Thursday, December 31, 2009

Utah Craft Brands Remain Strong

As the year ends remember this. Even though beer sales have dipped slightly over the last year due to the economic crisis, sales figures continued to be healthy for craft beer brands, far greater then either imports or domestic macro beers.

And growth by dollars continued to rise, in part due to higher prices, but also due in part to the consumer’s willingness to pay a little bit more for better beer, as seen in the past months sales of local high ABV brands.

This essentially confirmed the recession-proof nature of beer, and especially craft beer. Many Local breweries are continuing to see excellent sales and sales growth in stark contrast to the big guys. Even expanding their operation into the coming year.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More Accolades for Cutthroat

Congrats to Uinta Brewing on receiving a Silver Medal in the English-Style Bitter category for their Cutthroat Pale Ale at the The sixth annual European Beer Star Awards.

836 beers from more than 30 countries participated in the European Beer Star. 78 jurors awarded gold, silver and bronze medals in 41 categories.

Record attendance, was spurred on by a surge of foreign entries, which was 22% higher than the previous year. Submissions came from all continents: from Australia to Panama, from Russia to Thailand, from Brazil to the USA.

Uinta's Flagship beer is one of the most celebrated beers in the state. Sadly people from outside of Utah will only get to experience this great beer from within our borders. Due to some bullshit copyright laws. Oh well, more for us I guess.

Cheers

Friday, December 25, 2009

My Xmas Present to You...

...is My favorite beer commercial ever! Sadly, I think the last time I even saw a Stroh's beer in Utah, Michael Jackson was still black. But to be honest I haven't been looking.

Thanks for all the support Utah craft beer lovers.

Cheers & Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

More Holiday Beers

As if you didn't have enough new beer options Desert Edge had to come along and give you All the Way Alt. This is a tasty German style ale,"Alt", with a copper color and slightly bitter and dry finish. There is a bit of toasted flavor in the finish as well. They also have on tap Downtown Nut Brown, although not for long. It is almost out. As well we have the Holiday Raspberry Stout and the Augustus Amber Ale.

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If your thinking about getting some Outer Darkness or Paardebloem you'd better get on it. Both are flying out of their respective breweries. In the time I was at Squatters on Monday evening I watched at least eight cases walk out the door, and that's just when I was there.

If your wondering if you'll like O.D., it pores a thick, opaque ebony color with a good two fingers of dark copper colored foam.

The nose was heavy with coffee, chocolate, licorice and a hint of vanilla. Definite alcohol perfume in the end.

The taste starts with Chocolate covered raisins, followed by some underlying dark fruits. The sweetness fades into big roasted coffee and cocoa and finished up with a nice roasted vanilla malt taste.

The alcohol is noticeable but it doesn’t taste like a 10.5% beer. An amazing, full and complex Imperial Stout. The mouthfeel is thick and rich, you really get a sense for how heavy all of the ingredients are as you swish it around.

This has to be one of my favorite Utah beers of all time. The chocolate and coffee flavors are balanced perfectly. Best enjoyed in small sips where you can really savor and appreciate the great flavor and artistry in the brew.

Happy Holidays & Cheers!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Breakfast in a Glass

Tomorrow Hoppers is putting on tap Donovan's Irish Breakfast Stout. It combines an Oatmeal Stout with a Sweet 'Milk' Stout that contains unfermentable lactose milk sugars, then they added several pounds Millcreek Guatemalan coffee. Donovan uses their house London Ale yeast strain and are leaving it unfiltered, but still very bright.

The aroma starts with a rich full coffee aroma, oatmeal, chocolate, and slight fruitiness. The rich body is backed with flavors of creamed coffee and then a rich malty silky oatmeal. It finishes with a lingering Guatemalan Coffee Flavor and fresh milk chocolate and slight fruitiness. Let it warm a bit to get all the complex coffee flavors, oats, and fruity yeast aromas. It's breakfast in a pint!

Wow! What a great week for local craft beer.

Cheers!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bohemian's Schwenkelweiss Black Wheat

The Bohemian Brewery doesn't brew seasonal beers very often, so when they do it's definitely worth talking about. Today the boys at Bohemian are releasing their Schwenkelweiss Black Wheat. It utilizes a wide array of wheat malts to give the beer a fine chocolaty aroma and flavor, that's balances well with a refreshing wheat tang. Or so they say.

Another thing that makes this beer unusual for Bohemian is that it's nitrogen conditioned instead of the normal Co2. Which should add a nice silky mouthfeel to the brew.

This is looking to be a great week for new beers. Should be on the taps by the afternoon.

Prost!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Two Big - New Releases

Today there are two big debuts on the Utah craft beer scene, so lets get right to it.

First off, we have RedRock's long awaited version of their collaboration beer Paardebloem (Flemish for Dandelion). This beer was brewed earlier in the year at RedRock & New Belgium breweries. While NB's version was released soon after brewing RR's went into American oak barrels for aging.

Inspired by the great hop shortage of 2008, dandelion greens were used as they have a natural bittering effect much like hops. The result is a blond ale brewed with toasted pilsener malt, flavored with fresh picked dandelion greens and grains of paradise.

Paardebloem is hazy and light gold in color with peachy/lemony nose. It has a unique floral bitterness with a big malty backbone. There is a touch of added sourness(intentional)that the New Belgium version lacks. This provides a nice balance for the big spicy/sweetness the ale carries.

The ABV is at 8.8% and sells for $15.00. Most importantly there are only 150 bottle available! So I don't have to tell you that this won't be around for much more than a couple of weeks. Only available for "in house" sales at RR's downtown SLC location.
Next we have Outer Darkness. This is the first commercially produced Imperial Stout brewed in Utah.

This beer is big all around. Big espresso notes, big cocoa, Big roastiness and big alcohol. 10.5% abv to be exact. This may put Outer Darkness very close to being Utah's strongest beer ever.

Squatters has 800 bottles and they will be $14.99 for sale at the table or out the door. For the best Outer Darkness drinking experience Brewmaster Jenny Talley recommends warming it to 45f before opening and pour the beer directly down the center of the glass without any tilt. This beer is big enough that it can be cellared for 1-3 years before resurrecting.

For sale at Squatters Pub downtown SLC and at Squatters Roadhouse Grill in Park City.

Cheers!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yet Another Distillery in Utah

Just weeks after the grand opening of the High West Distillery in Park City, comes word that another distillery is in the planning up in the mountain resort community.

Lespri Spirits would be the third entry into Utah's fledgling distilling community, behind the above mentioned High West and the newer Ogden's Own Distillery, makers of Underground; a J├Ągermeister-esque herbal liquor.

The founder of Club Lespri wants to start distilling vodka at their location in Prospector square, saying that it resembles in some ways the microbrewery market of years ago and that it could expand Park City's reputation as an imbibing place in a state that many outsiders perceive as being filled with teetotalers.

