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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Utah Beer Year '08 Part Two: Electric Bugaloo

First of I apologize for the delay on part two. My Internet has been down.

June also brought a little known option for purchasing your high ABV beers. The D.A.B.C.'s warehouse, located at 1700 south and 900 west, has everything the state carries all in one place. All alcoholic bevs over 4.0% begin their statewide journeys at the already overcrowded booze hub. It's not a perfect place to do your shopping, but it does give an alternative option for the person who needs that special brew yesterday. We also found out that I secretly like Blue Moon and ABBA. I in-fact, still like Blue Moon and ABBA and remain confident in my manhood on both fronts.
Ahh children... You raise them, nurture them, give them the benefit of your knowledge, (or lack there of) send them out into the world to find their way. When they do find their way back hopefully they will bring back knowledge, experience and good beer. Well, we raised our kid well. On a recent whirl-wind trip of Italy my freshly (high school) graduated daughter knew to forgo the Gondolier T-shirt and Colosseum paper weights, and bring back the ol' man Venetian suds. Ah... the benefits of a high school education.

July. If your gunna drink Uinta, you'd better grab a bottle opener. Our buddies at the wind powered brewery began the industry preferred switch to vacuum caps from twisties. What's the difference? Well, if you try to twist off a vacuum cap with your grubby little paws, all your going to end up doing is turning your fleshy little mitts into hamburger patties.
Squatters began bottle conditioning for the first time at the brew pub. This is a great thing for Squatters. It gives Jenny and the crew a little more independence from the Utah Brewers Co-op. Now they don't have to rely on UBC's bottling facility every time they want to produce high gravity and unusual styles for Utah's Beer lovers.
Due to it's proximity to Salt Lake(a mere 1 hr 15 min. from mi casa) I decided to make Suds Brothers Brewery in Evenston, Wy an honorary Utah brew pub. Why the hell not, it's closer than some places, the beer is pretty good and it's not restricted to Utah's 4.0% draft cap. Please check 'em out.

In August, a ray of light was shined upon beer lover with the creation of the Type 5 package license. This allows breweries and brewpubs to sell their high alcohol beers right from brewery or brewpub without having to go to a state liquor store. As long as it's brewed and bottles on premisis. Can you say "really fresh beer?"
Utah's Uinta Brewery was one of the few breweries chosen to represent at the 2008 Great British Beer Festival. It's Britain's largest beer festival. They were able to sampled limited amounts of Anglers Pale Ale, King's Peak Porter and Uinta 14th Anniversary Barleywine.
One of Utah's best beers ever made it's debut in August. Squatters' Fifth Element was a true labor of love for Brewmaster Jenny Talley and became an instant hit both locally and nationally.
Utah's second best beer scribe Del Vance published the second edition of his book Beer in the Beehive. It's the bible for Utah Beer lovers a must read. Now if we can just get him to crack the whip on his new bar the "Beerhive House"!

September saw the debut of Utah's first all-locally-made beer. Desert Edge Brewmaster Chris Haas put together a special beer made from all local ingredients. Radius, was made with ingredients grown within 150 miles of the Wasatch Front.
Let's face it, we get rheamed in the beer tax department. So is it too much to ask that our State Liquor stores actually have refrigerator units? Many citizens don't think that's such an unreasonable request. So the guys at tributetobeer.com put together an online petition to get the ball rolling on this much needed improvement. Please sign it!

October started in Stockholm, Sweden where Uinta/Four+ entered four of it's labels in The Stockholm Beer and Whiskey Festival. Anglers Pale Ale, Anniversary Barley Wine, Wildfire Extra Pale Ale and the never before released Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine. Of the four only Wildfire managed to get a nod from the judges.
On the heels of that festival came the '08 Great American Beer festival. Where Squatters, RedRock, Wasatch, Bohemian, Desert Edge and The Utah Brewers Coop brought home medals.
Wasatch debuted it's newest 6.0% bottled beer. White Label is a Belgian Style Witbier in the tradition of Hoegaarden and Blue Moon.

November gave us a new state-of-the-art wine store with a huge selection, computers to assist in pairings and no beer... well, they have five labels and one of those was a cider. Bummer.
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. had his staff begin to draft a bill to get rid of private clubs. While I believe the Gov. is truly sincere. It'll never happen in my opinion.
Also in the politics and beer department, Rep. Christine Johnson re-introduced "the Home Brew"bill. The bill made it out of the Business and Labor Interim Committee and is headed back to the house and senate to be voted on. It is expected to pass this time.
Four+ Brewing re-released a new stronger version of it's Monkshine Belgian-Style Pale Ale.The recipe was adjusted, the alcohol was amped up and it was moved to the state liquor stores.

And finally in December The Logan City Council approved a chance in city ordinances allow the manufacturing and sale of alcoholic beverages within the city limits. This is paving the way for Cache Valley Brewing to open it's doors in the next few years.
The Twelve Beers o' Xmas made it's return, making at least a dozen days in December bearable. And Finally, Boulevard Brewing appeared in the Utah Market... to some anyway. It's availability is limited.

Thanks for Checking out The Utah Beer Blog, and for all the great input. Utah's beer community is huge! and is only getting bigger! Cheers!


Anonymous said...

Nice review. I need to head back to Suds Bros. some day. I missed that 10% Belgian they made. I hope you are wrong about the private clubs, and that we get rid of them soon. Number one thing; the Fifth Element. If the Uinta BW put Utah beers on the map for many, at least in the sense of dispelling stereotypes, the Fifth Element has blown people away, and is now a much wanted beer. Many people will be coming in late this summer to try this beer. Nice. Oh, and how about a Imperial Stout Utah!

Jacob said...

Blue Moon really isn't a bad witbier, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I like the style. It just goes to show that because you're brewed by one of the big macro breweries doesn't mean the beer has to suck. It's just that it usually does.

I can't help you with the ABBA thing, though.