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Friday, November 27, 2020

New Beer Black Friday 11/27/20


I hope you all had a nice holiday of food and social distancing. If it's flavor you crave, this is your New Beer Friday. If you missed my update on Wednesday, the third beer in our 15 year Anniversary brewery collaboration is out. The breweries are donating a portion of their sales on the beers to the Utah Food Bank. And if you bring a food donation to Epic, They will provide you with an autographed bottle of our special vanilla porter. Why you'd want my chicken scratchings on your bottle is beyond me. But, this is the time of COVID, and we're limited to fun interactions. Have a great weekend! 
Epic - Utah Beer Blog 15th Anniversary Vanilla Porter: The nose is a tad faint after the initial foam has shrunk away, but there's a good bit of sweetness, some vanilla, and a bit of roastiness hanging out in the background.  The taste is roasty on the first sip, blending in a bit of that raisin from the aroma with a dark bready malt flavor and... yeah, this is DEFINITELY a vanilla beer, It's not overpowering and it feels like the there was a small dollop cream and vanilla. On later sips, the raisiny thing fades away a bit and it's more like roasty/malty straight into nice smooth sweetish vanilla The finish is slightly bitter, which helps balance the vanilla bean. 5.5%.
Shades - Our Maine Man: You get almond right off in the nose with some tart berry. Cranberry builds on the beer's base accentuating the tartness from both. This is a tart beer with a nutty almond finish. No lactose added to this one. 6.5% Available at Shades.  

Shades - Yams Y'all: The aromas is nutty with some maple. The taste follows with some tartness from the base beer. There's a a slight earthiness, provably from the yam with some pleasant vanilla and pecan rounding it out. Not vegan friendly due to lactose. 6.5% Available at Shades
Roosters - Snowbasin 80th Anniversary Pale Ale: Missed this one. This will be around for a while. 5.0% - Available at all Roosters locations and Snowbasin Resort in cans and on draft.

Fisher - Pineapple Plum: This nicely tart. The plumb and the base beer duke it out sour supremacy. The pineapple gets a little lost but it's definitely there. It's a lip-smacker! 5.0% - Only at Fisher.

RoHa - Dorothy: This is the third beer in RoHa's Golden Girls Series of beers. This is a brett pale ale with a funky nose full of funky brett. The taste is less funky but you still get that doughy barnyard yeastiness. There's a hint of vague berry sourness from the yeast with medium bitterness and a slightly minty finish. 5.0% - Only in crowlers to go at RoHa.

Proper - Whispers of the Primordial: I missed this Smoked Helles made with pineapple. 5.0% - Available at Proper.

Toasted Barrel - Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout: Missed this as well. Look for a chocolate forward stout with notes of cinnamon and chilies. 8.5% - Only at Toasted Barrel.
Illuminated Brew Works - War on Xmas: Missed this one. This Imperial Stout is described as being combination of egg nog and Christmas cookies. Brewed with lactose sugar, Indonesian vanilla beans, Vietnamese cassia bark cinnamon and nutmeg. Not vegan friendly. 11.0% Found at DABC.


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

15 Year Collaborations Continue with Utah Beer Blog Vanilla Porter

Just in time for Thanksgiving we are proud to bring you the third beer in our 15 year collaboration project. When I approached Epic Brewing about brewing a beer with them they couldn't have been more accommodating and enthusiastic. I was quite surprised when they presented me with the packaging and was very flattered by the bottle design.

We ended up concocting a vanilla porter. It's an offshoot of the style I've always found highly drinkable and wholely approachable.   

The nose is a tad faint after the initial foam has shrunk away, but there's a good bit of sweetness, some vanilla, and a bit of roastiness hanging out in the background. 

The taste is roasty on the first sip, blending in a bit of that raisin from the aroma with a dark bready malt flavor and... yeah, this is DEFINITELY a vanilla beer, It's not overpowering and it feels like the there was a small dollop cream and vanilla. On later sips, the raisiny thing fades away a bit and it's more like roasty/malty straight into nice smooth sweetish vanilla The finish is slightly bitter, which helps balance the vanilla bean. 5.5%.

Again, part of the proceeds from this beer will be going to the Utah Food Bank. Additionally, If you wish to bring canned food items or dry goods to donate you will receive a signed bottle from yours truly. It was a little odd signing bottles, usually when I'm signing something, it's usually followed by, "this is not an admission of guilt, just that you promise to appear in court". So it was a nice change. 