Scott Rogers, Club Lespri founder, said he wants the product to be "super premium botanical vodkas." According to his description, Lespri Spirits will purchase a neutral-grain spirit and then distill the spirit into vodka at the Sidewinder Drive restaurant-spa-health club.

Club Lespri has hired consultants to assist with the distillery, Rogers said, Club Lespri expects to test up to 12 recipes of vodka before deciding on five or six to produce and that the alcohols will be "vapor-infused vodka," but he does not consider them to be flavored vodkas.

Club Lespri is seeking state and federal permits to operate the distillery as it seeks an approval from City Hall. Rogers said he hopes the permits are granted by the end of 2009. Rogers wants to start making the vodka this winter and begin selling
the product by the end of the ski season.

Cheers!

Sourse: Jay Hamburger Park Record

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Menu and Attitude at the Wasatch Brewpub

Beer in America is not just the "working man's" drink any more. It has a much broader base that it's had, well...ever. Every style of beer produced around the world is available or recreated at some point every year in Utah.

With the demand for quality beers ever increasing brewpub owners are looking to complement their ales and lagers with cuisines that will make them shine.

Recently the Wasatch Brewpub in Park City brought on Chef Michael Jewell to create a new menu specifically designed to complement the wide range of beer that come from Wasatch's Brewhouse.

From Polygamy Porter Bratwurst Sandwiches to Pan seared Idaho Trout you'll find the right beer for the job.

And speaking of the right beer for the job. The Wasatch Brepub has it's Polygamy Porter on nitro tap right now. Think of it as the best mocha/espresso milk shake you could ever dream of, but better 'cause it's beer!

Cheers!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

1000 Brews & A Rare Night

In the nine years that the Bohemian Brewery has been around little has changed at the old world style Brewpub. Sure they've added a brand new brewery and canning line, but what comes out of the taps still remains the same.

Bohemian is all about tradition and they make some of the most authentic tasting lagers you'll find brewed in the states.

Last November the Bohemian crew brewed up their 1000th brew and will be tapping it tomorrow; December 14th to share with all of those who care to come by.

Besides the specially priced beer, look for prizes and a general great time. Hope to see you there.



Also, Id like to thanks everyone who made it out to the Holiday Tasting last Friday. We were all blown away by the turnout. We estimate that there were 40-45 people in attendance and had nearly double that amount with great, rare beers from all over the world.

Id especially like to thank our local brewers who attended, the home brew clubs, Eric(host), Doug, Geoff, Kevin(for fetch'n the gasket) and Mrs. Mikey.

We couldn't have done it without everyone's great enthusiasm and passion for great beer. I think we might be able to pull this off again... What do you think?

I posted photos on my Facebook page and a few at UtahBeer's Facebook page if you care to check them out.

Cheers to you all!

Friday, December 11, 2009

On the Darkest Day, Outer Darkness Cometh

It looks like December 21st is going to be the release date for Outer Darkness. Coincidentally (or not) this is also the darkest (shortest) day of the year. The Winter Solstice. Jenny and Jason have brewed up about 800 bottles of the Imperial stout. It's bottle conditioning right now.

I was lucky enough to get a sample from the tank a few weeks ago, your gunna f'n love it boys and girls!

See you all at the Tasting tonight.

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Also, the funeral for Garry Maxwell is Saturday the 12th at 11am in St. George. Details in tribune. There will also be a wake at Squatters on Sunday Dec 13th at Squatters 4:00 - 9:00 pm. The email address for notifications is garryswake@hotmail.com

In lieu of flowers there will be a suggested $20 at the door to assist with funeral/estate costs for Garry. Any extra funds gathered will go to the family.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Holiday Tasting is Full

Due to the overwhelming response we're going to have to close the invitations to the Tasting as of now 2:30pm 12/10/09. Thanks so much for all the interest, it's a true testimony to how great Utah's beer community is. I think we will try to make this at least a semi-annual thing if all goes well. Thanks again and Cheers!

RedRock's New Brewery Goes On-Line

RedRock's new brewery is finally up and running. Last Tuesday Eric Dunlap and Brewmaster Kevin Templin flipped on all the switches - got out their mash paddle and started making beer.

If your expecting the inaugural beer to be something grand and momentous; like some ancient beer/mead hybrid made with a six thousand year old yeast strain... I'm gunna have to disappoint. It was their good 'ol Hefe... Hey these boys still have a schedule to keep!

All the beer coming from the new facility will be kegged for distribution out side of RedRock. So start looking for their beer to start appearing on more taps around the state. RedRock's brewpub brewery will still be making their award winning beers as usual. Congrats Guys!

Here's a video commemorating the facilities first brew day.

Congrats Guys & Cheers to you!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Chef Gary 'Captain Bastard' Maxwell Passes

Last Sunday Chef Gary 'Captain Bastard' Maxwell passed away. Gary was the former Master Chef of Squatters Pub Brewery, Fuggles and was working for Sizzling Platter/Hoppers as a computer tech and occasional culinary adviser.

Chef Maxwell was known by many brewers and worked alongside them in creating great food to go along with their beer. He had just started down a new carer path in computer technology. I know many brewers, and those in the brewing community, have had the pleasure of knowing him and working along side of him. We all still continue to enjoy his creations and celebrate his life.

So hoist a pint of his namesake Captain Bastard's Oatmeal Stout in his honor.

Cheers Captain!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Holiday Tasting '09 update

Oy vey! I spent the past weekend in San Diego at a strong ale festival and boy is my liver tired. The Festival at Pizza Port in Carlsbad hosted some 80 plus ales & lagers from all over the world with nothing below 8%abv.

Right now, believe it or not. "I am over beer"! - Nothing until this weekend. which is where I'm headed with this post.

Friday is the first ever Big Ass Holiday Beer Tasting. If you haven't RSVP'd please do so soon so I can get an accurate head count.

Now remember, your entry is a nice bottle of beer to share with the group (22oz). Earlier I had asked for people to bring extra beer. That is no longer the case. I think we will have a sufficient amount of beer to cover it. The home brew is still absolutely welcome.

There will be food there, but if you want to bring something please feel free.

Questions or RSVP me here at utahbeer@gmail.com

Cheers!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Jesus Christ: Vintner - Entrepreneur

* Utah Beer Satire* Heaven (UB) - Being the only son of the omniscient creator-deity worshiped by billions of various faiths for more than 6,000 years, defiantly has it's advantages. Jesus Christ beloved Vitner and Jew has returned to earth after being away for nearly two millennia, to announce the creation of a new division of heaven, devoted to the making of wine and beer at home. In a move that retail-industry insiders are calling "theologically fitting," Christ is hoping to take the world by storm with his new line of "Water into Wine Kits".

