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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Best Utah Beers You Probably Never Had

When we talk beer here, I generally try to limit the topics to local beers and breweries or to suds available to Utahans. Which isn't always easy. I get it. Utah isn't exactly a "beertopia".

Sometimes it's tough having such a narrow topic, but I'm constantly surprised about who much there is to talk about. Plus it does no good when we're constantly being put down by word-of-mouth, from people who wouldn't know a good beer from their own asses. Because we get such a bad-rap about our local suds, I feel occasional reminders are needed to dispel the myths.
Many people from outside of the Zion Curtain are frankly just stunned by the fact that we actually have beer here. And the notion that the beer we have is actually tasty; is just beyond their comprehension. So I decided to throw out three of Utah greatest accomplishments in the art of brewing. Unfortunately, unless your a beer-geek-gnerd-snob-dweeb or dork you may have never heard of...or tried any of these.

The First beer is what looks to be a regular seasonal from RedRock Brewing. Rêve debuted in the fall of '07 to much praise from beer enthusiasts and consumers alike. Rêve received the bronze medal at the '06 Great American Beer Festival and the silver medal in '07. Before ever seeing a consumers chalice. Rêve pronounced Reev is a Belgian style triple that's oak aged.... Well 'till brew master Kevin Templin says it's ready.
This fine ale pours alight golden honey color with with a moderate fluffy white head that dissipated to a very thin froth. The nose is a little boozy with banana, cloves malt and ripe mango. The taste is very much the same starting with candied sugar and cloves that transitions into toasted malt and banana. The end is sweet and oaky. The alcohol is warming and welcomed, masked well by Rêve's full body. It adds a whole new dimension to the beer. You really get a good sense of the oak in the finish. Don't get me wrong, it's got a kick. It's 10.2% abv is more than enough to warm your inner beer geek.

Next comes what is possibly Utah's highest rated beer ever. Squatters' Fifth Element is a colaborational brew that was many years in the making. With input from some of Americas finest brewers, brew master Jennifer Talley crafted a masterful representation of the Saison style that in just a few short months has risen to the top of heap on ratebeer.com's best Saisons. A hell of an achievement considering the company that it keeps. No word yet on if Fifth Element will be made again.
Pours a cloudy apricot/straw color with a fizzy white head that reduced to a thin froth. The nose has a bit a of barnyard funkiness to it, with hints of lemon. The tastes starts with light citrus notes then transitions intotart green apples and peach. Next comes a dry oakiness that compliments the tartness well.The finish is a combination a champagne like dryness and bitter florals. Light and dry but highly drinkable. It's 6.75% ABV is well hidden.

Last is what may be the best beer made in Utah that you never got a chance to try. Back in '05 Uinta Brewing Company purchased a batch of spent Bourbon and Sherry barrels with the intent of experimenting with their Anniversary barley wine. After two years of aging in the American whiskey and sherry, the result was one of the most complex yet smooth ales ever to come from a Utah brewery. Labeled simply BBB (Bourbon Barrel Barleywine) this phenomenal effort was never intended to see the light of day on store shelves. It was instead given out as a promotional gift to out of state beer distributers and brewing companies. As well as being entered in the Stockholm beer and whiskey festival. Were it received high marks.
How did I come by it? Well, let's just say it made an appearance at an out of state beer festival. If you know of a bottle or know how to get your hands on one, snatch it up. You've found a very rare and precious thing. Steve at Uinta said "there is no intent to ever put BBB into production" but also said, "you never know".
Pours a dark amber/orange with a thin cap of foam. The nose was a nice perfume of Bourbon, malt and vanilla. The taste started with hazelnut and sweet malt. Next comes smooth Bourbon with dark ripe fruits; raisin and fig.The finish had a rounded, well hidden boozy mix of whiskey and pine.

Let me know if you've tried any of these, or if you think that there's a beer out there worth mentioning as exceptional. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lost on the Boulevard

First off let me preface today's "beer spewage" by saying "I can't find these beers!"However much as I'd like, I can't tell you anything about them. So, I need your help in tracking them down! Anyway, I have It under good authority ("AndytheJerk" & Carlson Distribution) that Boulevard Brewing Co. out of Kansas City, Missouri has entered the SLC market with two of it's six; year-round beers.

Founded in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to become the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest.

Boulevard's American-style Wheat Beer and their Lunar unfiltered Brown Ale are said to be available at right now at Macey's Foods and Reams. I don't have either of these stores near my home, and the stores I have visited have turned up bupkis. I called Carlson Distribution, they assured me that they are available, but couldn't be specific about exactly which stores are carrying them. So please brothas & sistas help me help you. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twelth Beer o' Xmas'08: Moose Drool

I don't know about you guys, but the Twelve Beers o' Xmas '08 has so far made me younger, smarter and much more attractive to women.... Wait. Hold on for a moment please..........My wife has just informed me that "This is not the case" and that I'm still asleep.

Okay, while I still may be suffering the effects the last eleven days, I think my palate may still be on track(I hope). So for the last beer, I'm gunna leave you with a treat that was denied to Utahans for far too long. So, for the Twelfth Beer o' Xmas that the Beer Lush pushed on thee. Moose Drool from Big Sky Brewing.

This is one of those beers that for years was constantly being smuggled in to the state by fans who loved it's rich flavor and kitchy name. Now It's available to y'all statewide.

Pours a clear deep brown with red highlights. The head is a firm, tan pillow two fingers in size. The nose is of fresh bread, roasted malt and caramel. The taste starts out sweet malty and a little smokey, bit of chocolate too. This dries up fairly quickly and switches to mild malt with a moderate amount of bitterness. Big chocolate flavor and fruity yeast are present in the end. Good full mouthfeel. Drinkability is easily the strong point of this beer. Moose Drool just seems to hit all the right notes, making it a damn good drinker anytime of the year. One of the easiest drink'n beers to come into the market in a while. Cheers and Happy Holidays!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Eleventh Beer o'Xmas '08: Samichlaus

All I have to say for today is "14.0%"... Well that's not all I have say. I mean c'mon what kind of beer dork would I be if I didn't spew forth a little more of this "Diarrhea of the Pie-hole" that I call beer information. Anyway, yeah that's right today's beer packs one hell of kick in the groin.