We had hoped for something a little more celebratory but, you know, COVID. So please try it out and let us know what you think. It's available at Epic in SLC starting today, and if you don't live in the SLC area the Utah Beer Blog Vanilla Porter will be showing up in DABC stores after the first of the year. 


Friday, November 20, 2020

New Beer Friday 11/20/20

Last Monday we we pleased to announce the Utah Beer Blog's 15th Anniversary and promised four new collaboration beers to help celebrate. Today I'm happy to say two of those beers are available purchase. I'd like to thank 2 Row and TF Brewing for allowing me to stink-up their respective joints and allowing the charitable beers to be made. On top of those beers there's thick selection of local brews hitting this week as well. Too much good stuff for a single week. 

2 Row - Mikey's Citra IPL: While not new, proceeds from this beer will be going to the Utah Food Bank. We originally released this beer in 2016 as an alternative lager for those that don't like traditional pilsners. It's light and crisp with a nice tangerine feel that boasts a medium bitterness and dry finish. It's the definition of crushable. 5.5% - Available Today in 12 ounce bottles at 2 Row. 

TF - Alt Riedel: Altbiers are one of my favorite German beer styles. Toasty, malty and a balancing bitterness; Alts just seem to be the complete package. Big thanks to everyone at TF for their enthusiasm and dedication to making this charitable beer a reality. 

Aroma is of darkly toasted brown bread, toasted walnuts and hazelnuts, slight black tea, very faint herbal European hops, and malty sweetness. Front of palate picks up toasted dark bread and nuts, cocoa, even a bit of coffee. Mid-palate features spicy European hops and tannins similar to black tea. Spicy European hops alongside decreased toasted bread, nut, and cocoa round out the backend with a lingering aftertastes of toasted bread and nuts. It has a nice dry finish, perfect for or current weather. 5.0% on draft and crowlers to-go at TF Starting today. 

Saltfire - Bigger in Japan: Nice citrus aroma, but this really shines in the palate with a big dose of tropical fruitiness and medium bitterness. There's some alcohol smack, but this is a 9.1% Double IPA. There's nice lingering fruity finish. It kinda falls in between NEIPA and WCIPA. Good stuff! At Saltfire.

Ogden River - Derailment: Missed this new Hazy IPA from ORB. Look for a citrus nose with notes of tangerine and mango. 5.0% - Available now at Ogden River Brewing.

Roosters - Pecan Pie: Caramelized light brown sugar, along with a sorta fig/date dark fruit taste. Pecan does have a little influence in the back of the taste. The beer finishes a little more balanced, almost like the opening of a normal English nut brown ale. 5.0% - Available at all Roosters locations. 

Uinta - Was Angeles:  The nose has a strong grassy/herbal smell with sweet pale malt smell beneath. The taste is similar to the nose. The taste begins with toasty crackers, some lemon and floral hops. A light malty sweetness comes next - that sweetness fades as a spicy/herbal bitterness creeps in towards the end. The finish is mostly dry with a hint of sweetness. 5.0% - Availble at Uinta. 

Grid City - Thanksgiving Cream Ale: This has subtle flavors of cranberry and blood orange – the cranberry dominates for the most part. You never loose the base beer and you get all of that malty/nuttiness of the style. Very limited. Only at Grid City.

Bewilder - West Coast IPA: No notes on this one. It's hopped with bru-1, Sabro and El Dorado. This will be available in 16 ounce cans later this afternoon. 6.5% 

Bewilder - Cranberry Sour: No notes on this one. Sounds pretty self explanatory though. This will be available this Saturday.

Toasted Barrel - Strawberry Milkshake DIPA: No notes on this one. Sounds pretty self explanatory though. 8.0% - Only at Toasted Barrel. Not vegan friendly.


Monday, November 16, 2020

Here For the Local Beer Since 2005

Fifteen years ago today, I started a little project to help promote Utah's craft beer scene and advocate for the fans of it. Back in 2005 social media wasn't a thing, and people rarely spent the time combing though individual websites looking at the latest beer info. The Utah Beer Blog tried to fill that gap. I've had a lot of fun doing it and made some life-long friends along the way. Nobody is more surprised than me, that this little experiment is still going on; a bit diminished, but still trudging on. 