"I really can't believe I never thought of this before", Christ laughed. "I've been making this stuff since my Jerusalem days, but it never clicked until recently". The brainstorm came from an evening of drinking with Julio Gallo on his cloud a few months ago. "Jules (Julio) started giving me shit about my wines, saying that 'there's no way you can make a good - full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with only water'. I really wanted to smote his ass"! Christ joked. "But we pulled out a few bottle and did a little celestial tasting".

"I was really surprised"! said Gallo; a former mortal and vitner who's was co-owners in the Gallo Winery; one of the top winemakers in the world. "The boys got talent, I'll give him that."

After the fateful meeting Jesus approached his dad for backing in the endeavor and the rest shall we say is history. "My dad was the first to encourage me to try wine making back when I was living on earth, I was poised to become one the preeminent vitners of the middle east... 'till that whole crucifixion thing came along and really screwed things up... It really sucked."

There's no word yet on how the new kits will work, but Christ insists that you'll have wine on your table in minutes instead of months or years. If the wine kits take off Jesus says he'll be working with Saint Arnold (the Patron Saint of Brewers) on a home brew version of the kit. Available Christmas '09.

Cheers!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The First NoAle

Donovan Steele, secret agent and brewmaster over at Hoppers is amping up the holiday beer competition with a brand new offering that's both new and exiting.

The beer called "the First NoAle" is a Patersbier styled Belgian ale. It's a traditional styled ale that is brewed and consumed by the fathers in the Trappist monasteries.

This version is a darker amber revivalist type once brewed by several Trappists Monasteries. The 4.0% abv fits right in the range of the style and Utah's abv on draft cap.

They were often very mildly spiced and Donovan has chosen Blue Juniper Berry as it was occasionally used and a native spice here from the Wasatch Range. It's not meant to be overtly noticeable, but rather support the rich caramel, Pilsener and biscuit malt flavors. Donovan chose a blend of two Belgian strains, both from the Ardennes Valley, one of which is originally sourced from Rochefort.

The nose is fruity, spicy and malty. The taste is very earthy/malty with flavors of citrus and spice. Some Juniper beneath to back everything up. "I really wanted something that tasted like the season". Donovan said, "so I added just a little 'dry spice' to the secondary fermentation. It's a Patersbier with a dose of local spice". The First NoAle should be on tap tomorrow 11/2/09.

Also, Hoppers first high abv beer is in the fermenter and doing nicely. The Double Black Lager is dark in color yet clean and easy to drink. It's an all German malt beer, Spalter hops, and a yeast strain from one of the German Klosters. "The brew went perfectly". Dono says "I can't wait to get this into bottles".

Nicely done Dono!

The posts will be a little late this week because I'm on vacation and that means my ass sleeps in!

Cheers!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Uinta's Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Returns

Well, I guess you just can't keep a good beer down. Just months after it's initial first release Uinta has gone ahead and secretly aged a whole new batch of Utah's heaviest hitting ale.

After a year in the barrels, this beer is set to be released in the next week or two. If you've tried the original batch this version will be somewhat different.

First off, batch #1 spent two years in the barrels vs #2's one year. So the bourbon profile will be different. Second the #1 batch saw some time in sherry barrels; not this time. Third, BBB #1 was aged and bottled years before it's initial release to the public, in that time the bottle aging gave it a smoother profile, Vs. the "from barrel - to bottle - to consumer of batch #2". Should be yummy!

One of the problems consumers had with purchasing the BBB earlier this year was the allocation of the BBB to specific Liquor stores. This was a consumers nightmare. Uinta tells me that this will not be the case this time around and liquor stores should be receiving about 60 cases. As of now it looks like the three bottle limit will be enforced. That may change.

More info as it comes.

Cheers!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

1842 Pils Returns

Back in April of 2009 The Bohemian Brewery together with Geoff Fischer of Crosby & Baker, got together and made a special pilsner.

What made this pils so special was it's ingredients and the attention to detail. The Pilsner named 1842 is a faithful reproduction of the original pils created by Josef Groll in 1842.

The boys used a special Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner malt from Weyermann Specialty Malts, crafted in the last floor malting facility in the Czech Republic. It is produced from Tolar and Hanka barley varieties which have their genetic roots in Hanna barley, which was the variety used by Josef Groll to brew the first Pilsner Urquell in 1842. The malting process used to produce this malt is very labor intensive and traditional and produces as an authentic "old" malt as you can find today.

Yesterday Fischer & Head Brewer Bobby Jackson brewed another batch of the 1842 Czech Pilsner. Using Czech Saaz hops and Bohemians own Czech Yeast. This was one of my favorite beers made in Utah in quite some time and should be on tap in about eight weeks.

Pours a hazy straw color with a nice, sturdy two fingers of foam. The nose is crisp and clean with nice spicy Saaz hop aromas. Toasted malts are also strong in the background. The taste is pleasantly crisp with a firm Pilsner malt body that lets the spicy hop notes shine in the finish. Well balanced. There are some peppery notes that hang in there for a short time but then leaves the palate clean. Light to medium body, but it does possess a sturdy mouthfeel. It's gentle carbonation makes it feel almost creamy.

This is dangerously drinkable. We'll give you a heads up when it'll be on tap. Trust me, if your a fan of the Czech Pils, you'll be in heaven.

1842 won a gold medal weeks after it was tapped in the Czech style Pils category at NABA.

Prost!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Beers '09

Here it is, just days before Thanksgiving and we're already "fat" with Holiday & seasonal beers. Here's a list of brews that the Bayou has received to help you get through the rest of the year.

├ślfabrikken Kloster Jul
Mikkeller Santa's Helper
Mikkeller From/To
De Ranke Pere Noel
De La Senne Xmas Zinnebir
Serafijn Christmas Angel
Struise Tsjeeses
Jenlain Noel
Delirium Noel
Anchor Christmas
Anderson Valley Winter Solstice
Big Sky Powderhound
Deschutes Jubelale
Full Sail Wassail
Full Sail Wreck the Halls
Samuel Smiths Winter Welcome
Wasatch Winterfest
Wasatch Pumpkin
Fantome Hiver
Fantome Saison
Four+ Punkn
Samuel Smith's Cider
Wandering Aengus Cider


Ridgeway Beers
Bad Elf
Very Bad Elf
Seriously Bad Elf
Criminally Bad Elf
Insanely Bad Elf
Warm Welcome
Santa's Butt
Pickled Santa
Reindeer's Revolt


That's a damn fine list and to make it even better; Mark has created a "real-time" beer list on the the Bayou website. So check the website before you leave or hit your smart phone while your there.

Cheers!

Friday, November 20, 2009

2009 Holiday Tasting Info

This is a beer tasting, if you've never been to one the concept is pretty simple. Bring beer; a bottle or two of something that you like; to share with the group. It doesn't have to be rare - expensive or outrageous; just something you like.

We're looking into providing some beer for those who attend. I want to keep this as inexpensive as possible for everyone. There's no reason for anyone to spend more than $15-$20 on this tasting.