Once upon a time this was the strongest beer in the word according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Now, it's not even in the top ten. Still this is one potent som'bitch.
Samichlaus hails from Austria where it's brewed only once a year, on December 6th. It's stored and matured afterwards for over 10 months before it is bottled. Samichlaus is strong enough where it can mature for many years which many would say(including myself) brings out it's best qualities.

Ahemm. The third Beer o' Xmas that the Beer Lush pushed on thee. Samichlaus from Brewery Castle Eggenberg.

Pours a dark, clear orange/amber with not much of a head that turns to zero head.
The nose is like a fruity rum punch apple, maple, orange peel, molasses and toffee.
The taste is quite sweet. it's starts with a rich buttery maple syrupy caramel. Next comes brown sugar, pear, raisin, plum, fig and cooked apples. The finish is sweet and boozy with a little vanilla and oak. The carbonation is very soft and it feels a little slick in the mouth. It has Qualities similar to Gand Marnier and is available throughout Utah. Kippis!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tenth Beer o' Xmas '08: Orval Trappist Ale

This is perhaps one of the best beers in the world. It's readily available throughout Utah and if you've never tried it.... well then shame on you! This beer and it's monastery has quite the long history.

The monastery was born from an act of gratitude around 1070 A.D. The Countess Mathilda of Tuscany was widowed and her wedding ring had accidentally fallen into a fountain. She prayed to the Lord and at once a trout rose to the surface with her precious ring in its mouth. Mathilda exclaimed "Truly this place is a Val d'Or!" Which I gather means "Fuck'n Awesome!" In gratitude, she decided to establish a monastery on the site.

Beer has been brewed at the monastery since it was founded. However, the beer we enjoy now has it's roots in the 1930's with some English influences, such as the infusion brewing and "dry-hopping". This results in a beer whose characteristic aroma and taste are owed more to the hops and to the yeasts than the malts. So. With that brief glimpse of Catholic history all out of the way, the Tenth Beer o' Xmas that the Beer Lush Pushed on thee is....Duhhh.

Pours a rich dark orange color with a dense two fingers of foam.
The nose is malty with fruity esters, Belgian yeast, honey and some mild lemon.
The taste starts with a light malt sweetness blended well with lemon, tart apples, and some barnyard yeastiness. The end is full of hops with a slight tartness that lasts through to a dry finish. Nice moderate carbonation.
This ale manages to pulls off the neat trick of being very mild and subtle, yet deeply complex. A true world class beer. L'chaim!

Ninth Beer o' Xmas'08: Wasatch WinterFest

For the Ninth Beer o' Xmas that the beer lush pushed on thee, Wasatch's Winterfest!
This a a brand new offering from Wasatch and man is it yummy.

Pours a clear ruby color with a moderate fluffy off-white cap of foam. The nose is bright with citrus and pine with subtle spicy caramel malt beneath. The flavor starts out with grapefruity hops and a bit of orange zest. Next comes a faint hint of gingerbread then transitions to a rich maltiness. I think there may be a little roatiness in there as well. Very nicely balanced with a well hidden 7.1% abv.

This is one of the best beers to come from Wasatch in the last few years. This is only a seasonal so stock up. Everyone I've talked to that's tried this gives it high marks.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Eighth beer o' Xmas '08: RedRock's Griswald's Holiday Ale

When me thinks of the words Griswald and Holidays usually the first thing that pops into my tiny mind is the movie Nation Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and that great shower scene with Beverly De Angelo. Secondly, I remember that the shower scene in question actually happened in the movie National Lampoon "Vacation". Then thirdly, I become sad for a moment, then I go back to imagining the shower scene.

Well much to my wife's delight I now have an additional image to occupy the vacuum that is my mind when those two words are uttered together. So on this, the 20th of December 2008, The Eighth Beer o' Xmas that the Beer Lush pushed on thee is Griswald's Holiday Ale from RedRock.

Pours a clear golden amber color with a thin cap of foam. The nose is mostly of nutmeg and cloves with touch of maltiness beneath. The taste starts out with malty then the spices kick in. Nutmeg and Clove are very pronounced then transitions into a Cinnamon spiciness. The finish is bright and piney. This bitch screams Hallelujah! Jebus I'm coming home! Available on tap at Redock's SLC and Park City Locations as well as the Bayou until Christmas. De Angelo!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seventh Beer o' Xmas'08: Squatters' IPA

One of the best craft beers made in Utah is also one of the best craft beers in the U.S. Squatters India Pale Ale is a multi award winning brew that is perfect drinking year round.

So, the seventh beer o' Xmas that the beer lush pushed on thee... Squatters IPA!!!

Poured a golden copper color with a thick solid cap. The nose was a perfume of fresh hop cones. Very piney and flowery with a tiny hint of pale malt beneath. The taste was fresh with notes of spruce needle, grapefruit zest and flower petal. An ample amount of dry and roasted malts compliment nicely the fresh hoppiness. The finish was dry and leafy with a body that has a medium feel. This is an awesome IPA The ample amount of hops mask the alcohol well and provide for a great session. Definitely check this one out. Did I mention the fresh hops? 6.0% ABV. Salud!!!

Picture stolen from the Sunday Beer Club. Thanks Don.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sixth Beer o' Xmas '08: Delirium Nocturnum

Thanks for hangin' in there everyone. We're at the half-way point of our journey on the inebriation express. Next stop, Pink Elephants. Right about now, you should be seeing these demons of the drink; if not? you will be soon.

Singing... The Sixth Beer of Xmas, that the beer lush pushed on thee.... Delirium Nocturnum! This strong, dark beauty hails from Belgium and has a bit of a kick to it. So be respectful or that Pink Elephant will be showing you the business end of that trunk. Mark Alston knows what I mean... Eh Mark???

Pours a dark brown with amber highlights. Two fingers of foam quickly fade to a thin cap. The nose is of apple, dark fruit, bubble gum, maltiness and spices. The flavor starts slightly sweet, with musky malts and an earthy spiciness. The end has some prunes with a mild tartness to it. Alcohol is noticeable and it finishes dry. Creamy and medium-bodied in the mouth. A good Belgian dark ale. Definitely worth a try, especially for lovers of the Belgian style.

