Monday, August 31, 2009

Beer School

Any opportunity to obtain a little more beer knowledge is a good thing in my book. I think that's one of the great things about being into craft beer now, the landscape is ever changing.

If your looking for a little more from your enjoyment of beer, I have a fun and very popular option for you.

For quite a few years now the Desert Edge Brewery has been putting on Beer School, an immersive evening into making beer and pairing it with food. For the first hour Brewmaster Chris Haas takes participants through the brewery and gives an inside look into the equipment, the process and the ingredients.

Then students head upstairs and drink all eight or nine beers that Desert Edge has on tap at that time and talk about the flavor components and styles. The chef then whips-up four dishes to pair with the beer. Every session is different every time, all dishes are off the menu.

If this sounds like it'll float your boat, then you'd better plan ahead. Beer School is booked until November and takes place the the first Thursday of the month from 7pm till about 10:30.

And if that wasn't enough, Desert Edge just created a brand new brewing space and bought a new brew system that just went on line a few weeks ago. Chris also has four specials back on tap, and some good ones too. Try the Road Rage Rye, it is on at the Beerhive as well. Also on tap are The Munich Lager, Summertime Kristalweizen, and the Augustus Amber Ale.

Desert Edge is located on the East side of Trolley Square. 801-521-8917.

Cheers!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bringing SLC into the 20th Century

Believe it or not these two fine specimens are more up-to-date than most of Utah's liquor ordinances. We all know that "normal" in Utah is a relative term. What seems normal here is often considered byzantine everywhere else. Especially where alcohol is concerned.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is preparing to bring the city's outdated city ordinances in to the 20th century. Over the past year Becker has been working on a booze ordinance task force. The focus is on making a place for pubs as a "conditional use" in neighborhood commercial centers, and eliminating the two-bar-per-block rule, effectively clearing the way for a downtown entertainment district that would bring the city to life after dark.

Normalizing Salt lake City's liquor laws would wash away our teetotaling reputation, give the burgeoning tourism and convention industry a boost and dispel the myth that the mere presence of bars turns children into raging, uncontrollable, demonic alcoholics and creates drunken drivers.

Don't cheer yet this is still Utah. Becker's proposed liquor revamp will be vetted and voted on by the Planning Commission and the City Council, as soon as this fall. And of course the Utah Legislature could still "pee in the punch bowl" and kill the whole plan.

Even though there has been a lot of progress in treating adults like adults we're still a long way off from being considered "normal" in the eyes of the world.
Cheers

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New This Week

More new beer is available for you at your local liquor store. This weeks new arrivals are.

SAMUEL ADAMS BLACK LAGER
FULL SAIL GRANDSUN OF SPOT
SAMUEL SMITH ORGANIC RASPBERRY

Since this is becoming a regular thing, should I continue to update you guys through a semi regular post such as this, or provide a column over to the right that has a permanent list of the new beers to the area. Your thoughts...

Cheers!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ahhhh, I got Nuth'n....

Well... there is absolutely nothing going on out there. Sometimes it surprises me how much Utah related beer stuff there is to discuss. But not today. So to fill the void I'm throwing a video at you that I shot a few years ago.

It's a profile piece on Uinta Brewing that I shot for a show called The Insiders List, that airs/aired on The Fine living Network.

If you've got something going on, send me some beer love at UtahBeer@gmail.com. Enjoy & Cheers!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Book of Brew

A reading from the the Book of Brew. Chapter 11, verse 9 through 21. "And St. Arnold raised his barrel upon high saying 'Oh lord, bless this - thy Divine Keg, that I may shatter it's bung with thy heavy mallet in thy mercy'... And the lord didth grin. And the droves of people were showered with all manner of beer both dark and light". Well...it doesn't technically say that in the book... Something to think about for the second edition.

What the bloody hell am I talking about? Well The Book of Brew is RedRock Brewing Company's bible, per say. It chronicles most every one of the 40+ beers that Red Rock has brewed over the past 15 years.

Inside are descriptions of each beer, along with any awards they may have won. Short bios for each of their brewers, and a little bit about the brewing process. It has been available on all tables since the 4th of July and is also available for sale.

RedRock is hoping to be able to push ahead with a second edition when they run through the first. Amen!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oktoberfest at Snowbird 2009

Time to break out your lederhosen and show off those hairy, pasty - white legs that you've been working on all summer. Snowbird’s 37th Annual Oktoberfest is underway starting this weekend(August 22 & 23).