If the provided beers fall through we may ask that you also bring a sixer of something. The reason for this is simply to have something that you know you'll like on hand. Since the "tasting beers" are shared, the pours per person may only be a couple of ounces to make sure as many who want to try them can.

It looks like there will be a decent turnout, from the amount of responses that we've received. Plastic cups will be provided but I'd hate for anyone to have to use them. If you have a tasters glass or a piece of stemware please bring it, you'll be glad you did.

Homebrew is absolutely welcome! If you've got something that you'd like to share please bring it. Give us a heads up if it's kegged so we can make sure we have the appropriate amount of room.

The Tasting will be held at the Irving Schoolhouse located at 1155 e. 2100 s. in Sugarhouse.

We'd ask that this be limited to "Beer People". People who know beer or are interested in learning more about craft beer. Please feel free to bring a guest if you don't want to come solo. But please don't bring cousin Ted because "he's fun and knows how to get his drink-on".

Speaking of "Beer People". Some of our local craft brewers will be in attendance as well as industry professionals. It'll be a nice opportunity for you to get to know them - and they you.

Absolutely no one under 21.

So here's what we have.

What: 2 bottle for tasting - 6 pack? for back up(maybe) - tasters glass or stemware - some snacks provided.

Where: The Irving Schoolhouse located at 1155 E 2100 S in Sugarhouse.

When: Friday December 11th at 7:00pm

questions: utahbeer@gmail.com

Cheers!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday Gift Pack at Squatters

Tomorrow 11/20 begins the annual return of Squatters' Holiday Nut Brown Ale. This is quite a tasty American brown ale. The Holiday Nut Brown has a more of an assertive hop profile than most brown ales you may have tried; while staying true to it's malty/nutty roots.

Special for this years release is a cool gift pack that goes on sale along with it. For $12.99 you receive a commemorative Holiday Nut Brown Ale - flip top 1 liter growler (filled with Nut Brown Ale) and two pint glasses with the Nut Brown Ale logo on them.
Not a bad deal, eh?

Also on tap there is still some of Squatters' award winning Black Forest Schwarzbier, as well as Hop Riot.

Cheers!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Utah's Liquor Reform is Stalled

We had a good year as far as liquor reform goes. Earlier this year former Governor Huntsman abolished private clubs and the childish - ignorant curtain restrictions in restaurants went away as well.

Not bad, those were pretty big steps; especially for a ruling body who's idea of a good high is a Prozac cocktail with a Red Bull chaser. We got our pound of flesh from legislators, they recommend we take it and go home.

This is still Utah, the people in charge still want you to know that they are and that they're not going to back away from their position on what they feel is a necessary evil. "there's a fear that if there are more changes so soon, we would be retreating from our alcohol policy," said Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, who sponsored the big changes in the last session.

Another big reason that reform will be stalled is Gov. Gary Herbert's first official run for Governor next year. Trust me, this man wants to keep his job and will make no ripples in Utah's political puddles.

Even a "no brainer" like lifting liquor license restrictions will not be discussed next session. Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, said he fears that the limited number of licenses is evidence that the state may have gone too far in loosening restrictions last legislative session.

So if we're lucky and we've been good little boys and girls we'll see liquor reform return in 2012, just in time for the Earth to transform into Jello and for Jesus' triumphant return.

Cheers

Monday, November 16, 2009

RedRock's Dandelion Ale

Last April we told you about a collaboration beer between RedRock and New Belgium called Paardebloem(Flemish for dandelion). This is an old school attempt at making beer without using any hops. Instead Dandelions and other herbs or spices are used for bittering.

Chris McCombs of New Belgium Brewery. Spent some time in Salt Lake last April and Kevin Templin traveled to Fort Collins a week later to New Belgium's place to assist on the creation of the brew there.

NB released their version of Paardebloem last May and RedRock's has been aging in oak ever since. Well the wait may be over soon. Kevin tells us that his Dandelion Ale will be hitting the bottles on November 20th. He's not sure exactly when it will be on sale, but by the end of the year is an optimistic guess.

It's been a wile since I tried NB's version, but I imagine RedRock's version will be noticeably different. I know a lot of people have been looking forward to this beer for a long time.Also RedRock's Harvest ale was released last Friday. This is one of my favorite RR beers. Harvest Ale is made only once a year. It's made with whole leaf Amarillo Hops, using almost 32 lbs. per batch. Then more are added post-fermentation for a very floral, somewhat citrus like aroma and flavor. Malt character and body is medium, in this unfiltered beer. It's truly a beautiful thing.

Finally, plans for the Holiday tasting are moving along nicely. I'll have the full info for you this week. Any questions? don't hesitate to drop me a line at utahbeer@gmail.com.

Cheers!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Home Brewers' Wife Jailed for Assault.

* Utah Beer Satire* Provo, Utah (UB) - A Provo woman is in jail tonight for assaulting her 31 year old husband after she allegedly became fed-up with his apparent lack of Home brewing prowess.

Wanita Conchita Bavario, broke a glass carboy over the head of Husband Clay Bavario after his latest home brew creation came up short - once again. "Every few weeks, he'd make a big production about his latest - greatest 'Imperial Oak-aged Uber hop bomb'. Every one of his Goddamn beers tastes exactly the same—like really thick, shitty beer. I'm fed up!"

Clay Bavario is recovering at Utah County Regional Hospital, with cuts and a minor concussion. Provo Police aren't commenting on the assault, but are looking into filing charges against the Provo home brewer for "daring to go against community standards". Provo Police Lt. Grover Green said. "Assault is one thing, but when you try to be different in Provo, that's a whole different enchilada".

Police confiscated the remaining home brew in the household and placed it into the Police Cheif's fishing boat for "safe Keepin".

Cheers!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Utah Holiday Beer Tasting

Okay, It looks like the evening of December 11th, 2009 (Friday) is the popular day for our first ever Holiday Beer Tasting. Thanks to local beer savant Eric Wells, we have acquired the Irving Schoolhouse, a cozy - spacious clubhouse to hold the event.

Going this route we will be able to enjoy whatever beverages we desire without the restrictions that bars impose. Right now we have about 15 attending, including local brewers and industry professionals.

Please throw out suggestions for discussion. We have plenty of time.
Contact me at utahbeer@gmail.com

Cheers!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shades of Pale

Where am I? I'm not sure. I recognize this place. It seems like Utah... but there are all of these breweries popping up. I'm getting dizzy...

After months of quietly crossing T's and dotting I's comes word that Utah - Park City to be specific, has a new craft brewery.

Shades of Pale Brewing Co., is the brainchild of Trent Fargher & his fiancee Alexandra Ortiz. The two relocated to Summit County five years ago from the Breckenridge, Colo., area.

Trent found that there were just "fairly limited" choices in local beers and decided to up the ante and enter the craft brew game in Utah.

Shades of Pale, which was launched in mid-2009, plans to start with a line of three or four beers, including a Belgian, a stout and an Indian pale ale.

