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What happens when you combine Molasses, Cane Sugar, Well Water and a Disco Ball?

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You never know what you’ll find in the city. Walked into the lobby/store of a Salt Lake business and was surprised to see a rather large disco ball hanging from the ceiling. I knew there had to be a story there and started doing some research.

Marc Christensen, C.E.O. of Dented Brick Distillery had a plethora of historical knowledge to share; “This property had an artesian well drilled. Two hundred and eight feet deep. So we have artesian well water which is mineral rich water that is amazing for our fermentations.”

I asked Marc about the story behind the name of his distillery. Come to find out it’s a pretty colorful story. “Dented brick would be the bullet holes like the bricks below me that were on the house. Out of deference to the well driller and how important the well is for us we decided to name the distillery Dented Brick Distillery.”

In another interesting coincidence, the land that Dented Brick sits on was once owned by a Pioneer era Distiller that moved from Liverpool to Nauvoo and then Salt Lake City. There must be something in the water…

Marc agreed and explained; “This mineral rich water that we use in our fermentation the yeast just love, which creates a lot of great flavors and body. Essentially it’s very happy yeast in that water.”

What about that disco ball? That happy yeast is creating a unique product called Disco Nut Coconut Rum.  Marc continued; “As we thought about doing this with the Pride Center and doing the disco and bringing back the 70’s as a fund raiser we found this edible glitter. The disco-nut is coconut flavor. So we have coconut juice in here and then, of course, some of the edible glitter to make it fun and disco.”

This is one of those products you need to see to believe. Imagine a semi opaque liquid with sparkles. It’s pretty amazing looking.

The recipe for rum is pretty simple. Molasses. Cane sugar and Artesian well water. I took a nice taste of that well and water and admittedly it was pretty refreshing. No it wasn’t rum. Just well water. 

My favorite part of doing Utah Success Stories is when I get to roll up my sleeves and get to help make products. As I walked into the production area it was clear that this was going to be a fun day. Disco music was playing. People wearing colorful clothes from my youth were everywhere. A roller-skating girl gave me a high five. Yes – there was even a pirate in the building. It was time to make Disco Nut Coconut Rum!

Marc gave me the grand tour and explained the process. We went from the raw ingredients to something called the “mash tank” where everything is mixed and heated up. It is then cooled and goes to the fermentation tank. The next step looks like something out of a Jules Verne adventure with a huge copper pipe with periscope windows and then to a five-hundred-gallon batch pot still. I’m pretty sure I oversimplified things, but you get the idea.

I had fun working in the bottling area. Filling, corking and finally boxing.

Sidebar, the funkiest part of the story was the closing video with the staff. Do you know hard it is to get everyone to synchronize a disco dance move and give a closing line?!

With another Utah Success Story and the folks that make Disco-Nut Coconut Rum, I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.

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Doug Jessop
For Doug Jessop, it all started with a cassette recorder he got for Christmas when he was 12 years old growing up in Southern California. Doug interviewed relatives, friends and anyone else that might have a good story. You can follow Doug at www.DougJessop.com, on YouTube.com/DougJessop, and @DougJessopNews on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”

You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences. A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets, who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my “Doug Jessop’s Utah Success Stories”, extended on-demand interviews with people from all walks of life called “Jessop’s Journal” and my road tour stories featuring “people, places and things you might not know about” called “Jessop’s Journeys.”

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