Attracting over 70,000 visitors over the sixteen-day celebration, Oktoberfest has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the state of Utah. Oktoberfest includes Oktoberfest Halle featuring the tastes of Bavaria with entertainment from local and national German bands and yodelers. Kinderland fun for children, Der Marktplatz will allow shoppers to browse through a variety of crafters. And of course beer.

Uinta will be pouring their Black Bier and pouring Punk'n Ale even though it won't be available in Utah stores until the beginning of September.

Oktoberfest will run every weekend and end on October 11th. Prost!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Squatters' 20th Annibrewsary Lager

It may still say August on the calendar but trust me, fall is in the air... or at least in the tanks. Most breweries around the world are starting to shift gears and slowly transition their taps to the fall styles. Utah is no exception.

In celebration of Squatters 20th Anniversary, Brewmaster Jennifer Talley is releasing a special lager that is synonymous with Autumn. A Märzen.

The Märzen or Oktoberfest style are the beers that have been served at the like named event in Munich since 1818. Traditionally Oktoberfestbiers were brewed in March and allowed to ferment slowly during the summer months.

The "20th Annibrewsary Lager" as they're calling it is being released September 1st and will be available in 18oz bottles at Park City and the downtown SLC Squatters locations. Squatters will also be releasing 1 liter flip top jugs for out the door sales. They'll be pre-filling the jugs and only releasing 50 a week until they are gone(about 4 weeks worth).

Jen describes the 20th Annibrewsary Lager as having Biscuit like character that softly blends with notes of light toffee to give this malt driven lager it's true Märzen character. German noble hops offer an eloquent balance to the malt complexity and make this medium bodied lager wonderful to enjoy by all. 20th Annibrewsary Lager is a traditional German Märzen. The ABV is at 5.5%.

The Märzen is one of my favorite lagers, I can't wait!

Also, Jen is releasing her Altbier "Alt and in the Way". It's due out at the end of August. Squatters won a gold medal for this at World Beer Cup in 2008. "Hop Riot" her classic American Pale Ale just went on tap, it's packed with Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hops. Prost!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Gluten Free Utah Beers

I've had a chance to meet a few people over the last couple of days who suffer from Celiac Disease. These are people who suffer damage to the intestines due to an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in various grains: barley, wheat, rye, spelt, oats, kamut and triticale.

This means these poor folks can't enjoy beer of any kind, which frankly just breaks my heart. So out of curiosity I thought I'd look around and see what options are out there for Celiac suffers and get them to as close as I can to Beervana. I was surprised to find, quite a few gluten free option in Utah.

Red Bridge is found at most grocery stores and is made by Anheuser Busch.
Greens out of the U.K. makes eight gluten free styles. Three of which are available locally. Discovery Amber Ale, Endeavor Dubble & Quest Triple. The Green's are only available at the Bayou, Beerhive and Lindsay O Michaels. And finally there's Bard's Tale Dragon Gold Beer. Bard's Tale is only at state liquor stores.

And as a side note. If you prefer spirits Teton Glacier's Potato Vodka contains no glutens either. As most spiritus liquors are grain based. All that aside it's one damn tasty vodka.

Odds are if your gluten intolerant you don't spend much time here on Utah Beer. But if you know someone who is? Spread the beer love.

Updated beer link

Cheers!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Moab's Triple Released

On the heels of a successful debut Moab Brewing started selling the second beer in their Desert Selct Series Last week. If your not familiar, The D.S.S. is Moab's first attempt at a true high gravity series, served in handsome one liter bottles.

Moab's Tripel is a pale colored, Belgian style ale made with Pilsen malt and a traditional addition of Belgian candy sugar, then hopped with German Noble and Saaz
hops. This ale has a light malt nose and a subtle hop aroma. In traditional fashion, this Tripel has been conditioned in the bottle to create natural carbonation and long-term stability.

If you never got the oportunity to try Jeff's Black Imperial IPA there are about 80 bottles left - only at the brewpub in Moab. Trust me, it's worth your time to get your ass down there and get some.

Next in the series is a Scotch Ale that will be ready in a month or so. I'll get more info on that as it's release gets closer.

