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Friday, February 27, 2009

Uinta's Porter: Best in the Rockies/Southwest

More than 370 beers from 102 breweries were sampled at the 15th annual United States Beer Tasting Championship, earlier this month in Chicago. Of those Uinta Brewing Co., King's Peak Porter was named the Rockies/Southwest "Regional Champion" in the porter category.

Uinta’s XIV Anniversary Barley Wine also received an honorable mention in the barley wine category.

These really are two outstanding beers. King's Peak Porter has always been staple in my fridge, and the Barley Wine... well it's in a class all it's own. King's Peak is available in most grocery stores and the Anniversary Barley Wine is available at all Utah liquor stores. Cheers and Congrats!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Home Brew Bill Moves Passes Utah Senate

After a brief meeting to work out differences with the House, the Senate gave final approval yesterday to allowing home brewing of beer and wine without a license.

HB51, sponsored by Rep. Christine Johnson, D-Salt Lake, would allow anyone over the age of 21 to brew up to 100 gallons of beer or wine at home per year, or up to 200 gallons in a household with more than one adult.

The bill was amended in the Senate to restrict the amounts of beer and wine allowed for personal consumption or for entry into brewing competitions. The House refused to concur with the Senate amendment and a conference committee was appointed to reach a compromise.

Three Republican senators voted against the compromise version of the bill, including Senate Majority Assistant Whip Gregory Bell, R-Fruit Heights.
"I'm not comfortable with home brewing," Bell said. "It seems fraught with mischief to me. Maybe I don't understand it."

The proposal will now head to the governor's desk for final action. He is expected to sign the bill.

On KSL radio this morning I heard reporter Andrew Adams say "It's now legal to make moonshine". Which is beyond incorrect. It's no wonder people like Senator Bell are "uncomfortable" with homebrewing when supposed reputable news outlets are spewing such blatant and uninformed information.

Oh well. Congratulations are still premature, but nicely done everyone!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just to Reiterate

Okay, okay! I promise this is the last you'll hear of this (for a while anyway). I was in Evanston, Wy last week and I stopped in a liquor store to "check out the section", and lookie what I found!

Cases and cases of unchilled, room temperature New Belgium Beer. With Fat Tire dead center! And it was all just two miles from the Utah border. It's a good thing that stuff isn't sitting in Utah getting all warm 'n shit; loosing all it's "New Belgiumany" goodness. That'd be a bloody crime! Just say'n...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A New Amendment to the Homebrew Bill

There has been an amendment made to House Bill 51, the homebrew bill. The amendment limits the amount of homebrewed beverages allowed to be transported from home.
The amendment made on Feb. 23 by Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, would limit the amount allowed to be transported out of the home for personal or family use to one liter of wine or 72 ounces of beer per person age 21 or over.

The amendment also would limit the amount that may be transported from home for judging on taste and quality to one ounce of wine or two ounces of beer per judge.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Christine Johnson, approved of the changes.

The amended bill was approved by the Senate 25-2 and will be sent back to the House floor for approval.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Moab Brewing Looking to Expand

Looks like Moab Brewing is looking to expand it's brands both locally and nationally. Last month Moab put out feelers for contract brewer/bottler/canner to handle expanded distribution on both the east and west coasts. As well as creating new relationships with distributorships nationwide.

Moab is also looking to expand upon it's brand name in other locations, including opening more Moab Brewery restaurants and moving into production of their world patented 7 pack containers which are both for bottles and cans.

I for one would like to see a Moab Brewpub somewhere along the Wasatch front. Even though Moab's beer is available in most stores through out Utah.

I heard a rumor they were looking into opening a brewpub in Logan. Anyone have anything on this rumor?
Thanks to Douglas for the info!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Beer Karma?

The Universe has a way of exacting a price on those who would try to do wrong unto others, or to inflict retribution for those who motives may be less than pure. Well yesterday Karma saw a wrong and moved to rectify it.

Many in Utah would love to be customers of The New Belgium Brewery located in Fort Collins, Co. But for some petty, "head scratching" reason, the trendy brewery won't sell it's suds to one of it's closest-large markets. The reason? well the state warehouse that stores the beer is kept at room temperature; and apparently New Belgium's beer is far too fragile to be kept at room Temperature for a few weeks. Thus no NB beer here.

As I mentioned, yesterday Karma came a knocking. A heavy weather system moved through Northern Utah dumping two feet of snow in some areas. A truck carrying it's cargo for destinations unknown (well I know it wasn't stopping here) lost control in the snowy conditions and lost it's 40 thousand pounds of Fat Tire Amber Ale all over I-84 east of the city of Morgan.

When Karma called me yesterday to tell me what it had done, it said "you'll use their roads but won't sell them your beer? FOR SHAME"! thus Karma's price was wrot.

Personally I could care less. New Belgium (in my opinion) isn't at the level it once was. And though Fat Tire has a huge following, it's an average beer at best. So there you are, the Beer Gods have spoken. Cheers!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rude Ram Red at Roosters

To honor the dedication and respect between the Air Force and the public. Rooster's in Layton has concocted a new beer. Rude Ram Red is named for Hill AFB's 34th fighter squadron. Tom "Divot" Smith, Squadron Commander and F-16 fighter pilot has been rallying for two years for Roosters to brew up a unique beer for the Rude Rams and to reciprocate the ram's presented Roosters with a with a large portrait of one of the Ram's F-16's flying over Iraq with the Roosters logo in the window. The portrait displayed prominently in the lobby at Rooster's Layton Brewpub.