To help celebrate, the Utah Beer Blog has partnered with four local breweries to make a quartet of special beers to say, thank you! to all of you that have bothered to waste your precious bandwidth on 15 years of this beer nerd's bullshit. 

Through the end of November you can look forward to periodic releases of our celebratory beers. These beers will be announced here when they are ready, along with brewery and beer style. We had a lot fun collaborating on these brews and look forward to sharing them with you all in the coming days. And if four new beers isn't enough for you, a portion of the sales from each beer will be going to to help out the Utah Food Bank. 

If you ever have the time I invite you check out the Utah Beer archives (column to the right). It may provide you some insight to the past decade and a half or simply remind you of some of the great things you may have forgotten. 

Again thanks for your words of support and your critiques over the last 15 years. Utah is a unique place to be a craft beer lover, and there's no place I rather be.  


Friday, November 13, 2020

New Beer Friday 11/13/20

 When the beer gods (err Peter Wiarda) give you an excellent photo, it must be used! This week sees a relatively small New Beer Friday, yet it's evenly distributed along the Wasatch Front.

Level Crossing - Red Sea Rift:  Really strong rich roasted coffee dominates the nose. A touch of dark chocolate is there, but the coffee roastiness is the main factor here. Taste starts with a rich dark chocolate, slowly turning over to a deep, rich coffee and a moderately high bitterness. Coffee character on the backside overrides the other flavors. Mouthfeel is relatively full bodied with some creaminess from the oatmeal, and a light carbonation. Some bitterness lingers in the finish, but mostly a dark chocolate roasted malt character. One of the more coffee forward takes on the style, with an aroma that sets itself apart. This beer has some nice dark chocolate undertones, but really shines for the coffee character. Oatmeal adds some viscosity to the mouthfeel. 9.6% - Available starting today.

Strap Tank - H.O.G. Juice: Look for a juicy IPA that's full of pineapple, mango, Jasmin and cherry. I thought this would be a muddled mess, but the flavors are nicely cohesive and it comes off smooth and tasty with low bitterness. 5.0% - Available at Strap Tank (Springville).

2 Row Sabro Effect:  The nose opens up with a nice fresh hop character. There's coconut and mild peach. The palate opens mildly bitter with a clean, mildly oily bitterness along with a nice fresh hop character. Flavors of coconut, mandarin orange, peach and a little honey are present. Drying, bitter on the finish with some lingering fresh hop flavor, this beer is light in body and moderately carbonated. A well integrated beer. 8.6% - Available today at 2 Row. 

Fisher - Goldrush: The aroma is very piney with a dab of resin and a hint of booze. The taste follows suit with a lot of piney goodness, a touch of resin and a bit of peppery spiciness. A little juicy in the middle too. The body is medium to full and pairs perfectly with the hops. It gets right to the edge of being bitter but perfectly plays the line and has a pleasant linger of hop flavor instead of bitterness. Finish is long and enjoyable but still manages to be dry.  

Salt Flats - Winter Amber: Missed this one. This amber ales loaded up with nutmeg, cinnamon on top of a sweet malty back. On draft now. 5.0% 

Here are this week's Small Batch beers from Hopkins Brewing.


Friday, November 06, 2020

New Beer Friday 11/06/20

We have a winner, and it's you! No recounts or lawsuits just a shload of yummy, local suds to keep you company as the weather turns cold.

Uinta - Peppermint Patty: Smells of mint, lots of mint. Hints of coffee and chocolate on the edges. Taste is creamy and chocolaty with a hint of roast and a good dose of mint. The taste was good, more like a Girl Scout Thin Mint than a York Peppermint Patty, which is what I had been expecting. 8.5% Available at Uinta.

Uinta - Test Phaze NEIPA: This beer pours a hazy, yet bright medium apricot orange colour, with four fingers of puffy, loosely foamy. It smells of gritty and grainy caramel malt, some orange, tangerine, lemon, and red grapefruit citrus rind. The taste is grainy and crackery pale malt, a faint biscuity toffee sweetness, kind of muddled citrus with some faint stone fruits and more earthy, herbal, and musky hop bitters. 7.0% - Available starting today at Uinta.

