Friday, January 25, 2008

Utah Considers Banning Cold Beer!!!


If you've spent any time looking over this blog you may have noticed that we who live in Utah experience some pretty difficult and unique challenges when it comes to the enjoyment of adult beverages. The difficulties usually stem from conflicts between ultra conservative Mormons and well... everyone else. Mormons don't believe in the consumption of alcohol (even though Mormon elected officials run the states liquor monopoly) and for the most part don't believe it should be available for purchase at all.


That being said, it has comes to light that a proposal to ban the sale of cold beer is now being talked about by some powerful Mormon lawmakers. The idea of selling only warm beer actually came up Tuesday at the senate's republican caucus. Reportedly, their thinking is, if beer at Utah grocery or convenience stores had to be sold warm, that might discourage people from drinking beer right away or from drinking as much.


What these Taliban-esque zealots don't realize is that beer is a fragile product that requires refrigeration to keep it from spoiling.


I urge the the nice people from surrounding states to invade our borders and liberate us from our Mormon Overlords. The Emperor Has No Clothes!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Utopias Ahoy!


For good or bad there's one thing that Americans excel at. Taking an idea, embracing it and morphing it to the Nth degree. Case in point, Samuel Adam's Utopias. This is an anomaly in the beer world. It's a beer that seems to blur the line between beer and spirits. creating controversy over whether it is technically beer. Well, it is beer. A top fermented uber-beer! Even though it may not have many of the characteristics you'd associate with your favorite ale or lager.


The decanter it comes in is a beautiful recreation of an old style mash tun. Made of glass and copper, it's nearly worth the price alone.
Utopias currently enjoys the status of being the worlds strongest beer. At a whopping 27% abv it will warm your core on the coldest winter night.

Note: I haven't sampled the the latest vintage of Utopias. This review is for the '05 vintage. Poured a deep amber/ruby with no head or lace. The nose was bourbon-esque with massive dark fruits, tons of alcohol, malt and caramel. A touch of maple syrup like character is also noticed. The flavor is vinous and ripe. Full of raisin, plum, butterscotch, sweet Carmel and brown sugar. The finish is full bodied, bitter and all alcohol. This burnt like hell going down. Every sip steals your breath. At $200 a bottle you should try it; if anything to say, you’ve had the strongest beer in the world.
If you want to try it, the Bayou is the sole place in Utah to get 'em. I believe Mark said he got six. I'd recommend getting a dozen of your closest beer nerds together and share in the experience. It will definitely help defray the cost. Besides things like don't come around too often and are best shared.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Devistator Double Bock


There's a new kid on the beer block and he's packing a welcomed punch. The happy kids over at Wasatch Brewing have been working on bringing more high-gravity suds to the Utah faithful, and have happily "nailed it" with Devastator. The Devastator is a Double Bock. If your not familiar with Bock Beers, they're a little more hearty than your normal beer. Double Bocks or Doppelbock are a Bavarian specialty beer that were first brewed by the monks of St. Francis of Paula. They're stronger than most beers (between 6%-10% abv). During the Spring religious season of Lent, monks were required to fast. High-gravity Bock beers; high in food energy and nutrients provided sustenance during this period. Hence bocks were considered "liquid bread" by the monks.

So, how does it taste? Pretty damn good!

Poured a nice clear amber/ruby color with a thin foamy head. The nose is nutty with chocolate, molasses and a bit of alcohol perfume. The taste starts with Molasses, brown sugar and pecans. spicy cocoa comes next with toasted grain and finishes with a nice hoppy pine finish. It's 8.0% abv is nicly masked. The label defiantly screams Utah. It says, Utah will never be the same.
Let pray they're right.

The artwork on the label is quite nice it depicts a Ram(Bock= Buck in German. Get it?) Busting through downtown Salt Lake City. Appropriately, snorting fire and being an all around nuisance. Sorry the pic is of low quality it seems when these come available to me, I don't have my good camera.

Devastator is available at State Liquor Stores, Wasatch brew pubs and most private clubs.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Utah Beer Year in Review

A lot of good and a little bad came to the Utah beer community in '07. Here's a brief review of high and low lights.

