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!