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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Uinta's Bourbon Barrel Barleywine to be Released

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 time intensive effort was never intended to be released for sale. It was a special edition beer to be gifted to those in the brewing industry. If you managed to get your hands on a bottle you know that was a bloody shame. Uinta's President Steve Kuftinec told me "there is no intent to ever put BBB into production" but also said, "you never know".

Well... it looks like that which was never supposed to happen - is going to. Uinta's remaining surplus of Bourbon Barrel Barleywine is expected to be heading out to state liquor stores in the next few weeks.

Steve said "After two years in the barrels and another year and a half in the bottle, this beer is at it's peak and needs to be enjoyed now".

I have no info on exactly how many bottle are to be released, but I do know it's not many. The pricing is still being determined. BBB is expected to be in the neighborhood of around $15 per 22oz. bottle.

I've had this beer and trust me, "You want some!"

BBB 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. Cheers!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Big Things at Squatters

Local Breweries and brewpubs have been kicking it in to overdrive as of late trying to fulfill the publics desire for big beers. It seems like everyone has at least two or three good selling high ABV beers out right now. And if they don't, they soon will.

It looks like Squatters has three new big beers on the horizon this year. The first to be released will be Hell's Keep. Yeah I know, Hell's Keep was released a few months ago. But that was for consumption at the brewpub only. Apparently it was quite popular, because now it's destined to be sold on liquor store shelves within the next couple of months. Wahoo!

Next comes word that Jenny and Jason will be brewing up a high ABV version of the brewpubs flagship beer Emigration Amber Ale for the brewpubs 20th anniversary this September 5th. Man, I can't believe it's already been 20 years!

And finally, just because they can. It looks like Squatters will also be producing a Double IPA for unknown release date... at least to me. Sorry Doug, I know you had your heart set on an Impy Stout. There's still next year.

As long as these beers sell they'll keep making them for us. And who knows, they may become more the norm - than a novelty for Utah's beer lovers. Cheers!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Utah Liquor Laws

If your visiting Utah and are curious about the states liquor laws or live here and are still confused here's a brief explanation of the laws to help you navigate the new Adult friendly Utah.

These new laws go into effect as of July 1st 2009.

Bars: Offer a full range of alcoholic beverages. The alcohol per drink is limited to 1.5 oz of primary alcohol per drink. Beers of all types and strengths are available as well as wine. No membership required, however I.D. is required if you appear to be younger than 35 years of age. No smoking allowed by state law.

Taverns: Offer only beer. Beer must contain no more than 4.0% Alcohol by Volume.

Restaurants: Alcoholic beverages can be ordered with dinner or in the restaurants bar area. The purchase of a food item is required in the bar area, usually the cheapest thing on the menu. Chips & Salsa etc. No children allowed in the bar area.

Brew Pubs: Offer craft beers made in house. There is no limit to strength of beer that they can sell in bottles, as long as they have the proper licence. Beer on draft is limited to 4.0% ABV. Some brew pubs will also have a bar licence to sell liquor and wine.

Beer: Beer containing an alcohol content of 4.0% and below can be purchased at convenience & Grocery stores. As well as bars, taverns, private clubs, restaurants & brew pubs. Beer Above 4.0% can only be purchased at Liquor stores, bars, restaurants, private clubs & Brewpubs with the proper licencing. There is no set limit to the amount of alcohol a beer can contain in Utah. Keg's are not available for purchase by the public and the brewing of beer and wine at home for personal consumption is legal.

Wine: Is available for purchase only at Wineries, liquor stores, state run wine stores, restaurants, bars and brew pubs with the proper licence. Utah's state wine stores have one of the best wine selections in the country.

Liquor: Is available for purchase only at Distilleries, Liquor Stores, Bars, Restaurants and Brewpubs with the proper licence.

State Liquor stores are closed on Sundays. But alcoholic drinks are available at bars on Sunday and 4.0% beer is available at convenience and grocery stores on Sunday.

Note: Bars are the former "Private Clubs". Even though the private club system has gone away some establishments have opted to stay private. Meaning you will need to be a member to enter. This mostly affect golf courses, fraternal organization and the like. Some Bars have opted to remain "private" and will require memberships. These will be a very small minority as far as Bars go.