Fargher says he hopes to start producing beer and distributing the product in kegs by early 2010. He plans to start a bottling operation as early as the middle of 2010, depending on the demand for the beer. Construction inside the building could start as soon as next week, he says.

Shades of Pale will be located at 1950 Woodbine Way, near the Park City Cemetery. Fargher says he eventually wants to move from the Woodbine Way building, with the intent to opening a custom-made brewery someday.

This has all happened fairly quietly. Greg Schirf, the founder of the Wasatch Brewery was unaware of the Shades of Pale plans until early in the week. Schirf says there is "plenty of competition" in the industry, and he expects the new brewery will compete with his own.

Well there you are. Wadaya think?

Cheers!

Photo: Grayson West/Park Record
Info: Jay Hamburger

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scientists Discover that Mormons Like Beer.

SALT LAKE CITY (UP) - After four weeks of rigorous observation and field testing a team of three sociology professors from the University of Utah announced Monday that solitary LDS men do in fact like beer.

According to the team's report, the evidence conclusively shows that chief researcher Prof. Parley Pope's LDS brother-in-law likes beer. Pope, along with colleagues Dr. Gary Balls and Dr. Haywood Jablome, formulated a hypothesis that Pope's brother in law - a former missionary who served in the Las Vegas LDS Mission, would drink beer if he was at least 10 miles away from another Mormon.

"We're extremely pleased with the results of the experiment," Pope said. "It has exceeded our highest expectations, and we're confident that our findings will have far-reaching implications for the coming Holidays."

After scouring the Utah countryside for a place where no Mormons would congregate the team struck gold with a little lake located within the Uinta National Forest.

The first round of experiments began in late August. Pope's Brother-in-Law (who identity is being withheld) was administered a sampling of six economy-priced beer brands in 12-ounce increments at the rate of two units every 1.5 hours over several successive Saturdays.

While the scientists said the 37-year-old LDS man showed no clear preference for any one brand, the subject tended to "pound" Pabst Blue Ribbon at the fastest rate. Followed by Natural Light, Coors and lastly, Keystone Light.

Pope and the team said they will continue their work in the burgeoning field of LDS–Alcoholic Beverage Interaction. "Our research raises tantalizing questions and opens the door to new areas of scientific inquiry," Balls said. "Does our LDS friend like mixed drinks? Cocktails, such as Fuzzy Navels, Slippery Nipples and the ever popular Sex on the beach? It's all very, very exciting."

*Satire*

Cheers!

Monday, November 09, 2009

A Pleasant Faux Pas for You

A faux pas at Utah's Department of Alcohol Beverage Control is actually benefiting you - right now! Somehow the Bayou ended up with 5 cases of North Coast Brewing's Red Seal Pale Ale. I assume it came in place of something on Mark's regular order.

This beer has been called one of the "finest pale ale available nationally." There is a chance that we will be seeing this beer on a more regular basis. For now, 5 cases is all we have and they're all at the Bayou.

Pours a chill-hazed amber-red with a good two fingers of off-white head that dissipated quickly. The nose is of light grapefruit, tangerine and some florals with a little caramel in back. The taste starts with nutty caramel, a touch of citrus peel. Next comes earthy pine notes mixed with brown sugar. Finishes on the bitter side. At 5.5% abv this is an extremely drinkable session ale. 5 cases won't last long.

And I'm just going to throw this out there and see who bites. I'm toying with the idea of putting together a "Holiday Beer Tasting". I though it might be fun to get ya'll in the same room put some faces to your names and enjoy some good beer.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in please leave a noncommittal "Yea" or "Nay" in the comments along with a preferred Friday or Saturday in December and we'll get the ball rolling.

Cheers!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Two Dollars Pints!

Yup that's right, through the month of November Roosters in Ogden and Layton will be offering all its beers for just $2 a pint. All Beers, all Day, all Month! And if your a member of their "Mug Club" you can get your personalized mug filled for $3 this month.

The seasonal taps include Indian Summer Nut Brown Ale and The "Ogtoberfest" - (a malty marzen lager that's dry-hopped). If you've never been to Roosters this is probably the perfect time to get your asses to Weber or Davis counties and sample all they have. At two bucks a pint they'll be gone soon.

Cheers!

Photo: Jeremy Brooks

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Outer Darkness Cometh

Mormonism teaches that a person is destined for one of six places depending on what he has done or what he has believed. These are: outer darkness (for Satan, his demons, and extremely wicked people) or one of three "kingdoms" known as the telestial, terrestrial or celestial kingdoms. Within the celestial kingdom are three levels.

Why are we talking about LDS mysticism? Well today my fellow craft beer lovers we're headed for "Outer Darkness" or should I say Outer Darkness is headed our way.

A few days ago Jennifer Talley announced on her blog that she and supermodel Jason Stock had decided it was about time to create Utah's first official Imperial Stout. A Russian Imperial Stout to be specific. They're calling it Outer Darkness. Hence the LDS lesson.

These are the kings of stouts. Inspired by brewers back in the 1800's to win over the Russian Czar, these stouts boast high abv's and plenty of malt character. Low to moderate levels of carbonation with huge roasted, chocolate and burnt malt flavors. Often dry. Suggestions of dark fruit and flavors of higher alcohols are quite evident. Hop character can vary from none, to balanced to aggressive.

Squatters Outer Darkness hit the kettle on October 29th and went into the fermenter at 27° Plato. Jenny & Jason were also inspired to use some molasses at the end of the boil so it should have great kick and body. Jenny expects their newest edition to be released the 2nd or 3rd week of December. Most definitely before Christmas day.
It will be in 22oz bombers for sale at the downtown pub, Park City pub and out the door sale at the downtown pub.

A perfect stocking stuffer! Hint, hint.

Na zdorovje!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Winterfest Returns & The Abyss

One of my new favorite winter beers is back, and that means Mikey is happier than a pig in.... beer.

Wasatch Winterfest debuted this time last year to rave revues and most recently won a Bronze medal at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival. If you never got a chance to try it last year, this is your opportunity.

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.

Last September I was ecstatic to report that Deshcutes' incredible Abyss Imperial Stout was on it's way to Utah for the first time. Initially It was only going to be available to our two local beer emporiums the Beerhive and the Bayou. Now it looks like it will be available at Utah liquor Stores as well. The Abyss should be arriving in the next couple of weeks. This beer ages well, buy a few and put some away for while.

Also, arriving from Deschutes is Hop Henge Experimental IPA. This one is also new to the state. Deschutes describes it as having several pounds of Centennial & Cascade hops in each barrel with a heavy dry-hop presence to top it off. A blend of crystal, pale and caraston malts creates an overall biscuity characteristic that is dense and muscular, building the alcohol base to support the monstrous hop profile.

Hope Henge will hit shelve in Utah this January.

Cheers!