Also, later this month Brewmaster Jeff Van Horn and some of his crew will be heading to Montrose Co. to pick hops at the San Juan Hop farms. Last year they picked 25 lbs of Chinook and dried them for use in the B.I.IPA. This is a pretty cool concept for area home brewers and pros alike. They also have their very own strain of hop found at a mine in the Telluride area that's being cultivated also.

It's nice to know the Moab guys and gals still get out and do things a little old school. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Give in to the Dark Side

If your a fan of Black Lagers the next couple of weeks will give you a chance to indulge your dark side.

Our first black bier comes to us courtesy of Hoppers and Brewmaster Donovan Steele. Dono's "Double Black Lager" went on tap yesterday. It pours a dark brown with garnet highlights just a hint of cocoa powder or dark chocolate in the finish, yet creamy smooth and dangerously easy to drink. All German except for the water and the brewer. It's tastes even better on Tuesdays, thanks to "$2.50 Tuesdays". Go figure.

Next is Mike's Pro/Am Black Lager from RedRock. The name says it all. Home Brewer extraordinaire Mike Johnson has teamed up with RedRock's Brewmaster Kevin Templin for this American Take on the style. I believe this beer will be entered in the Pro/Am competition at the Great American Beer Festival next month. I've tried Mike's Beer. They're chances a very good.

Finally there is Full Sail Brewing's Sessions Black Lager. An appealing medium bodied black beer with a nice amber malt base, light roastiness amid the caramel toast. An excellent example an American Dark Lager style, a cousin to the German Schwarz.

These are all available right now. The Session black lager is at state liquor stores.
Prost!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hop Rising and Hell's Keep Released

When the Beer Store at the Utah Brewers Coop opens today you'll finally be able to buy Squatters new Hop Rising & Hells Keep Belgian Style Strong Ale.

If you haven't heard Hop Rising is a big beer (9% ABV) with big IBU's, 85 to be exact. This is a Thanks to copious amounts CTZ (Columbus, Tomahawk, Zeus) and Bravo hops. You may remember Hop Rising as a Pale Ale from Squatters Brewpub. The name was transferred over to the co-op to use for this 2IPA.

Also out is Squatters Hell's Keep, a Belgian Golden Strong Ale. Hell's Keep was originally released earlier this year at Squatters brewpub, Jenny Talley had created this beer as a seasonal/limited release. It was such a hit that they decided to move the production over to the Utah Brewers Cooperative facility so they could take care of the massive bottling project. Hell's Keep is 7.75 ABV and will come in a 750 ML bottle.

Both of these are available at the Beer Store at 1763 South 300 West and at the the downtown Squatters Brew Pub. The Coop is shipping 1,000 cases of Hop Rising to the DABC today and it should hit the State Stores by next week. Hell's Keep will (for now) only be available for purchase(take home) at the Coop.

Also, next time your in Squatters be sure to give Asst. Brewer Jason Stock a little shit. That's his cute lil' mug shot on the label. Cheers!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Ruby River is Out of the Pub

The other day I mentioned that Ruby river had shut down a few of their locations. Some of the restaurants may be gone but the beer side of the business is still moving forward.

Like most breweries in Utah, Ruby River isn't content with just having their beers available only at their brewpub/restaurant they want it out, to as wide a customer base as possible.

Currently RR is serving their suds at all RR locations, Red Robin and select Sizzler locations. Rob Bunn, Brewmaster for RR tells me that he's got a deal with Wasatch Distributing to get his beer out to the masses. His Ruby Red Ale is currently at Teazers up in Ogden and is hoping to have more beers on tap soon including their delicious Rockwell Porter.

Ruby River doesn't get a lot of play, there's hardly any mention of their craft brews on their website(hint, hint to RR management). So, make the effort to get out and try their stuff. There's too much craft beer momentum in Utah to slow it down now. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

New Beer at the Beerhive


When Del Vance opened the Beerhive a couple weeks ago, he did so promising that he'd be delivering more unique beers for Utah's starved beer community.

It's a slow process getting the fridges stocked with new stuff, but they are starting to trickle in.
Yesterday the Beerhive sent me a list of some new and nearly new Deschutes labels.

Mirror Mirror
Black Butte XXI
Red Chair IPA
Obsidian Stout
Inversion IPA
Bachelor ESB

That's most of Deschutes' regular line-up, half of the Reserve Series and a third of their Bond Street Series. Not Bad considering Deschutes has only been in the market for a couple of months.