Utah's Liquor Laws are now the closest they've been to normal in quite some time. Because Utah's Liquor laws have the misfortune of being written by people who don't imbibe (not all but most). The laws tend to be in a state of constant change. Which often adds to confusion. These are the basics. I'm not going to get into all the little technicalities that are out there because they affect a relative minority of drinker. Cheers!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

1842 Pils at Bohemian

Bohemian's recreation of the original 1842 Czech Pilsner is done, and I gotta say they that they've done a fantastic job. This is a delicious pils that you must try because it will likely never be made again. At least with this special malt.

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.

1842 is dangerously drinkable. If this is close to any representation on the original beer brewed by Josef Groll it's no wonder why it became the most popular beer style in the world. Prost to Bohemian and Geoff Fischer from Crosby & Baker for getting that rare malt. 4.0% abv.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Epic Brewery Blog

Ahhh the Interweb. It's a fine thing. Not only does it keep us in monkey-porn but it allows us to follow the subjects we love. Like beer!

The Guys at the soon to be Epic Brewery invite you to follow their progress as they begin the creation of Utah's newest brewery. From shopping for tanks, to the first beer in the bottles, it looks like we'll get a front row seat to most of the happenings as they raise Epic from the ground-up.

In the photo above it looks like Kevin is loading up the car with Ninkasi Total Domination IPA to be consumed in his hotel room. I know Kevin, and he would never-ever bring beer across the border into Utah to share with his friends (hint, hint).

Also, this just in. Bobby over at the Bohemian Brewery says that their recreation of the original 1842 Czech Pilsner will go on tap this evening. I guess I know what I'm doing tonight.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Desert Edge Steamer

Chris Haas Brewmaster over at Desert Edge Brewery has got some new specials on tap.
The HB 51. beer is gone it apparently sold like crazy, I hope everyone got to try it. So to fill it's place Chris has put on his Centennial Steamer.

If your not familiar with steamers or Steam Beer their one of the few 100% American style of beer. Steamers are usually brewed with a special strain of lager yeast that works better at warmer temperatures.

Chris' is amber in color with a moderate malty nose. the taste is toasty and malty with a mild fruitiness. It finishes malty with a light hop presence. medium to light bodied.

Also, on the seasonal taps. Downhill Dunkelweizen, Red Butte Bitter and Road Rage Rye.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Brain, Brain, Brain What is Brain???

We need your help! Jamie Burnham from the Beer Nut called the other day to tell me that they're putting together Utah's first Home Brew competition. Yea!

The competition is tentatively scheduled for August 1st, but we'll get into the specifics after the details have been hammered out. But for now what we need is a good name for this annual event.

So I'm putting out the call to every smart-ass, savant, egg-head and nut-job to submit some names for the competition.

There is no prize as far as I know, just the satisfaction of knowing that your brain cells are good for something else other than working on that perfect ass-groove for your mother basement couch.

Just put the name and the name you want to be credited with in the comments section.

Also, I had my first Deschutes beer bought in Utah last night. Go and get 'em! Cheers!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lindzee O' Michaels

Park City listen up! Your beer options just got a boost. Last week a new bar opened in the PC that plans to specialize in top tier beers. Lindzee O' Michaels isn't a beer bar but is working on a providing residents and tourist with a variety hand picked beers to satisfy your inner beer dork.

Lindzee O' Michaels currently has 47 beers available and plan to expand the list as their business expands. One of their gimmicks is serving Mickey's Malt Liquor in a paper bag. Perhaps they should provide an extra bag for your head. Just in case one of your friends sees you drinking Mickey's.

Lindzee O' Michaels is located at 825 south Main St. in Park City. Cheers!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Utah's Gett'n all Grow'd - Up

OK this is the final "it's legal to home brew" post because... well it's finally legal. Throughout the whole damn process of passing the bills - then signing it - brewing-up the tributes and finally national home brew day last week. Today is the day.

So, no more talk about it being legal. Now it's just a part of life. Now all our concerns should be focused toward more home brew clubs, home brew competitions and helping Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Oklahoma make it legal.