Although Roosters can't brew a beer for every squadron or unit on base, it shows an amount of respect and appreciation through small things, that come from a sense of community between Hill Air Force Base and the community it's apart of. Rude Ram Red is on tap now only at the Layton brewpub. Cheers!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Utah's Home Brew Bill Latest & Rêve Returns

The Utah Senate Business & Labor Committee passed HB51 unanimously yesterday!
American Homebrewers Association Director Gary Glass flew in to Salt Lake to testified for the bill during the Senate Committee hearing on homebrew legalization efforts.

The bill's next stop is to go before the Senate floor for a vote.

Also, RedRock's Rêve a Belgian Style Triple is finally back. The Award winning brew's second edition was released yesterday at RedRock's two locations and select bars. The brew is a limited edition and won't be around long, so don't procrastinate on this one.

Also, also... if your bumpin' around Squatters today wish The Queen of Beers: Jennifer Talley a Happy Birthday! I won't say how old she is, but I think 28 is a nice round number.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Squatters Label Contest Winner

After some 57 entries William Swartzfager of Salt lake City is the winner of Squatters' Hell's Keep Label contest. This particular piece was chosen by Jenny and her staff due to it's uniqueness and it's total deviation from anything Squatters has ever done before. The artwork above is not the final version, but you get the idea.

Hell's Keep was bottled yesterday and is now in the "warm room" for re-fermentation and then will be stored for conditioning. Hell's keep is expected to be released March 17th.
Congrats William!

Here are some other contest entries.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Brew Pub in Providence?

Tuesday evening Providence City Mayor Randy Simmons said that he would ask the town’s lawyer to look into creating an ordinance allowing brew pubs in the small town located in Cache County.

That ordinance would still have to be debated and approved by the City Council, which started gathering information by inviting Neil Cohen, licensing and compliance specialist for the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, to Tuesday’s meeting.

Iron Gate Grill owner Jeremy Jones, who attended the meeting, said that he is interested in brewing beer for his restaurant and selling it to other eateries. Utah law would require that his product not exceed 4.0% alcohol by volume.

“It will attract traffic,” he said. “It’s another thing that would set us apart from the franchise businesses. It’s a struggle for a home-grown restaurant to make it in this industry with Olive Gardens and Applebees and stuff coming in with big money and big advertising campaigns. This is one thing I feel like could help give us an extra niche.”

If Providence gives him the green light and he obtains the necessary state and federal permits, Jones said it would take him at least six months to set up beer-making equipment.

So, if the city of Providence passes the ordinance Iron Gate could be making and selling beer within the year, beating out Cache Valley Brewing's attempt to become Cache County's first brewery in almost a century. Good luck Jeremy, we've got your back!

Providence City is a small town located approximately one mile south of Logan in Cache County.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Utah's Home Brew Bill: Latest

The Senate Business and Labor Committee hearing on House Bill HB51 to legalize homebrewing in the state of Utah has been rescheduled for Thursday, February 12 at 8:30 AM in room 215 of the Senate Building, Utah State Capitol Complex.

Check the committee schedule, which should be updated with the new date shortly, to confirm the time and room number. You can help to ensure passage of this bill by attending the committee hearing and showing your support for the bill. AHA Director Gary Glass will be flying to Salt Lake City to attend the hearing. Cheers!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Other Beer Related Legislation

Last month I told you about proposed legislation to eliminate the annoying DABC stickers.
Big thumbs up! to beer devotee Tiffany Steele. She found the proposed legislation. If your interested in following it here's a link of it's last location. Thanks Tiffany!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Rêve Sighting

Sources deeply embedded in the Utah Brew scene (let's call him Fishdawg) say that RedRock's Award wining Rêve should be available within the next two weeks. Rêve is a Belgian style triple that quite delicious and made in very limited batches. Rêve will only be available at RedRock's Salt Lake & Park City locations, and possibly at Fiddlers Elbow and the Bayou. 9.0% abv. Cheers!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ogden man beats City Hall

The controversy over Bruce Edwards' battle to restore a hundred year old sign on the historic C.C.Keller Building on 25th Street in downtown Ogden has come to an end, a full 10 years after his original request.

Mr. Edwards had been battling the cities Landmarks Commission until the American Civil Liberties Union stepped in and took the city to court. where, in 2005, 2nd District Judge Parley Baldwin ruled in favor of Edwards, saying Ogden had usurped his First Amendment rights.

The original wording, dating back to about 1910 and painted on the north side of the two-story brick structure, is still barely visible: "Every hour upon the hour for about an hour Drink Becker's Beer - Ogden's Famous Beer."

The turn-of-the-century brick structure at the corner of 25th Street and Lincoln Avenue housed the infamous El Borrocho saloon from the late 1930s to the mid-1970s. The bar was known for its tough characters and frequent murders.

Also, until the mid-1950s, the building was home to the brothel known as "The Rose Rooms," named for proprietor Rose Davies. A sign outside the building advertised "Furnished Rooms" as code for the enterprise.

Utah has a very vivid beer history. If your interested in getting the full story on Utah's beer history check out "Beer in the Beehive" by Del Vance. Cheers!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Boulevard's Unfiltered Wheat

Success! Beer has the mystical power to predict the outcome of sporting events.

Found 'em!... finally. At of all places 7-eleven. The store I was at only had the wheat beer, which is fine. At $8.50 a sixer I wasn't prepared for that kind of hit on the wallet for a new-to-me six-pack.

Poured a hazy straw yellow color with a small white head that dissipated quickly leaving light lacing on glass.The nose was of fresh grains, lemons, oranges and a little yeast.The taste started with Light bready malt and a light lemon zest. A bit of grassy hop bitterness is present in the end. The finish was slightly spicey. This is an average but good wheat beer that will appeal to a variety of tastes. But don't expect to be blown away. Cheers!