The only places you can get these beers are the Beerhive and the Bayou. Mark says he has Mirror Mirror and Black Butte XXI and says he's expecting the Red Chair IPA soon. Cheers!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

One Less Option for St. George

It looks like your craft beer options in St. George just got a little more bleak. Sizzling Platter Incorporated, the parent company that owns Ruby River Steakhouse has closed it's St. George location as well as their Idaho Falls & Boise restaurants. Company officials cite the struggling economy for the necessary cuts.

Even though the St. George location never brewed on site; they had their beer shipped down from the main brewery in Ogden. It's still sad that beer lovers in southern Utah have one less option.

I recommend checking out Zion Canyon Brewing regardless. ZCBC is located in Springdale Utah, just outside of Zion National Park. It's about a 45 min drive outside of St. George and they're beer is available thought southern Utah. Cheers!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Beehive Brew-Off Winners

First off let me say that for a first attempt at a Homebrew competition Mark, Jamie, Mike and everyone else involved did an incredible job of putting on a well organized, detail oriented BJCP sanctioned competition.

Besides running smoothly, I gotta say the quality of the beers entered really blew the judges away. We're talking about professional brewers, industry professionals and certified judges. It really made me sink back in my chair and think to myself, "man... my homebrew really blows".

At one point Saturday afternoon I thought that we were going to "go to blows" over which IPA was the overall winner. Luckily the final result kept everyone happy. I hope.

Entries wern't limited to Utah homebrewers, entries came from as far away as California, Texas and Nebraska. Check out the Beernut's website for more details. Also, check out the news coverage from Fox13.

Cheers to all the winners. Nicely done!