Fifth Beer o' Xmas '08: Rype From Four+

The fifth beer o' Xmas that the beer lush pushed on thee is Rype from Four+. This is a strange but good locally made brew. It has all the characteristics of a Belgium Witbier, without the "Wit-ness". For some reason it looks more like a Pale Ale. But that does nothing to detract from it's taste.

Poured a very clear amber-tinted golden color with a thick, frothy two fingers of head. The nose is of orange zest, yeasty breads and coriander. The taste started with orangey twang that transitions to a malty wheat backbone. Yeasty notes come next with a finish that was spicy and lemony. The mouthfeel is nice and creamy. Nicely balanced. It’s 4.0% abv makes it a great session beer.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fourth Beer o' Xmas '08: Mikkeller's From/To

The fourth beer o' Xmas come to us from The Mikkeller Brewery in Kobenhavn, Denmark. The guys at Mikkeller have become true Rock Stars in the international beer community after just a few years. Their success is partly due to the breweries focus on creating challenging beers that test the boundaries of conventional styles and where quality always comes before quantity.

Mikkeller Beers are quite hard to get a hold of in Utah. As far as I know The Bayou is the only place selling them, and Salt Lakers are sucking them down.

That being said. The fourth Beer o' Xmas that the beer lush pushed on thee is Mekkeller's From/To. This is a hard one to describe. It's classified as a Baltic Porter. But if I were to describe it, I would say, "If a nice British Porter knocked-up a Belgian Strong ale. From/To would be the progeny. Or the little-shit in this case".

Pours a dark black color with a nice finger of tan colored head that remained for quite a while.
The nose has notes of coffee, roasted malt, moist-dark fruit topped with a subtle dose of floral hops. The flavor starts with coffee, chocolate and a hint of smoke. Next comes plum, cloves and a hint of maraschino cherries. The end has a warm booziness to it with just a hint of orange peel. Any detectable bitterness comes from the roasted malts not much in the way hops.
Looks much heavier than it is. Moderate body with low carbonation lend a semi-creamy texture. ABV is at 8.0%. Skaal!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Wee Heavy Third Beer O' Xmas '08

The first and second beers o' Xmas were a bit on the leafy side. Sorry, that's just my pallet I guess. But don't worry Doug, I promise a nice variety in the coming days. So today I thought we'd move to the opposite end of the spectrum(so-to-say) and try something somewhat sweeter. A scotch Ale, or as some would call a Wee Heavy. These have a much more pronounced malty caramel and roasted malt flavor. As well as a low tea-like bitterness. They'll defiantly warm your cockles or your cocklettes if your a woman.

So, the third beer of Xmas that the beer lush pushed on thee: Traquair's House Ale.

Pours a Deep Amber/Brown colors with a very thin cap of foam.
The nose is very Earthy with a Musty Yeastiness and Dark Fruits
The taste starts with Caramel/Toffee and biscuit malts next comes an Earthy Peatiness with a very mild amount smoke flavor. A slight Black tea bitterness rounds out the end. Very little hop profile. It's a smooth and very drinkable beer at 7.2% abv. It's a modest beer for the most part, but it will warm you nicely. Slainte!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

2nd Beer of Xmas '08: Rogue Yellow Snow

Well the snow has finally fallen. And with the fluffy white stuff comes the usual hazards. Black ice, dead batteries, Internet porn wrist and of course yellow snow. Now as twisted as I am, I would never recommend any of those to you. Except the porn. Have you guys ever seen that girl that does that one thing where she takes that Kiwano fruit and.... ahh... sorry. Maybe I'm getting a little off-topic here. Anyway as I was saying, I would not normally recommend any of those hazards to you, except for today. Today I must recommend that you my bothers and sisters in beer land consume yellow snow. Now in this case the mug o' piss is a delicious blessing. And should only be imbibed if contained within packaging such as that above.

So with that being said, the second beer of Xmas that the beer lush recommended to thee; Rogue's Yellow Snow IPA. Yellow Snow has been missing on liquor store shelves for a couple of years, but it's back in Utah now and it's pissier than ever!

Poures a semi-cloudy yellowish orange color with a thick pillow of head that stuck around throughout the beer. Tremendous lacing as well.
The nose is a nice airy and floral perfume with grapefruit hops and a bit of sweet malt.
The taste starts with big citrus notes out of the gate. Then Biscuity malts become noticeable in the background. The end has a hint of pine and florals. The finish is dry, bitter, and lingering. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creamy oily slickness. Way over-balanced. And that why it's so good! it's like chewing on a grapefruit peel. Pure heaven. Prost!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Twelve Beers of Xmas '08: The Second Coming

Continuing a tradition started last holiday season, The Utah Beer Blog begins it's second year of The Twelve Beers of Xmas. This is an attempt to provide inspiration to Utah's beers lovers; to get out and try a new beer or at the very least revisit an old favorite. Ahhh, who am I kidding! this is about enjoying some good beers while trying to stay sane through-out the holidays. Anyway, starting today and continuing 'till Xmas eve. The recommended beers will be limited to those that are available to consumers in the State of Utah.

So with out further adieux....

The first beer of Xmas that the Beer Lush recommends to thee; Sierra Nevada's Anniversary Ale 2008. This is the first time this beer has been available in Utah.

It pours a hazy, honey-amber color with a stiff two fingers of soapy head. The head retention is excellent, leaving nice rings of lace. The nose is mostly of piney and floral hops with just a hint of malt in the back.
The taste starts dry and grassy with hints of lemon rind. Next comes a fruity and bready caramel malt foundation. The lemon and grassy bitterness returns in the end rounding it all out with a medium dry finish. What a nice beer! I knew Sierra Nevada would not disappoint, I loved this nice flavorful crispy seasonal beer.

It's classified as an American IPA but it feels more like an APA. It's 5.9% ABV gives it a medium body that complements the season well. Cheers!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Repeal Day!