Proper - Coward's Fist: This gin barrel aged IPA takes Proper's Revenge DIPA and ages it Hammer Springs' Gin. This gin has a good dose of sage with hints of whiskey. It very botanical and it works very well with the citrus zest hop blend in the IPA. A very complex BA IPA. 10.0% Available at Proper today. 

Hopkins - Coconut Macadamia Porter: I was afraid that this would be another sweet pastry stout. It's not that at all. No lactose, with subtle use of coconut and nuts. The porter's roasty base maintains it power over the beer. Served on nitro. 5.0% - only at Hopkins.

Shades - Pumpkin Pie Cream Ale: Shades has made a beer for every pie on the planet, so of course in November they would make their version of a pumpkin pie. There's their signature tart kveik beer base with a pleasant amount of pumpkin and pumpkin spices. Sweet graham cracker rounds out the flavor and makes the pie mimicking beer complete. Very nice. Not vegan friendly.  6.5% - Available at Shades.


Friday, October 30, 2020

New Beer/Brewery Friday 10/30/20


Hear that? that's the sound of very few kids pounding at your front door. We all know the only pounding this weekend will be the slamming of drams on your over-taxed counter tops. Please keep it in check though, those little shits have devious parents that are just as devious as you once were. Happy Boo Beer...er New Brewery Friday!
Ogden River - Aviator American Wheat: We have a new brewery! Ogden River Brewing is the culmination of many beer dreams, but none more than Pat Wonslow's. Pat's first beer has a nice toasty wheat base with  a subtle amount of toast that carries a bit of coriander and orange peel beneath.It not quite into Witbier territory, but it gets the point across with out being overbearing.  Solid and highly drinkable at 5.0% - Only at Ogden River. 

Ogden River - Hop Train: A straight up American Pale Ale with medium to light malts and a slightly over balanced hop bill. This is not trying to be an IPA dressed as a pale ale, it's a tight easy drinking beer with no frills. 5.0% - Only at Ogden River. 

Ogden River - Union Station Amber: This takes a slight turn towards hoppy-side. It's all about the malt upfront, but then it goes into pale ale territory, offering up a slightly exaggerated hop bite that is less better and more snappy. very quantifiable at 5.0% - Only at Ogden River.

Ogden River - Jacob's Bogie Scottish Ale: This one hit after I got my samplings.Look for a high malt profile with hints of peaty smoke. Just hints. 5.0% Only at Ogden River. 

Ogden River/Bewilder - Patersbier: From the start clove drives the flavors here. Some esters from ythe yeast creat a vague fruitiness with honey malts driving the base beer. The yeast also offers a bit of white pepper, which helps it drive to a dry finish. This is quite a assertive 'father's beer' peppery dry. 5.0% Only at Ogden River and Bewilder.

Bewilder - Mole' Porter: This has a solid Porter body without a doubt. There is a bit of chocolate and maple up front. Those flavors give way to chili, cinnamon and peppers. Not much heat – butr the mole spects drive you to the finish.This is Bewilder's first beer above draft level and it hits at 6.0% and it will go one sale this Saturday.

Salt Flats - Barrel-aged Low Rider: Aged in Salt Flat's Bonneville Bourbon barrels. This chocolate forward ale will beat your ass if your not careful. Massive amounts of milk chocolate dominate, until the wicked bourbon and rye attack turning this into a decadent witches brew. This is not for the meek. For a barrel-aged beer this is the best bang for your buck, I promise. At 10.5% this will light up any evening, in or out of the house. 10.5% - at Salt Flats today. 
Hopkins - You can't Do That On Television IPA: This is a throwback to American IPAs from 20 years ago, this beer features caramel malts (from Solstice Malts), a firm bitterness and a piney citrus dry hop profile from Chinook, Citra and Simcoe. 5.0% - Only at Hopkins.

Potosi - Rosa Stiefel: This is a Pink Boots collaboration beer that emulates a Euro- Grapefruit Hefewezen.  This comes across as a radlerbeir without all of the sweet soda. High on Fruity flavor – low in beer difficulty. It's a guilty pleasure for sure at 4.5% Found at Slackwater in Sandy.

Check us out at 9:20am-ish on KBER 101 as Mick, Allen and myself dissect all of these and other beers on the New Beer Friday – KBER edition.
Here's this week's small batch beers from Hopkins Brewing. Click for a larger image.