Monday, November 02, 2009

A New Website for Desert Edge

Actually it's their first website. Why so long in coming? Well... let me try to put this in a way most people will understand.

Some asshole/Douche-bag decided to squat on the the Desert Edge domain name for quite a while, making it difficult for our friends at Trolley Square to properly create and market their brand. Well apparently they've resolved it because they're online now baby! And it's about damn time.

Cheers!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Moab's Wee Heavy

The Third beer in Moab's Desert Select Series is available for purchase Moab's Scottish Style Ale or "Wee Heavy" is a rich, full ale made with smoked malt, English hops and is aged in French oak barrels.

Head brewer Jeff Van Horn describes it as "A great winter beer with rich caramel and dark fruit flavors". The Ale was bottle conditioned for four months in one liter bottles and has an ABV of 8.6%. The cost is $12.99. Only available at the Brewpub in Moab.

In other beer news Sierra Nevada's Estate Harvest Ale is finally here. I had it at the Bayou, so it should be in select liquor stores.

Also in are two new Deschutes labels. Jubelale is a Holiday ale that's full of hops caramel, toffee malts with a light, dry fruitiness 6.70 abv.

Hop Trip is from Deschutes' Bond Street Series. You'd think with a name like Hop Trip that this would be a "hop monster". It's actually a nicely balance American Pale Ale, nice hop profile with a healthy malt backbone. 5.5% abv.

I believe Jubelale is only available at the Bayou & Beerhive. Hop Trip Should be available at state liquor stores.

And... The 9th Annual Beer Dinner at Lugano will be held November 4th. Cutthroat, Duck Confit and King's Peak Porter will be part of the six-course menu.

$45 per person
optional pairings:
beer $18
wine $39

Call Lugano for reservations: 801-412-9994.

BOO!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

End of October Seasonal Brews

Here's a list of Brewpub seasonal brews available right now throughout the Wasatch Front & Back. There's some great stuff out there. Check 'em out!

Desert Edge Brewery: Shot in the Dark Coffee Stout.
Brewmaster Chris Haas describes it as a slightly sweeter stout with the addition of 15 gallons of freshly brewed coffee to it. "It gives it a real coffee aroma and flavor." The fresh-roasted beans come from Utah's Millcreek Coffee. It's served on a nitrogen tap which makes it creamy and smooth to drink. $4.25 a pint.

Roosters Brewing Co: Indian Summer Nut Brown Ale.
This is a medium-bodied, amber-colored beer it has a somewhat nutty flavor that comes from a "healthy dose of Victory malt," said head brewer Steve Kirkland. "It's been an annual favorite at the brewery for years." $2 for pint during November; $4 afterward.

Ruby River Steakhouse and Brewery: Autumn Amber.
Head brewer Rob Bunn uses special hops and yeast from Germany for this Marzen-style beer. It has a reddish hue and is malty with caramel undertones. "It's real basic, but it's one of my favorite styles," he said. $3 a pint.

Wasatch Brewpub: Pumpkin Ale.
Brewmaster Matt Beamer describes it like this "We are using real pumpkin in the mash along with all those fall spices everyone loves, like cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg,". The ale is unfiltered with an orange hue. "It's super drinkable, like liquid pumpkin pie." Look for it on the nitro tap soon. $3.50 for 12 ounce glass; $4.50 20 ounces.

Hoppers Brewpub: Face Plant Wheat.
"As German-styled wheat beers go, this one is on the milder side with soft banana aromas and flavors and mild spices like clove and nutmeg," said head brewer Donovan Steele. "Some people might notice a bubble gum flavor as it warms." Of course, these ingredients are not put in the beer, but are the by-products of the traditional German Wheat yeast strain used to ferment the beer. Face Plant, a tie-in to the upcoming ski season, is an "easy drinking beer" and one that goes with all types of foods, Steele said. $4 for a pint.

Squatters Brew Pub: Black Forest Schwarzbeir.
"This German dark lager has a medium body and a roast malt flavor. While it's a dark beer, it's not heavy and is easily drinkable" said brew master Jen Talley. The beer, a perennial customer favorite, is one of Squatters' most decorated beers. It has won gold, silver and bronze medals several times at the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival. Also available at Squatters' Roadhouse Grill in Park City. $4.79 for an 18 ounce glass.

RedRock Brewpub: Wet Hopped Pale Ale.
Brewmaster Kevin Templin, was inspired by a trip to the local High Desert Hop Farm. So, he harvested loads of Cascade and Columbus hops and rushed them into the brewery. Thus was born our Wet Hopped Pale Ale. An organic brew made from fresh, locally-grown hops. This unfiltered ale is medium amber in color. $4.50 a pint

The seasonal taps don't last long, so get on it.

Cheers!

Photo courtesy: Katie Panzer

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bud Light Golden Wheat

Unless you've been living under a bridge for the last few weeks you may have noticed the full on media blitz that is Bud Light Golden Wheat.

This is AB/InBev's latest attempt to swoon the Beer "tweens". These are the people who are tired of the run-of-the-mill macro lagers, but are a little too afraid of really flavorful beers.

First off, this is actually a good looking Wheat beer. I was a little surprised they didn't filter the holy-hell out of it. It poured from a bottle a beautifully hazed golden orange color with a nice puffy white head. The nose is heavy with citrus rind and a hint of coriander. Thers's also a nice floral grassiness that rounds out some soft bready yeast notes. The flavor starts bready with a small amount coriander. Next comes the citrus rind with a grassy hop finish. Carbonation is high, typical of Bud Light. Mouthfeel is on the "high-side" of light.

I'm shocked! There's actually sediment in the bottom of my glass. If your a fan of Blue Moon then you will probably like Bud Light Golden Wheat. It far less interesting than Blue Moon, but it is a good gateway beer for people looking to get out of yellow, fizzy beer. I think this will do well in our market.

Overall it's an okay wheat beer. I'm surprised they didn't try to get this out during the warm weather months. Very refreshing... but it's not a beer that'll keep me coming back. Though I am glad that I didn't pass it by. 4.0% ABV. Available everywhere.

Seek out Wheat Beers from our Local Brewers and compare. I think you'll find a much more enjoyable experience.

Cheers!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bravo Hops at the UBC

Jon Lee one of the great brewers at the Utah brewers co-op left this message in one of the posts. I moved it here for easier viewing.

Cheers!

"I didn't know where to put this but here at the UBC we have 4 brewers cuts of some Bravo hops. If some of you homebrewers want one they are one per person and first come first serve. They are with the girls in the store.

All whole flower hops above 13.5% alpha. Each weigh maybe 1#"

Bear Republic - A Monster Beating and An Apology

After month & months of waiting Bear Republic has finally invaded Utah! Mark Alston called me yesterday to say that he was moments from picking up his long awaited beer order.