Also legal today, serving a drink across the bar in a restaurant. Yep those fucked-up partitions separating you and your children from evil, known as the "Zion Curtains" are no more.

I heard a nice quote from a bartender on Fox13 news this morning "one small step for man, one giant leap for Utah". I guess that says it all. Cheers!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Deschutes & Other New Beers in Utah

You should start seeing Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale & Black Butte Porter in state stores with in the next week or so. If sales are descent we could see more of their labels in the coming months, so do your duty. But not at the expense of our local guys.

Also I'd like to thank the "Original" Andy for bringing this up. Unibroue Maudite and Rogue's Yellow Snow are listed as 50% off at the liquor stores. That's great news! However, this means that the state stores will no longer be carrying them.

Not to worry though, The Bayou - who originally brought these beers into the state to begin with, will still be selling Maudite and Yellow Snow there.

Other new beers out there for you to enjoy.
- Sam Adam's Imperial White
- Sam Adam's Imperial Stout
- Sam Adam's Imperial Double Bock
- Rogue's Double Dead Guy Ale

Thursday, May 07, 2009

2009 Mountain Brewers Festival

Alright kids, it's time to start thinking "Beer". Well - we're always talking beer around here, but in thirty days the 15th annual Mountain Brewers Festival returns, and if you've never made the short roadie north to Idaho Falls your really missing-out. Besides being Utah's best beer festival MBF is also a sanctioned NABA Brewing competion.

Judges at the annual event include brew masters from major national breweries as well as experts from small, independent breweries. Also judging are beer journalists and certified judges. Evaluation and judging of beers are conducted in blind tasting sessions which lead to the award of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.

Over eighty breweries will be offering hundreds of beers from all over the world for just one low price.

Tickets will be available in town shortly at local breweries and brewpubs as well as on line for around 20 bucks or 25 the day of. Even though it's not a terribly long drive I'd encourage picking up a hotel room. Trust me you'll be glad you did. Cheers!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A Lil' Taste of Japan

Uinta/Four+ Brewing is debuting a new summer beer in the coming weeks that's got a little sumthin' different than the traditional summer beers.

Sum'r is made with variety of hops known Sorachi Ace. Sorachi hops were previously grown by Sapporo for use in their beers, but has since apparently dumped them for more recent varieties available in Japan. This has opened up the world market to these hops and apparently Uinta has bought-up a shload of them.

Now don't confuse this with a Japanese Lager, such as Sapporo 'cause it ain't.
The unique qualities that set Sorachi Ace apart from other hop varieties is the strong Lemony profile that they posses, which is different from the usual grapefruit or pine character of American hops.

Sum'r is described as a light Organic Pale Ale with with a moderate malt backbone and a Lemony/citrusy finish.

I'm a Hop-Head, but my experience with this variety is limited. So I'm anxious to check this one out. Apparently Uinta is the only brewery in the area to have them. Sum'r should be in grocery stores in the next week or two. Cheers!

Friday, May 01, 2009

The HB51 Beers Debut Today

One of the great things about living in this area is the great sense of community. There are very few places around the world where competitors actually enjoy collaborating with each other on their crafts.

All of the brewpubs that participated in the brewing of the HB51 beer have kegged their individual interpretation on the collaboration amber ale. And as promised they are all very different.

Wednesday evening the participating brewers gathered together at the Desert Edge brewpub to show off their brews. Desert Edge offered it's unfiltered version - Hoppers aged it with oak - RedRock had it's filtered version - Squatters added Amarillo hops via a hopback and Wasatch dry-hopped with nine pounds of Amarillo.

As promised they were all very different and unique. A perfect example of how an individuals personal touches can make a common beer somewhat special.

The HB51 beers are available starting today at the brewpubs listed above. The Utah Brewers Coop will also have the Wasatch version available. All brewers encourage patrons to try every version.

Note: The Bohemian Brewery was slated to participate but for some reason had to opt-out.

And speaking of Bohemian, some sad news. Owner/Brewermaster Joe Petras collapsed earlier this week and is said to be in serious condition at an area hospital. No specifics available right now.

Let’s all send our best wishes and prayers for Joe's recovery.