The year started appropriately enough our usual winter weather phenomena The Inversion. And Desert Edge Brewer ---- wasted no time in concocting a tasty companion to the murky winter air. Named coincidentally Inversion. It's a nice lite, moderately smokey Rauchbier with a nice bed of malt hops and a whole lotta smoke.

Another style out of the norm that made it's way into local brew pubs was the Flanders Brown Ale style that has it's origins from the Flemish region of Belgium. Jenny Talley from Squatters put together this authentic sour Belgian farmhouse ale with tart cherry accents. Cherry Luv is a seasonal and has no set production schedule.

In February Fifty-four Barley Wines and ninety judges from all over North America converged at the Toronado in San Fransisco to enjoy and select the continents best. Uinta's XI Anniversary Barley Wine tied for third in the annual high octane competition.


Author and beer geek Del Vance published Beer in the Beehive: a History of Brewing in Utah. The book documents Utah's earliest beer producers from past to the present and the cultures that influenced them.

Squatters officially became the largest brewpub in the state expanding to take over the entire three storey historical building it occupies.

We learned in 2007 that the word Merlot is so offensive that it had to be stricken from the licence plate of Glenn Eurick's Merlot colored 1996 Mercedes Benz. After having the plate for ten years he was forced to give it up because it offended the delicate sensibilities of an anonymous caller.

We also learned that were on can tear down, another can rebuild. For the first time since the start of Prohibition, a Utahn will be producing home grown hooch from the states first legal distillery. David Perkins has some pretty great plans for the P.C. distillery, like a top to bottom renovation of the proposed property and a tasting room for patrons to sample the various spirits produced.

Following a nation-wide trend Utah beer makers started producing certified organic beers. Squatters was the first to offer it's Organic Amber Ale at they're brew pub. Uinta's Wildfire Pale Ale was fist to be offered in stores and bars.

Statistics released by the Brewers Association, shown that even though Utahns drink less beer than the rest of the nation our breweries do very well in sales. Two of Utah's breweries ranked 47th & 49th out of just under 1400 craft breweries. Nearly 80% of all craft beer sales in the U.S. came from these 50 companies.

The Mountain Brewers Festival yielded many medals for Utah Breweries in June. Judges from all over the country, participated in blind tastings, awarding 18 medals to the most misunderstood beer producing state in the nation.

Some fresh blood (good & Bad) was injected into Uta's D.A.B.C. after three decades of stagnation.

In July we found that Utah loves Lions more that any other state. Lev Lion a Czech beer that has been in in Utah since the 1995 and is distributed in 12 states, Lev has, for some inexplicable reason, made its biggest splash in the Salt Lake City market. It sells better here than anywhere in the country since it was introduced. The state consumed 10,000 cases in '06.

Famed Beer Author and enthusiast Michael Jackson passed away at his home in London, England. He was arguably the foremost authority on beer and whiskey in the world.

The best reappearing & disappearing act of the year goes to the Utah Brewers Festival. After years of being on hiatus it's return was heralded as trip back to the good ol' days. But Mother Nature was nursing a hangover and it had to be cancelled due to weather. Bitch.

Zima, Smirnoff Ice, Mike's Hard Lemonade and the like were deemed to be too damn enticing for consumers by a member of the states booze patrol. The low alcohol beverages(4.0%abv) were to be moved to the state run liquor stores from grocery outlets so they would be harder to get and taxed at a much, much higher rate. After voting down the move. The Dabc council lost it's spine and decided it's a matter for the state legislature.

Utah scored big at the Great American Beer Festival. Three breweries won eight medals. As well as The Large Brew Pub & Brewer of the Year, going to RedRock and its Brewer Kevin Templin. Other beers awarded were Hopper's Lil' Pip's Mild(gold), Squatters' IPA(gold) & Their Organic Amber(silver).

The last quarter of '07 saw a influx of new imports to the state. Most from Belgium!

Finally, South Salt Lake City blames it's crime rate on the number of bars in their town. So no new licenses are to be issued and bar owners cannot sell their business with liquor licenses included.

All in all it was a good year. People are slowly getting it. Utah got some game!