Today marks 75 years since Prohibition was officially repealed in the United States with the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution. On December 5, 1933, a 3/4 majority of states needed to ratify the 21st Amendment was reached when Utah adopted the 21st Amendment. It not only officially ended national Prohibition which began with the 18th Amendment in 1919.

Today American consumers of legal drinking age have access to nearly 13,000 labels of beer from small regional microbrews to the largest multinational labels. I'd say we've rebounded quite well. Cheers!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Second Coming. Wa-Hoo!!!

It looks like Cache Valley Brewing is one step closer to becoming reality. Tuesday night, the Logan City Council voted to approve a brewpub in historic downtown Logan!!!

This won't be the first time the name Cache Valley Brewing has been established. Back in 1888 Jacob Theurer started the first Cache Valley Brewing. It served the people of Cache County until it closed up shop 1912. The brewery known as "Jake’s" was built on the north side of the present state highway on the south side of Johnson grove.

As the city increased in population more saloons were opened up and the liquor evil became so great that in 1909 there were about nine saloons doing business in Logan.

The agitation for the abolishment of the saloon evil became so intense that on December 23rd, 1909, an ordinance was passed by the City Council which prevented the sale or manufacture of liquors of any kind in Logan City.

The ordinance became effective January 3rd, 1910, and Logan was the first settlement in the Valley and one of the first in the state to adopt such a reform. Later the county passed a similar ordinance, then the Utah Legislature passed a prohibition law and finally, the National Prohibition Law was passed October 28th, 1919.

It is interesting to note that as early as 1882 the citizens of Logan started the movement for prohibition and were among the first to get it adopted. It would be a great Justice if CVB could re-open it's doors nearly a century after it was forced to close them. We'll try to keep you updated on CVB's status. Cheers!

Monday, December 01, 2008

New Brewery/brew pub in Logan???

Utah could be getting another brew pub soon! A new start-up brewery/brew pub is so far meeting little controversy. The brewery, which is just in the planning stages right now (Cache Valley Brewing) would potentially open up downtown next year.

Remember this is Utah. Even though we are making huge strides in the legalization of adulthood around the state. All thing alcohol will stir controversy. So, what's the stink? Odors. An individual raised a concern about the possibility of the brewery emitting odors that could "stink up" the downtown area and it actually saw some discussion during a city meeting.

Really.... offensive odors?.... in a restaurant! Do you seriously think anyone would invest in an endeavor knowing that it's signature menu option would emit questionable odors, while people are eating? Well at least it's original. I was expecting the whole, "it will turn our five year olds into raging alcoholics" shit. Well let's hope hope this project gets off the ground. Our friends in Cache County could use some craft beers close to home. Cheers!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Better, Stronger, Faster. Monkshine

Four+ Brewing has re-released a new stronger version of it's Monkshine Belgian-Style Pale Ale. Monkshine debuted a couple years back as Four+'s pilot beer. It was a 4.0% brew that met with mixed reviews, due to it's "earthy" bitterness. It was probably a little too different for the everyday beer drinkers pallet. So they tweaked it a little. The recipe was adjusted, the alcohol was amped up and it was moved to the state liquor stores.

Now comes word that Monkshine was just re-re-released to the state liquor store system and that the new "bionic" version comes in at a whopping 6.8% ABV. I haven't tried the newest incarnation, it's just hitting the stores now. So, I guess that means I'm gunna have to drink some. Damn, this is a tough job.... Cheers!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Roosters' Seasonals

Steve Kirkland Brewmaster over at Roosters has got a few seasonals coming to their Ogden and Layton locations. Both brew pubs are currently serving a Nut Brown Ale, a fall favorite, nuttified with a healthy dose of Victory malt from Briess. Pours a nice cloudy brownish color with a firm creamy tan head. The nose is sweet with roasted caramel malts. The taste is maltly with a nice nuttiness. the finish is is slightly piney.

Steve Also has his "Nein, Aber Ich Habe Drie Schwestern Dunkel Weizen". Man, you'll need a beer after trying to spew that name out! Steve said that he wanted to give this brew a "traditional" German name, so he used the only phrase he was able to remember from high school German class, which means “No, but I have three sisters.” Damn Steve, that class sounds like it must have been a real yawner. I think we are all grateful you didn't take Russian! Anyway, his Dunkel is a creamy lager blending the goodness of wheat and roasted malts. Pours an opaque brown with an inch of tan foam. The nose is malty with toffee and caramel. The taste is very malty with, caramel, banana and toffee. The finish is nicely hopped.

And coming in next couple weeks, Steve will be offering-up his unique Holiday Rosemary Porter which uses fresh rosemary at the end of the boil as well as a “dry-hopping” in the fermenter. Also, after the Dunkel is gone, he'll be serving the Deep Powder Dortmunder, a very crisp, blond lager. This is a good time to get your asses into Davis and Weber Counties and try these beers! If that's not an option for you, the Bayou also pours Roosters' seasonals. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Holiday Suds Arrive!!!

Mark Alston at the Bayou has just receive a stellar list of holiday and not-so-holiday ales for the intermountain beer kindred. This years batch has some familiar labels, as well as some new, hard to find bottles that rarely find themselves to this side of the Zion curtain. Theses are special orders for the Bayou only and should last through the end of the year. Here they are. Thanks Uncle Mark!!! Cheers.

Bad elf.
Very bad elf.
Seriously bad elf.
Criminally bad elf.
Insanely bad elf.
Warm Welcome.
Santa's Butt.
Pickled Santa.

Mikkeller Santa's Helper

Mikkeller From/To

Olafbrikken Kloster Jul

De Ranke Pere Noel

De La Senne Xmas Zinnebir

Serafjin Christmas Angel

Struise Tsjeeses

Jenlain Noel

Kulmbacher Eisbock

Monday, November 24, 2008

Face Plant at Hoppers

Hoppers has a great "post canyon" refresher to help reacclimate yourself to normalcy after a full day of Utah's greatest snow on earth. Brewmaster Donovan Steele has put on tap a tasty Hefeweizen called Face Plant Wheat. Face Plant uses a German Kloster yeast, which provides a nice nose of banana, pear and vanilla. A very assertive fruitiness is present though this light bodied brew. Not much clove but the banana is in full force. Available only on-tap at Hoppers. Cheers!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Utah Home Brew Legislation

Well here we go again. One more try to get home brewing officially legalized in the state. Big, big thanks go to Rep. Christine Johnson for proposing this bill again. Last year the bill passed in both the house and the senate but died due to lack of time left in the session. If you have any interest in following the bills progress I'll post updates as often as possible. Starting today.

