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Monday, January 05, 2009

The 2008 Utah Beer Year in Review

This was an atypical beer year in Utah. We had a banner year in the new beer department. One of the best in recent history. And of course to counter that, many of our glorious elected leaders whipped out a new batch of laws and used them to pee in our collective punch bowls. So what happen??? Glad you asked. Commence O' ye official 2008 Utah Beer Year in review.

January started with a new brew and and a new way of thinking for Wasatch Brewers. Greg Shcirf and his clan debuted the first in a new line of high gravity beers. Devistator Double Bock was an immediate hit, both with it's flavor and punch; as well as it's typical Schirf-esque label. Sam Adams Utopias made it's first appearance in Utah as well. This amped-up-super-uber-beer has it's own cult following. Some love it, some hate it. If your able to pony up the coin for the two-hundred-plus-dollar bottle you can decide for yourself.
Every year a local legislative douche-bag rears his or her's head and does their best to "protect the children" from whatever the Ivory Pulpit deems fit. It's usually the tiniest squeak from the previous Sundays sermon. January's douche-bag wanted to do-away with... and I'm not joking... ALL COLD BEER. Luckily, the bad man was dismissed. What an ass!

In February, McCools in South Jordan, Utah, became the 500th establishment in the US selling cask ales. This is the 3rd McCools in Utah, and all have cask beer engines. Also in February, the home brew bill died due to lack of time in the legislative session... more later.

March was rather quiet. However it provide the world with a shit-load of ammo for their ridicule Utah guns. Some "culture victim" decided that they would put together a "Root Beer" Pong league. Really! Root Beer Pong! These are the same types of people that concoct so called "Mock-tail" parties to experience a social tradition that's denied to them because of some primitive superstitions. 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?

April saw the Utah Brewers Coop retain a place in America's top 50 breweries. Even though Utah is dead last in U.S. for beer consumption.
Utah's brewers had another great showing in The World Beer Cup. Local brewers entered 56 beers and came back with 6 medals. Two gold, three silver and a bronze. That may not sound like a lot, but it gave Utah's beers the fourth highest winning percentage by states entered.

In May, Four+ Brewing debuted a new beer. Rype a Belgian style wheat beer brewed with orange peel and spices. It tastes a lot like a Belgian Style Witbier but looks nothing like one. No matter, it's damn tasty!
Jon Lee one of the brewers at the Utah Brewer's Coop, had brewed a special, one-time beer in celebration of his first child. The Ava Lee Triple dials in at 9% ABV, but was only available in bottles at Squatters' three locations. This was a one time batch and will never be brewed again(maybe).

June brought with it warmer weather and Big Sky...Brewing, that is. Big Sky Brewing out of Missoula, Montana started shipping Moose Drool Brown Ale, Scape Goat Pale Ale and it's Big Sky IPA. And there was much rejoicing...Yehhhh!
Salt Lake Under ground Magazine(SLUG) reached new highs and lows. While they published their first ever issue devoted to beer(HIGH), They tapped me as Guest Contributor(LOW). They may never recover. On the heels of the SLUG issue, the 12th annual Mountain Brewers Fest: Salt Lake's Best Beer Festival(except it's in Idaho) was held in Idaho Falls. Utah's brewers shined, bringing home 19 medals and giving me the worst hangover in a decade.

To Be Continued


Mandy said...

Great blog! I just found you - I'll be passing your blog address onto several friends that I know will enjoy it, also :)

I have a question, and you seem like an authority...
I wanted to give a friend of mine a 3 month membership to a beer-of-the-month club, but have found that none will ship to Utah. Do you know if there's anyone locally that performs a similar service? An all-Utah-microbrew of the month club would be even cooler!
Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

Anonymous said...

Rype and the Devastator were cool, the three from Big Sky were awesome. I wish we had some of the really nice Big Sky stuff, such as the Biere de Noel. The Ava Lee, now that was really nice. I wish had gotten a couple to cellar. Idaho Falls...that was heaven. Only five more months!

Mikey said...

MandyMoo! Thanks for visiting. There are no "Beer of the Month" clubs that I know of that deliver to Utah. But there is an option. I won't give it out here, because I don't want the wrong person to see it and shut it down. If you want to email me, I'll give you the info. Cheers!


Anonymous said...

I want to open up something for debate. Local companies that brew beer specifically for utah seem to have more flavorful beer than say corona that is imported to utah by bigger companies. My question is do the bigger companies simply add carbonated water to their beer before they ship it here? or do they brew it to be 3.2%

Mikey said...

Yes, the "big guys" have specific recipes for their 3.2 beer. There is no watering down. The reason the local stuff is more flavorful than the others(bud coors ect) is simply that these styles that you refer to aren't the most flavorful styles to begin with. They're not bad for what they are they're just brewed for a broader market that prefers less flavorful beers.

Pete said...

Great posting... you should reach out to the other brewers to see what they did those months as well.

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