The Bayou received a good portion of Bear Republic's regular line-up, including Big Bear Stout - Hop Rod Rye - Pete Brown's Tribute Ale - Red Rocket Ale - XP Pale Ale & of course Racer 5 IPA (2009 GABF Gold Medal Winner).

Mark got 12 cases of each (15 of the Racer 5). But don't wait too long. they'll be gone before you know it.

In other news, I just doesn't pay to be a dick. Well it does, for many... quite often in fact... but not this time.

Anyway, Rock Art Brewery the makers of “The Vermonster” beer, and Hansen Beverage Company, makers of Monster energy drinks, reached an agreement that will allow Rock Art to continue to use the name “Vermonster” for its beer, so long as it stays out of the energy drink market.

The media shit-storm quickly began to tarnish Hansen’s reputation as a beverage manufacturer as it began to take a real beating in the marketplace as beverage retailers, distributors and tens of thousands of everyday consumers rallied against Hansen’s efforts against quash tiny Rock Art. Personally, I'm still done with Monster.

Finally , a week ago I implied that that both of the DABC's new alcohol commissioners were teetotalers. In fact only one of the two is a non-drinker. Jeff Wright considers himself a social drinker, but doesn't think that should be a factor. My apologies to Mr. Wright.

I think we've covered everything, have a great weekend.

Cheers!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Glenn Harris Passes

Utah's Craft Beer community lost one of it's own this past weekend. Glenn Harris, brewers Assistant and brother to Brewmaster Dale Harris past away Saturday in Southern Utah.

Besides working the kettle at the Zion Canyon Brewery, Glenn made deliveries and was the brewery's cellar guy. Glenn had been with ZCBC since the summer of '06.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to an account at the Springdale branch of Zions First National Bank in the name of Glenn James Harris.

Please hoist a pint in his honor.

Here's to Glenn.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This Week in Beer 10/21/09

Here are few things you should keep an eye open for now and in the coming weeks.

Desert Edge has their Centennial Steamer on tap. Centennial Steamer is a "California Common" or "Steam beer". This is a true American beer style. "Steam" beers are unique in that they use Lager yeast to ferment, but at much higher, ale temperatures that lend the beer it's flavor. Centennial has a higher hop character and generous amount of Carmel malt flavor. Also on tap the Munich Lager, Edge's Special Bitter, and Backcountry Cream Ale.

Moving across town Squatters has some new and returning stuff on tap. Monkey's Dunkel and Custer's Last Stout and are on tap right now and Chasing Tail is on the Cask. Also look for Wasatch's Pumpkin Ale on the Nitro-tap soon! I think the Nitro will lend itself well to that awesome Pumpkin Ale.

Also, at Squatters, a twist on the classic Black and Tan. Dark Rising is a combo of Hop Rising and Captain Bastard Oatmeal Stout. I've not tried it yet, sounds interesting though.

And one more Squatters tidbit for you. Jenny and Jason are working on a new Flanders Brown Sour. It's been aging in oak for nearly 18 months and has yet to be named. I assume this is different from the original Barrel aged Cherry Luv that came out a few years ago.

Returning along side of the Flanders Brown is the long awaited return of the incredible 5th Element Saison. Believe it or not this has become the highest rated Saison on RateBeer.com. Both of these beers are set to be released sometime around mid-February 2010. I can't wait!

Cheers!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Don't Be Afraid of Monsters

Monster Energy Drinks who's owned by Hansen Beverage Co. wants a small micro brewery in Vermont to stop using the name Vermonster on their barleywine because they claim it violates Monster's trademark.

The beer in question is made at Rock Art Brewing Co. in a small warehouse brewery in Morrisville, Vermont which employs seven people, and is sold in 22-ounce bombers.

Matt Nadeau, who owns the brewery with his wife, Renee, says hes been told by five trademark attorneys that the law is probably on his side, but that proving it through lengthy litigation could bankrupt him.

Despite the fact that the lawsuit is complete baseless, there is little that Matt can do simply because of financial limitations. We, the craft beer community of Utah, must do whatever we can to stop this bullshit from going any further.

Even though we can't get Rock Art's Beer here in Utah, we need to support our brother on the east coast. If we allow this to happen to Matt what is to say it won't happen to one of our local guys.

I know what your saying, "Why not just change the name"? He shouldn't have too? This is obviously a power play on the part of Hansen Beverage Co. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find out that they're looking at getting into the malt beverages game in the near future.

I'm going to ask that if you buy Monster or any of Hansen's products that you stop and buy from some of their competitors instead. I've been buying their coffee drink "Mean Bean" for a while now, but no more. Let these corporate hacks know how you how you feel.

Here's a video please watch it when you have the time and help a brother out.

Cheers!

Friday, October 16, 2009

More Teetotalers on the DABC?

Hey, guess what? we have new commissioners on the DABC's state liquor board! And you know what else? Gov. Gary Herbert made his nominations without asking if the candidates had ever had a sip of alcohol. In addition, neither nominee has ever worked in a bar or a restaurant.

Isn't that great?!! "It’s like hiring a lifeguard that does'nt know how to swim,” said Dave Morris, owner of the Irish pub Piper Down.

Nominee, Richard Sperry an anesthesiologist, said he did not drink. Businessman Jeff Wright declined to comment.

"It's true that when it comes to kind of the alcohol distribution business and consumption of alcohol, I'm probably not as knowledgeable as I ought to be and so one of my personal goals is to come up to speed and understand the business and the things that I perhaps don't understand now," Sperry said.

I think it's pretty obvious which way things are going to go with Governor.
Herbert recently tapped two familiar names in Utah business circles as his "dream team" to head up the state's economic-development efforts.

He announced recently that businessman and philanthropist Spencer P. Eccles will lead the Governor's Office of Economic Development, and Josh Romney will serve as the state's national business-recruitment policy adviser.

Funny how he picked guys with a background in economics to work on economic stuff, all the while handing control of the liquor board to those who don't use the products they regulate.

Now I don't know these guys, they may do a great job with the DABC. But Herbert's obvious apathy in the appointments to this very important commission, really chaps my ass.

Note: There is only one "drinker" on the liquor board.

Cheers!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

RedRock Brewer's Select

Early last month we showed the RedRock crew harvesting hops from the High Desert Hop Farm. Today the fruits of their labor hits the taps in SLC.

RedRock Brewer's Select is a fresh hop beer that Kevin came up with. The CTZ hops used in this beer were off-the-vine and in the kettle in less than 24hrs.

The hop profile is said to be huge. I hope to know first hand this afternoon. I don't imagine it'll last long.

Cheers!

Photo Courtesy: Hobocline

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Epic Brewing Finally Has a Home

It's not an easy thing getting a business off the ground. I have huge respect for those with the stones to deal with the morass of shit that ricochets their way on a daily basis. You have to deal with zoning, licensing, insurance, bonds, yada-yada-yada...

I think my head would pop if I ever had to deal with all the ordinances & bureaucracy that cities and townships spew at you.