Yesterday the bill made it out of the Business and Labor Interim Committee and will go back to the house and senate to be voted on. Below is a link to a copy of the legislation and also an .mp3 of the committee meeting. If you want to listen it hits at 1:45:20 - 1:54:28 on the podcast. I'd chop it up and post it, but I just don't have the damn time. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Per Diem at Squatters

Jenny just tapped and brand new beer over at Squatters.
"Per Diem" is patterned after a Belgian Single, Per Diem is blond and refreshing with a hint of phenolic character derived from the traditional Belgian yeast used in the fermentation process.
She’s also working on a Belgian Golden Strong, bottle conditioned, corked and caged. Also, Holiday Nut Brown Ale will come on tap Monday the 24th at 4pm. Cheers!

Here Comes the Gov.

It looks like we're one step closer to doing away with
the dreaded private club memberships. Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. isn't waiting for the state liquor commission to come up with a proposal. The Governor is having his own staff draft a bill for the 2009 Legislature to consider.

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission voted back in July to start work on a proposal to eliminate requirements that would-be drinkers in Utah fill out applications and pay membership fees before being allowed into a private club. But in August, commissioners voted to "slow the process of drafting legislation on the private club membership issue at this time," after one member, Kathryn Balmforth, raised concerns about the need for any change to the law.

It's believed that the governor's office is stepping in because of political pressure surrounding the issue. In my opinion it would seem a prudent move on the governors part, due to the current economic climate. If we're truly seriously about competing for tourism dollars in a time of curbed luxury spending against states that offer true hospitality for adults who want to do adult things; then we have no choice but to enact these changes sooner than later.

I think Huntsman really has his shit together on this issue, and I hope the LDS Church and the state legislature have the foresight to see past their "political sensitivities" and concentrate on what's best for the state. Thus ends this sermon. Cheers!

Source: Deseret News

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New & Returning Beers for Utah's Holidays

Who's your buddy?
Who's your Pal?
You know I've got your back, and that I'd never let you guys and gals enter the Christmahanukwanzaka season without a little liquid holiday help. So I've compiled a list of new and returning beers to help ease your upcoming burdens, or at the very least to help wash down Auntie Roberta's pineapple, fig upside-down, uber-strudel. These beers are only available at our glorious state liquor stores, unless otherwise noted. And if your aware of anything not on my list please post it up in the comments section. Cheers!

New Local UTAH Beers:




Domestic, Craft & Imports:
















The Following are from the "Bad Elf" Line From Ridgeway Brewing in the U.K. (only available at the Bayou)







WARM Welcome

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Wine Store

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will open it's second store dedicated to the sale of select wines on Friday, November 14th. The store,which will boast an inventory of over 5,000 different items, is located at 280 West Harris Avenue (1602 South 300 West) in Salt Lake City and will be open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 10pm. It is over 12,000 sq. ft. in size and has plenty of parking. The stores beautiful design and experienced wine staff will make shopping for the perfect wine a pleasant experience. But, for those patrons who prefer the adventure of finding their wine or have an inclination toward the techno age, the store has a kiosk equipped with computers programmed to help them help themselves find the perfect wine or champagne to accompany any meal. Utah has long been known for its expansive selection of fine wines produced both domestically and world wide. State wine buyers say that consumers in other states may be able to find the same products offered in our wine stores, but they would be hard pressed to find them all under one roof.

So what does this have to do with beer? Well, if it's anything like the SLC Wine Store it should have a better selection of craft and imported suds and this is a good thing for beer lovers on the west side of town. As I write this, the stores grand opening is still four hours away. So I can't be certain about the selection. If your in the area, stop in and let us know how the selection is. And don't forget the AHA Rally at Squatters tonight at 6:00 pm. Cheers!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

AHA Membership Rally

"Give a man a beer and he can waste an afternoon, Teach a man to brew and he can waste a lifetime". Drinking craft is one of my favorite pastimes, but I never got a true appreciation for it until I became a home brewer. I've made some incredible stuff and some real shit, but all the while I was having a blast.

If you've been thinking about it, or already are a home brewer you should consider attending the American Homebrewers Association's Membership Rally on November 14th at Squatters.
The AHA is the national organization for homebrewers and beer enthusiasts! They're about promoting the community of homebrewers and empowering them to make the best beer in the world and dedicated to all aspects of homebrewing and beer culture: technical, artistic, sensory and social.

Current AHA members receive free admittance and can RENEW for just $33; all others pay $33; which gets them admittance to the rally as well as a ONE-YEAR membership to the AHA. Meet brewers Jenny Talley and Jason Stock, " VIP Brewery Tour" Appetizers for everyone" 12 house beers on tap- $3.50 pints " and a chance to win great door prizes from the AHA and Squatters. Plus it's a great opportunity to meet other like minded individuals and help expand Utah's beer culture. Hope to see you there!


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Budweiser: American Ale

Over the last couple years I've had the opportunity(along with many other beer gnerds) to sample some of Anheuser-Busch's experimental beers. These are beers that are occasionally offered at beer festivals to showcase what they're capable of doing, and to get some insight into what the consumer has a taste for. Most of these will never see shelf time at stores. Those that do will probably have little-to-no advertising and bearly a mention of who makes them. You've probably seen them. Shock Top Belgian White, Stone Mill Pale Ale, Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale, Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale and Beach Bum Blonde Ale.

So what the difference between these (besides the size of the Anheuser-Busch font) and Budweiser American Ale? Advertising. You can't watch prime time tv or a sporting event without seeing it. The others, not so much. Why? not because they're awful, but because they want you to think that your getting a true craft beer. Not Corporate wannabe. So how is it?... Well... OK... It doesn't qualify as a great beer, it doesn't really fit a style guideline. But it's good enough to drink.

