customers. It's fun that people notice we're doing something that is a little countercultural for Utah."
Jay Yahne and wife, Lori, started making and selling wine in 2011. Jay makes the company's wines and Lori distills its spirits. They added brandy to the Hive's lineup in 2014.
"We [originally] wanted to make port wines," Jay explains. Port requires brandy, but The Hive couldn't find high-quality brandies to blend with its wine—a fact that spurred the Yahnes into action.
"The quality of your product is in direct proportion to the quality of what you put in it," Jay says. "So we decided to make our own brandies, and then make port that way."
Hive currently offers 19 wines, four hard ciders, four brandies and four fruits soaked in sugar spirits. Flavors on offer include apple crumble wine, blackberry stinger hard apple cider and cranberry lees brandy. The variety makes it easy to find something to fit any holiday menu.
On Black Friday, the Hive released a Christmas mead. "And in December, we're releasing a blackberry brandy," Jay says.
In addition to its commitment to produce high-quality wines and spirits, the Hive is also dedicated to environmental responsibility. The company recycles its bottles and implements energy-efficient upgrades to its building. Because the Hive conserves water by making ice and using a makeshift condensing unit, it only uses about 20 gallons of culinary water per day, compared with the 700 to 900 gallons of water a day used by most commercial distilleries.
The Hike also hopes to add solar panels to its building down the road.
The Hive Winery & Brandy Co.
1220 W. Jack D Drive, Unit 2
11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
(Wine and hard-cider tastings end 15 minutes before closing time.)