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Friday, March 28, 2008


I'm all about the 'beer love'. If there's a good beer out there, I'm happy to pimp it to anyone who will listen. That being said, I'm a little torn about revealing BlackFriar to everyone. Selfishly, I've been keeping this one to myself. Telling only those whom I feel I can take in a fight(sorry Doug). This Scottish Ale quietly arrived into town a couple months ago and immediately became one of my favorites.

Poured a hazy ruby/orange color with a big rocky head which dissipated quickly. The nose is earthy, with peat-smoked malts and faint, sweet caramel undertones. The first thing I notice is how heavily hopped this Scottish ale is. The taste starts surprising with orange rind, caramel and dark fruit. Next comes some smoky/burnt notes with some toffee undertones. The finish has a lingering tobacco bitterness with an alcohol pepperiness. It's complex without being to scattered and slightly off-balanced. But that's it's appeal for me. This isn't your text book Scottish Ale, but it's well worth seeking out and trying. It dials in at a well-hidden 7.0% abv and is only available at the Bayou.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

To Pong, or Not to Pong

Normalcy in Utah is a relative term. There's normal for Utah. And Normal for everywhere else. Part of "normal" here in Utah and elsewhere, is shedding your adolescence for your inevitable adulthood and trying to find your place in this world. Some of us will attend college or move far away. Or my personal favorite, squatting in mom and dad's basement 'till your given the boot(man, I miss that couch).

Part of the growing experience are the "Pack Games". These are the competitions that are usually played at the Frat house or in a friends kitchen and usually involve one of the following. Beer and or schnapps with the object: have fun, without getting completely shit-faced to the point you find yourself naked in a Denny's parking lot at 4am.

Some of the more popular of these Pack Games are Quarters, Mexico City, Beer Checkers, This Is My... and the ever so popular Beer-Pong. For those of you who don't know, the objective of beer pong is to bounce a ping-pong ball from one end of a table into a cluster of six cups at the other end. If the ball lands in a cup, the owner of that cup drinks its contents - usually, beer. I haven't played most of these games in a while, but I have very fond and not-so-fond memories of them. And I guess that's my point. That which makes you happy, can also make you unhappy. We've got to learn the price of excess and a respect for the fermented grain.

But at Utah State University, a dry campus with a heavy Mormon population, the Aggies play with root beer. "We want to make this a tradition at USU." Campus Recreation Chairman Lance Brown elaborated on why he thinks the game, which students played Friday at the Taggart Student Center, has caught on. "It's like people here want to look worldly, but they don't want to be worldly," he said. "Living in a Mormon community, students want to push the edge a little." It's good for our student body to relax and help people experience something they normally wouldn't," said Lindsay Hall.

Brown said he doesn't see the game they've named Beirut fading away any time soon. I guess there's something very enticing about the worlds drinking cultures. When people who promise to abstain from a culture of drinking concoct social events called "mocktail parties" to experience a social tradition that's denied to them because of some primitive superstitions, it tends to make members of the said drinking cultures shake their heads in disbelief.

If your going to set yourself apart, great. Just do it with a little integrity. Faux cussing, faux indecent attire (rolling up the magic jammies so they don't show), and now faux drinking of alcohol. Appearance and intention is just as important as the act. What's next a smoking section for bubble gum cigars or snorting lines of Fun Dip? Well, don't worry. There will still be plenty of vomiting and hangovers, but with a diabetic edge.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Malt Madness

This is classic, I wish I'd thought it first. The Colorado Springs Gazette is pitting local brews against one another, sip for sip, in a blind tasting to pick the unofficial champ of Colorado Springs' beers. The beers will be judged in a blind tasting from five members of Colorado's beer community and will announce their elite eight, the final four and the champ on the news papers website. Readers are encouraged to participate marking(and sampling) they're own brackets(beers) to see how they compare to the blind tastings. It'll be interesting see to the outcome. Click above for the link.

Monday, March 17, 2008

No Green Beer Today!

To put it simply, no green beer today. Got it? The only colors you should see in your glasses or mugs today are red, black and earth tones. If you want green in your gut, eat a salad. Hope to see you out there. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Squatters St. Patrick's Day Options

Even though Squatters and RedRock are only a hundred yards apart from each other geographically, they're brewmasters' brewing styles are with out end. Just as RedRock provides their Irish Red for St. Pat's day, Squatters offers-up a traditional ale as well. Squatters brews quite a few stouts at their brew pub on Broadway. Captain Bastard's Oatmeal Stout and Custard's Last Stout: to name two. Both great and are offered on tap and nitro periodically.