Pours a deep, clear amber with a firm two finger head that had moderate sustainability. The nose is lightly roasted biscuit and caramel. The taste is roasted grain and caramel with Just a faint hint piney hops. The hops fade quickly and give in to the malt. The finish is crisp and dry. Mouthfeel is on the side.

Lets not kid ourselves this is not an exciting beer. It is a transformational beer. A good entry level ale for people looking to get out of the macro rut. But if you want a good, widely available American Pale Ale look to Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale or Uinta's Cutthroat Pale Ale. Both will run you about the same, and are far better representations of the style and the term "American Ale". Cheers!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Beer on a Plane

If you like beer and live in Utah, you've probably become pretty accomplished at the art of smuggling beer into the state. Whether it's by car, parcel or air. Remember the days of bringing a bottle or two of some of your favorite travel finds back with you in your carry-on? Well those days may be making a return in the fall of '09. Expect the TSA to lift the 3-ounce liquid restrictions and bring back the good 'ol days. Passengers will still have to remove liquids from carry-on bags at airport checkpoints and put them through X-ray machines; but who the hell cares. As long as I can get that Jeroboam of Stone Vertical Epic in the overhead bin, it's all good! Cheers.

Here's a link to the story in USA Today

Monday, October 27, 2008

New from Wasatch: White Label

Wasatch Brewing is debuting a new label just in time for the holidays. Wasatch White Ale is a Belgian Style Wtibier made in the tradition of such favorites as Hoegaarden and Blue Moon.

Pours a white, cloudy corn color with a thin frothy cap. The nose is of sulphur, wheat, banana and a little coriander. The taste is very similar to the nose with that odd sulfur essence leading off. Next comes bready wheat, then a dry banana. The finish has a minor "zesty" orange peel twang.

The sulfur notes are huge and put me off a bit. So I grabbed a Hoegaarden to make a comparison to see if my palate was off. As it turns out the Hoegaarden was spot on. Wheaty, spicy, hints of orange, mellow citrus, good carbonation & balanced after taste. Everything I was hoping the Wasatch's Wit to be. Now, White Label isn't bad a bad wit even though it is on the stronger side of the style at 6.0% ABV. White Labels isn't due on DABC shelves for a few days. Still, I hope that they are able to correct the sulfur problem in future batches because it is a little offsetting. If your looking for other great local takes on this style try RedRock's Wit, Squatters' Witbier and Rype from Four+. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh for Shame, Jasoh!

Apparently our interpretation of a Brewpub and Jasoh's Fine Dining is very different. Where as we consider a brewpub to be a place where beer is brewed, fermented and served on premises; Josoh apparently thinks all it has to do is, have a bar and sell other craft beer brands there. I'm sure it's a fine place to eat, but it doesn't qualify to be talked about here. So, in the immortal words of Steve Martin I say, "I break with thee, I break with thee, I break with thee. And then I throw dog poop on your shoes".
Note: I should point out that they have already removed any inference to having a brewpub on their website before this post was made. Cheers!

Monday, October 20, 2008

RedRock in Oktober

In celebration of the waning days of Oktoberfest Redrock Brewing Co is offering up some of their great, award winning German style lagers on tap. Besides the regular line up, look for their Munich Dunkle, Organic Zwickle, German Pils and Black Bier. These will only be available until the end of this week(oct 26) or until there gone. Also on tap is assistant brewer Matt Davis' recent GABF Silver Medal Winning Belgium style Wit Ale. This is probably the best witbier in the area and trust me you'll be sad if you don't get your hands on one before it's gone... And, RedRocks harvest Ale is in the tank and should be out in the coming weeks. Now, if that's not enough to spin you into a fall beer frenzy they are also offering up for purchase their signature 32 oz. steins for 10 bucks. Fill them som'bitches up, yo! With the Holidays fast approaching your gunna need 'em. Cheers!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Utah's 2008 GABF Medalists

Well we made it. After three sessions and hundreds of ounces of beer, our yearly pilgrimage to Beer Mecca has concluded. What did we learn?... Well, no matter how beered-out you may think you are; pouring another fine American craft beer down the ol' pipes brings you right back to square-one. Also, Utah's brewers still know how to represent. Below are this years winners at GABF. All should be available for purchase right now. I recommend getting out sampling these fine brews and congratulate our local brewers for the fine jobs they do. More to come....

2008 GABF

American-Style or Belgian-Style Ale

Bronze-Fifth Element-Squatters Brewing

Category 35: German-Style Schwarzbier

Silver-Cherny Bock-Bohemian Brewing

Category 56: German-Style Altbier

Bronze-All The Way Alt-Desert Edge Brewing

Category 58: German-Style Wheat Ale

Bronze-Wasatch Hefeweizen-Wasatch Brewing

Category 59: Belgian-Style Wit

Silver-Belgian Wit-Red Rock Brewing

Bronze-Squatters Wit-Utah Brewers Coop

Monday, October 06, 2008

How Swede it is!

If you follow the dribble I spew, even somewhat infrequently you know I'm a big fan a Four+'s Wildfire Pale Ale. It's really is a great session beer and if your not drinking it, your bad!... Bad beer geeks!

Uinta/Four+ has as of late been expanding in to and experimenting in markets Utah's brewers have rarely tapped. Over the last couple of months I've been getting alot of feedback from people all over North America that say it's a nice surprise to find quaffable beers coming from all places Utah. Though it's no surprise to us, good beer is good beer no matter where it hails from. It's good to hear that our local brews do well in national competitions. The craft beer market in the U.S. is thick with fantastic beers of all styles and with so much great stuff out there, it's quite a complement to get high praise from your peers.

Overseas it can be a different story. While some enjoy the cutting-edge styles emerging from the U.S. others don't. One of the big criticisms about many "American" craft beers is that they're too "leafy", massively over-hopped, alcohol monsters. That's a fair critique, not entirely accurate but fair. So it's nice when the Utah stuff gets a nod.
This latest nod comes from one of the most unlikely places, Sweden. Where in an unusual move Uinta/Four+ entered four of it's labels in The Stockholm Beer and Whiskey Festival . Anglers Pale Ale, Anniversary Barley Wine, Wildfire Extra Pale Ale and the never before released Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine, 11.1%.