Enough about my own timid nature, today is about Epic Brewing. Not only do these guys have the stomach to deal with the ordinance machine; they also have the cajones to start a brewery that's completely different from anything that Utah has seen in nearly a century.

After months of trying, the boys have finally found a piece of real estate that they can call their own. The new brewery will be located at 825 s. State Street in Salt Lake City. At the old Pho Anh Dao Vietnamese restaurant.

The remodel and reconstruction is slated to begin asap; as soon as architects and engineers finish their work. Glad to see things are finally starting to get off the ground for Epic.

No word yet on Epic's plan for Utah's first Vietnamese style beer...

Can ly!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Uinta Brewing's New Line of Beers

If you've been paying attention to Utah's craft beer scene over the last 12 months you've noticed that there's been huge momentum from breweries and brewpubs to move beyond Utah's famed low alcohol beers.

Now we all know that Utah brewers have been brewing higher ABV beers for years, but the recent explosion in the desire to produce big beers is only being fueled by the publics craving for them.

The Utah Brewers Coop is seeing record sales with it's Hop Rising 2IPA and people in and out of the beer industry are taking notice. The game has changed and everyone is getting involved. The Utah Brewers Coop has clearly been leading the way with nearly a dozen high ABV labels to their credit. Squatters Brewpub has done some as well, along with RedRock, Wasatch Brewpub - Even Hoppers will have some high Abv Labels out soon.

Uinta Brewing company has been in the "big beer" game for a while. Their Barleywine is still Utah's biggest beer to date, annually coming in at around 10-11%. As well as their Anglers pale ale and Monkshine Belgian style Pale.

Uinta has been curiously absent from our local "beer renaissance" but no longer. Now comes word that Uinta will finally be amping-up it's game and will begin to commit to a line of big - bottle conditioned beers.

Starting early 2010 Uinta will begin production on a line of premium beers unlike anything seen in Utah. The "super premium beers" will be small batched - high alcohol beers in the 12-15% ABV range - Aged in oak barrels and cork finished.

The debut line-up is rumored to consist of an Imperial Stout(Utah's first), an Imperial IPA and a regular release of Uinta's Bourbon Barrel Barleywine; which was a bit of a phenomenon in the local beer scene.

I just hope that that 12%-15% is an exaggeration. In my opinion when beers get that boozy they start to become more of a novelty and less of a premium. I guess we'll wait and see. What are your thoughts?

These new additions, along with all the other fine brews that they do, will help to eliminate the popular and misinformed bias that Utah just can't do beer well.

Cheers!

Photo Courtesy: Aubry Sun

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rapunzel, Rapunzel - Let Down Your Hair!!!

I've been whining for months, trying to get my little Wookie paws on a bottle of Ayinger's Weizen Bock. It's never been available in the states, and I've heard very good things about it. Apparently they've been locked up in the DABC warehouse for weeks; like Rapunzel in her tower - waiting for prince charming to come and to rescue her.

Enter prince charming, Mark Alston. Yeah... not exactly the guy from the fairy tales but he does have nice hair. Anyway Mark liberated a couple cases to the Bayou, and by-Rumplstiskin's Beard it didn't disappoint.

Pours a very hazy golden honey color with three fingers of head that disappearing to a froth. The nose is of bananas, cloves, bubblegum and a little pepper. The taste starts with a huge spicey maltiness. Then comes cloves, banana and citrus. The end is slick with peppery alcohol and bubblegum. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, slick and creamy with good carbonation. This all German wheat beer. Perfect example of the style. Drinkability is good. My tongue doesn't detect too much booziness but my noggin sure does, so watch out, it could bite you in the ass if your not careful.

Now that Mark has got them out of the tower they should be hitting the stores soon. I hope...

Also, Sierra Nevada's Torpedo IPA is in. It's a big American IPA; bold, assertive and full of flavor and aromas highlighting the complex citrus, pine and herbal character of whole-cone American hops.

Prost!

Friday, October 09, 2009

The 60 Second Beer Festival

If you couldn't make it to the Great American Beer festival the fine folks at the Brewers Association have created a video showing the three day fest in 60 seconds.

If you look carefully you can see me at 23 seconds into the video. I'm the one with the beer in my hand.

Cheers!

The Great American Beer Festival from Brewers Association on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

RedRock's Oktoberfest

If your into German beer & food, RedRock is the place to be.

Each year RR celebrates with a selection of German inspired beer and food to help you find your autumn groove. Kevin and crew have brewed up six German style beers to enjoy this week.

Autumn Fest is a Marzen-style lager, amber in color, is lagered for five weeks. It has an emphasized malt flavor, is smooth with a clean hop bitterness. Backed by Crystal and Munich malts.

Bamburg Rauch Bier Rauch Bier translates in German as “smoked beer”. Drying over an open Beechwood fire imparts a smoky character to the malt. Inspired by many trips the brewers have taken to Bamberg, Germany where the Rauch Biers are world famous.

Black Bier is a German style dark lager, very smooth, medium body, low hop bitterness. Eight different malts and thirty-five days of lagering give this classic Schwarz-style beer it’s unusually dark color and remarkably smooth flavor.

German Pilsner is a Classic German Pils. Very light straw to golden in color. Head should be dense and rich. Red Rock’s version is well-hopped, brewed using Noble hops such has Saaz, Hallertauer and Tettnanger. Lagered for five weeks and filtered bright.

Munich Dunkle is a smooth, rich and complex, but without being heady or heavy. They boast brilliant ruby hues from the large amounts of Munich malts used, and these malts also lend a fuller-bodied beer.
Bitterness is often moderate, with just enough to balance out any sweetness.

Organic Zwikel Bier is a rather old, rare, and unique German beer style, Kellerbiers are unfiltered and unpasteurized lagers that date back to at least the Middle Ages. The beer is lagered. The final product is a smooth, naturally cloudy beer that's rich in vitamins (from the yeast). Hop bitterness is a compliment to the soft malt character.

These beers are only expected to be around 'till October 11th.

Also available on tap are RR's Honey Wheat, Hefeweizen, Amber Ale and Oatmeal Stout.

I also got a tour of RedRock's new production Brewery. Brewmaster Kevin Templin is hopeful he'll be online by the end of the month.This new facility will take RedRock's capabilities to a whole new level.Prost!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Radius From Desert Edge

Yesterday I told you about Sierra Nevada's Estate Beer. An ale grown & produced entirely on sight. Today we have Radius from The Desert Edge Brewpub.

While the ingredients aren't grown on sight, Radius is made with ingredients grown within 150 miles of the Wasatch Front. Brewmaster Chris Haas says he found the malt just over the state line in Idaho and the hops were picked locally.

Radius is a "harvest" or "green hopped" golden ale and it's extremely hoppy. Chris only makes it once a year and it goes fast. As I was quick to find out last year.

Cheers!

Photo: courtesy Aubrey Sun