The third stout is a dry Irish Stout called McGrueh's. McGrueh's Poured black with a thick creamy tan nito head. The nose rich with espresso and roasted biscuit The taste starts with coffee then turns to espresso. Heavily roasted malt come next with a nutty/smokiness in the end. Mild hops come late and provide a slightly dry finish.

McGrueh's is available on nitro 'till it's gone. And if I know Jenny's beers, that will probably be Monday. If you can't go out and play on Monday (St. Patrick's Day) Squatters will be throwing a bash this Saturday March 15th in the loft after the parade and continuing into the night. Dancing and and an Irish fiddler will also be on hand. Also, on March 20th , they're releasing for the first time: Epiphany, a bourbon barrel aged vanilla Porter on nitro. G'damn! can't wait to try that one, sounds tasty.

RedRock's Hibernian

"HIBERNIAN", from the Latin term Hibernia (Ireland), meaning 'one who comes from Ireland'.
This ST. Patty's Day offering from RedRock is available year round at the brewpub, but for some reason it seems to find it's biggest audience during March. Hmm, I wonder why???

Hibernian poured a dark reddish brown with a moderate to thin cap of foam. The nose is mostly of malt with just a hint of smoke and hops. The taste starts with roasted malts, cocoa and caramel. The end had a light piney finish. The mouthfeel is full and round. This "Irish-style" amber ale had a little more body than I expected, even though the hop profile is somewhat less pronounced. A fine example of the style. Only available on tap at RedRock's Downtown And Park City Locations.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Dale Harris of Zion Canyon Brewery, left a comment the other week about the status of distributing his beers north to the Wasatch Front. I thought it was worth posting to the main page.

Hello beer fans,Beer distribution update from ZCBC. Winkel Distribution is getting my kegs and bottles as far as Richfield. I am working on getting ZCBC all over the state by the end of May. In the meantime Zion is beautiful in the spring!! So come to Zion and have a beer and hit a hike. Also ZCBC is sponsoring Earth Day celebration at the Bit n Spur on 4/19 in Springdale.


Dale E. Harris


Friday, March 07, 2008


I owe everyone an apology. I reported yesterday that hb 425s01, legislation to legalize home brewing in Utah passed the house. When in fact it did not. Apparently, it went before the senate and was sent back to the rules committee, the legislative session ended before the bill could make it back to the senate for its final vote. Hopefully Rep. Christine Johnson will attempt to reintroduce the bill next year. Sorry for the misinformation.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

New Utah Beer Legislation

Well it's over. The Cluster on Capitol Hill wrapped-up late last night and Utah's beer faithful came out slightly ahead. Senate Minority Leader Mike Dmitrich's bill that would decrease the markup on locally made beer wine & alcohol passed the House and now awaits the governor's signature. SB95 would cut the markup the state imposes from 86 percent to 64.5 percent on heavy beer(over 4.0% abv) and decrease the markup on spirits to 47 percent.

As with everything in life, with the good comes the bad. If your reading this your probably not a huge fan of "malternative" beverages like Mike's Hard Lemonade, Smirnoff Ice, ect. If you are then you've got 'till October to purchase them at you local grocery/convenient store. After that they're off to the state controlled liquor stores, where the selection will drop and the alcohol content and prices will climb. "Why is this happening"? Well, the state of Utah and the LDS Church determined that the makers of these beverages are primarily targeting underage drinkers. And that this is the only solution. To justify the move legally the lawmakers site that anything containing alcohol derived from distillation must be state controlled. Note: the primary method of alcohol production in these bevs is through fermentation. The distilled alcohol in the drinks come from the flavoring extracts used for sweetness. The distilled content is around 0.5% abw per 12oz. bottle. Under this law mouthwash and food extracts have to go to the liquor store as well. Will they? I doubt it. but that what the law states.

To give you an idea of how messed up this is Jack Daniels Bourbon is 43% abv. 86 proof.
Mike's Hard Lemonade is 4.0% abv. 6 proof.
Listerine mouthwash is 27% abv 38 proof.
I got a little off topic but there it is, your latest, ever-changing Utah Beer-a-Thon.