Of the four, one beer managed to get a nod from the judges. Wildfire. I think the boys and girls have really found a good balance of hop essence and astringents with this one, and it looks like it's starting to find international appeal. This was one of Wildfire's first times in competition it's next big challenge comes this week and The Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Co. Where a large informal Utah delegation will be cheering it and every other Utah entry on.

Two other quick notes on Uinta/Four+. Wildfire Pale Ale will be undergoing a name change soon. So, in the coming months start looking for "Wyld" Organic Pale Ale. New name, same beer. Also, when I was listing Uinta's entries above you may have noticed I mentioned "Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine". Yep that's right They took their award winning barley wine and aged it two years in Bourbon and Sherry barrels. If your wondering how it turned out your going to have to stay tuned. This 11.3% monster will never be released for purchase and will never again be entered into competition. Why? I'm not sure. It may just be an experimental brew. All I know is that if your lucky enough to get your grubby lil' paws on a bottle. You've scored big. Cheers!

Monday, September 29, 2008

GABF 2008 is officially sold out!

If your planning on attending the Great American Beer Festival starting Oct. 9th, I hope you've already grabbed your tickets. If not... you may be shit-out-of-luck. For the first time ever GABF has sold out every session a record two-weeks early! Your only options are to win them on local Denver radio stations, and if you don't live there that may make it, well.... I think you get it. If your thinking of getting from a scalper beware. Most online purchases are "print your own" tickets. Each with a specific bar-code to be scanned upon entry. This could lead to very easy counterfeiting. Just an FYI. Sorry to be such a bummer....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Help Make It A Cold Day in Hell

Consumption of liquor, wine and beer is up in way-up in Utah and to accommodate imbibers the states is building bigger and better outlets at a record pace. Two new state stores are among 10 remodeling or building projects along the Wasatch Front and southern Utah, adding 40 percent more retail space for wine, heavy beer and distilled spirits.

While these are great and long overdue, there is still one thing that will be missing from these shiny new facilities. Beer coolers. With all the taxes that are paid, it's still hard to believe that the concept of a simple refrigerator unit per store is beyond the scope of reason. Now I'm aware of the excuses spewed forth from our LDS overlords. They believe a cold beer bought from a liquor store will be so enticing that we'll be chugging 'em down before we can get our heathen asses in our death Yugo's. It's amazing that societies out side of Utah can function without such keen guidance.

And it's not just about cold beer to be consumed sooner than later. The people in charge seem to forget or just plain don't care that beer is a perishable product that is better when fresh. For Christ sake many breweries won't even sell beer to Utah because of this arcane policy.

Well if you really want to do something about it, grab your mouse(your other mouse Doug) and follow this link to to sign an online petition to get refrigeration units in Utah State liquor stores. It's really a no brainer. If you've bought a single beer from a state liquor store in the past 100 years you'll immediately benefit from it.

Credit and thanks goes to Ross Metzger from Tributetobeer.com for getting this rolling. Tell everyone you can think of to get on this and sign today! Cheers!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Fifth Season

One thing that separates Utah from the rest of the world is our lack of seasons. The rest of the world gets the standard four, you know spring, summer etc. But here in the intermountain west, we get seven months of winter, four months of summer and two weeks each for spring and fall.

To help break up the months in between extremes I propose we create a new fifth season. Leann (lionn) would begin right about now, dedicated to the best time of the year for beer. So, now that we've got that bullshit out of the way. I'd like to throw some good seasonal options out there to help celebrate our new season.

Squatters has quite a few on tap now.
Alt and In the Way: a German style Altbier Copper-colored and aged 35 days. Won a gold in the 2008 World Beer Cup competition.

BlackForest Schwarzbier: Dark and not too heavy with a good amount of hops. Another medal winner.

Cheshire Cream Ale: Pale straw color. Low hop bittering and some hop aroma.

Hop Rising: A well-hopped, classic American pale ale.

Wasatch BrewPub is offering,
Hopalicious Pale Ale: A Pale Ale on cask made from wild Utah hops. Limited supply. Only at the Wasatch Brew Pub.

Pumpkin Ale: An unfiltered fall brew, made with real pumpkin and pie spices. This is one of the better Pumpkin beers available in the country.

RedRock has,
Bamberg Rauchbier: An amber-colored smoke ale with a mild beech wood-esque smokiness.

Harvest Ale: An unfiltered hop monster with a great citrus nose and taste.

Desert Edge.
Desert Hell: A Bavarian Helles Bier. A light and slightly malty German lager with spicy hop character, but a bit more subdued and balanced than regular Czech lagers.

Radius: Is a white, golden ale made with ingredients grown within 150 miles (give or take) from Salt Lake City. Available in mid-October.

Hoppers is offering their take on the Altbier. Out of Bounds Alt: Extended conditioning mellows out the ale's fruitiness and produces an exceptionally smooth and delicate brew. A great balance of malt and hops.

Four+(Uinta). Punk'n: spicier and dryer than Wasatch's with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and allspice.

Roosters. Oktoberfest: Dark copper in color, full-bodied, rich and toasty.

So get your slacker-asses out there and drink-up these seasonals before they're gone. Or you'll be sad lil' beer geeks. Cheers!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Local Beers, Grown Locally

I'm a big fan of supporting local small businesses. I try to spend my money with our local entrepreneurs rather than national chains as often as I can. If your like-minded, consider heading over to the Desert Edge Brewery this October, where Brew master Chris Haas has put together a special beer made from all local ingredients. Radius, will be made with ingredients grown within 150 miles of the Wasatch Front(yeast too???). Chris says he found the malt just over the state line in Idaho and personally picked the hops locally. I'm not sure of what style he's planning on brewing yet, but I'm sure it'll be unique. Radius will be available on draft beginning in mid-October at the brew pub in Salt Lake City. 602 E. 500 South. Cheers!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Prohibition is Back!

This is just another example of why it's a bad idea to have non-drinkers regulating what they don't understand. The state of Utah has inadvertently introduced a de facto ban on flavored malt beverages, beers and ales. On Oct. 1, flavored malt beverages, such as Smirnoff Ice, Jack Daniel's Original Hard Cola and Bacardi Silver, must be off grocery store shelves and moved to state-controlled liquor outlets. But it's unlikely any of the products will be available in state liquor outlets by the Oct. 1 deadline.

"All Anheuser-Busch flavored malt beverages will no longer be available in Utah," said Michael Brennan, president of General Distributing Co., the state's largest beer distributor. "I don't think the public understands that 3.2 flavored beverages will be gone." The new law also targets traditional beers and ales containing flavorings such as apricot or raspberry.

So basically, If you enjoy a lager or ale that is flavored with food extracts made with distilled alcohol. It's unlikely that Utah distributors will continue to carry them. Why? It's problematic for manufacturers to comply with a bevy of regulations from a single state, particularly when the product is part of a national distribution chain and a small niche in the beer industry. It leads one to suspect that many companies may have some reluctance to incur all these additional expenses that Utah regulators are levying on them. If this is what the Utah Legislature and the governor wanted to accomplish, they've done it.

Note: this only applies to beverages that contain extracts. Malt beverages and beers that are made with "real fruit" do not fall under this this new fucked-up regulation. Thank God for small favors...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Obama Beer

Well these photos say it all. And that's good enough for me. And I'm pretty certain they're not one of Cindy McCain's Budweiser's.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

2008 Utah Brewers Festival

CLICK HERE FOR FESTIVAL UPDATE It's been a tough couple years for the Utah Brewers Festival. After trying to convert back from the previous Blues and Brew fest and last years bad weather, this years fest met it's demise due to Salt Lake City's new 20% take on ticket sales and concessions. So, organizers have opted to concentrate on an all new '09 beer fest rather than a hurried half-assed beer fest for this year. So mark the dates in your beer calendar for the 2009 Utah Brewers Festival. August 21-23. Yup, three days!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

It's like Disney Land... with Beer!

If your planning on attending this years Great American Beer Festival you'd better get on it. Its only a short seven weeks away! It's kinda-like the Disney Land of beer... except for the rides... and the kids. Other than that it's truly a "magical kingdom" for three days. People don their festive head-gear,(aka mouse ears) are greeted by colorful characters(just don't hug 'em) and just have kid-like fun... only with beer.

There will also be many opportunities to learn more about your favorite brews and styles as well as book signings, food & beer pairing seminars featuring an A-list of America's brewers and national celebrity chefs and of course the world's largest and most prestigious beer tasting competition featuring 400+ breweries, sampling nearly 1900 beers.

GABF runs from Oct 9-11 with a total of four public tastings. Get your tickets soon. Or you'll be shit-out-of-luck. Trust me.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Second Coming

No it's not Jebus! It's that other guy with the God complex, Del Vance(kidding Del). After a very successful first printing Utah's second best beer scribe(after me) has decided to spew forth more detailed info about Utah's Beer; past present and future. Some of the new topics in the book include Zion Canyon Brewing and updated beer legislation. Available at most craft beer establishments and bookstores.

Also, if your wondering about the status of Del's new beer bar the "Beerhive House" don't worry, it's still in the works. The plans are at city hall, waiting to be approved. Apparently there's a huge back-log of plans waiting for approval. But Del assures me that once approved it should come together rather quickly.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Squatters: Fifth Element

If you live in or have ever visited Utah, you know that we have to do things a little different than most states when it comes to the making and enjoyment our suds. What may seem usual and mundane elsewhere can be a big deal here.

Seasonal beers are nothing new to Utah's brewers, they crank them out all the time. But when it comes to special edition brews, things become a little tricky. Especially if those special editions want to venture above the hollowed 4.0% ceiling. Things are getting better. The recent creation of the of the states new Type 5 package license gives brewers the ability to create, bottle and sell, right from the brewery or brewpub. Eliminating the tedious and needless Sell, buy-back, then sell again, crap that brewers have had to deal with for decades.

The first beneficiary of this new law is Squatters Brew Pub. Over the past few years Jenny Talley has been seeking inspiration and advice from all over the world to come up with a way of putting a new spin on old-world staples. Seeking input from some of America's best brewers; including(but not limited to) Firestone Walker's Matt Brynildson, Vinny Cilurzo of Russian River and Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery. Jenny told me that the the support she had from these folks including many, many others gave her the inspiration to start creating more daring beers as well as a name for her first bottle conditioned, oak aged ale.

Fifth Element like most beers are made up from the four primaries. Malted barley, hops, water and yeast. The "fifth element" according to Jenny is the brewing community for which she credits a great deal of her inspiration. Fifth Element is a Belgian style Saison ale. These are traditionally brewed in the winter, to be consumed throughout the summer months. Fifth Element was brewed December 2007 and laid down to age in oak barrels January 2008.

Poures a cloudy apricot/straw color with a fizzy white head that reduced to a thin froth. The nose has a bit a of barnyard funkiness to it, with hints of lemon. The tastes starts with light citrus notes then transitions into tart green apples and peach. Next comes a dry oakiness that compliments the tartness well. The finish is a combination a champagne like dryness and bitter florals. Light and dry but highly drinkable. It's 6.75% ABV is well hidden. A great effort, well worth trying. Available only at Squatters. Cheers!

Squatters Debuted Fifth Element on August 13th

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Uinta Represents at The Great British Beer Festival

If you love beer and have never attended North America's largest beer fest, the Great American Beer festival... well... damn it, you should! Three days of all things beer, in city (Denver) that loves it's suds. Like GABF, The Great British Beer Festival is Britain's largest beer festival and brings together a wide range of real British ales, including a large contingent of American and international craft beers. There are at least 450 beers available throughout the festival. Golden ales, fruit beers, stouts, bitters etc. This fest is mostly about proper British ales, but this year brings a slew of some of the most popular and well respected labels of some of America's craft breweries.

Utah's Uinta Brewery is one of the few breweries chosen to represent this year. They're sampling a limited amount of Anglers Pale Ale, King's Peak Porter and Uinta 14th Anniversary Barleywine. Uinta is in good company, I'm sure they'll represent Utah well. Congrats to the Uinta crew!