Beehive Brew Off Results

August 1 2009
Sponsored by The Beer Nut/ZZHOPS

299 Entries

Richard Jensen WVC,UT Scottish 70 9B Scottish 70/- 1
Craig Hardy Springville,UT My Red 9D Irish Red Ale 2
Kevin Kroll Lincoln,NE
9E Strong Scotch Ale 3
Table 2 - Light Lagers (5 Entries)
Mike Johnson SLC,UT Helles 1D Munich Helles 1
Tracy Johancsik Murray,UT
1E Dortmunder Export 2
Mike Johnson SLC,UT American Lager 1B Standard American 3
Table 3 - IPA's (24 Entries)
Ryan Cathey SLC,UT Down pour IPA 14A English IPA 1
MIke Wilder SLC,UT Double IPA 14C Imperial IPA 1
Rob Kent SLC,UT Doobious 14C Imperial IPA 3
Table 4 - Pilsners (8 Entries)
Ryan Cathey SLC,UT Sunnyside Pilsner 2B Bohemian Pilsner 1
Mike Horner SLC,UT Bit O' Pils 2A German Pilsner 2
Tracy Johancsik Murray,UT
2B Bohemian Pilsner 3
Table 5 - Euro Lagers (8 Entries)
Kevin Kroll Lincoln,NE
3B Oktoberfest 1
Bryan Van Winkle SLC,UT Maternity Marzen 3B Oktoberfest 2
Mike Horner SLC,UT Augustfest 3B Oktoberfest 3
Table 6 - Bocks and Dark Lagers (10 Entries)
Troy Faircloth Tooele,UT Schwarzbier 4C Schwarzbier 1
Shawn Scott McAlester,OK Doubravka Dunkel 4B Munich Dunkel 2
Davo Mahaffey SLC,UT Mahaffinator 5C Doppelbock 3
Table 7 - Hybrids (20 Entries)
Vince Stuart South Jordan,UT Just Beer 6B Blond Ale 1
Vince Stuart South Jordan,UT Cal Common? 7B California Common Beer 2
Vince Stuart South Jordan,UT Rye Not 6D American Wheat or Rye Beer 3
Table 8 - English Pale Ale (15 Entries)
Ray Madsen Heber City,Ut Standard/Ordinary Bitter 8A Ordinary Bitter 1
Brian Michel SLC,UT Summer Rain 8C Extra Special/Strong Bitter (EPA) 2
Tracy Johancsik Murray,UT Sorachi ESB 8C Extra Special/Strong Bitter (EPA) 3
Table 9 - American Ale (21 Entries)
Chico Lusby Lompoc,CA Fogtown Pale Ale 10A American Pale 1
Zach Gildersleeve SLC,UT Madison Brown 10C American Brown 2
Vince Stuart South Jordan,UT Tasty 10A American Pale 3
Table 10 - English Brown Ale (7 Entries)
Vince Stuart South Jordan,UT Oh Ya 11C Northern English Brown 1
Kevin Kroll Lincoln,NE
11C Northern English Brown 2
Shawn Scott McAlester,OK Blackfriar's Brown 11A Mild 3
Table 11 - Porter (16 Entries)
Mike Johnson SLC,UT Brown Porter 12A Brown Porter 1
Carlos Aguirre SLC,UT Robust Porter 12B Robust Porter 2
Jim Lauscher Sandy,UT Samuel Smith Taddy Porter Clone 12A Brown Porter 3
Table 12 - Stout (16 Entries)
RICKY/QUINN HANSING/ESKELSEN SLC,UT Sven the spartan imperial resistance stout 13F Russian Imperial Stout 1
Harley Hoskins Slc,UT Espresso Oatmeal Stout 13C Oatmeal Stout 2
x Connelly Brothers SLC,UT Grand Slainte Stout 13F Russian Imperial Stout 3
Table 13 - German Wheat and Rye (10 Entries)
Ray Madsen Heber City,Ut Weizenbock 15C Weizenbock 1
Chris Detrick SLC,UT Sorachiweizen 15A Weizen 2
Kevin Kroll Lincoln,NE
15B Dunkelweizen 3
Table 15 - Belgian Saison, Wit and Biere de Garde (19 Entries)
Mike Hahn SLC,UT Saison I 16C Saison 1
Troy Faircloth Tooele,UT Saison 16C Saison 2
Jeremy Juedeman Ogden,UT Saison 16C Saison 3
Table 16 - Belgian Pale and Specialty (16 Entries)
Alex Lemieux Salt Lake City,UT Biere de Mars 16E Belgian Specialty 1
Brent Winlker SLC,UT Belgian IPA 16E Belgian Specialty 2
Brent Winlker SLC,UT Belgian Dark Ale 16E Belgian Specialty 3
Table 17 - Sour Ales (11 Entries)
TROY JASKOWSKI SLC,UT FLANDERS RED ALE 17B Flanders Red 1
TROY JASKOWSKI SLC,UT DEEP KRIEK 17F Fruit Lambic 2
TROY JASKOWSKI SLC,UT LAMBIC DE POMME 17F Fruit Lambic 3
Table 18 - Belgian Strong (19 Entries)
Carlos Aguirre SLC,UT Mexo-Peruvian Oro 18D Belgian Golden Strong Ale 1
Tyler Makmell SLC,UT Belgian Strong Ale 18E Belgian Dark Strong Ale 2
Kris Olsen SLC,UT Double Dubbel 18E Belgian Dark Strong Ale 3
Table 19 - Strong Ale (8 Entries)
Mike Johnson SLC,UT BARLEY WINE 19B Barleywine 1
SCOTT ENDICOTT SLC,UT BARLEY WINE 2007 19B English Barleywine 3
Matt Lewis Logan,Ut Harvest Ale 19C American Barleywine 3
Table 20 - Fruit Beer (9 Entries)
Rob Kent SLC,UT Old Limey 20A Fruit Beer 1
Doug Kirchner Park City,UT Apricot Ale 20A Fruit Beer 2
J. Daren Wightman Murray,UT Black & Blue Berry Ale 20A Fruit Beer 3
Table 21 - Spice, Herb and Vegi..Yummmm (16 Entries)
TROY JASKOWSKI SLC,UT APPLECARMEL LAGER 21B Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer 1
Matthew Walker SLC, Von-Pumpkin 21A Spice, Herb, Vegetable Beer 2
BRANDON CUNNINGHAM SLC,UT TOUR DE SUDS 21A Spice, Herb, Vegetable Beer 3
Table 22 - Smoke & Specialty (21 Entries)
Walt Minkel Bountiful,UT Hickory Smoke Ale 22B Other Smoked Beer 1
Rob Kent SLC,UT The Good Ol' Days 23A Specialty Beer 2
Kevin Kruse Murray,UT Smokin' IPA 23A Specialty Beer 3
Table 23 - Meads (8 Entries)
Robert Cady SLC,UT Sage Honey Mead 24A Dry Mead 1
RICKY/QUINN HANSING/ESKELSEN SLC,UT Your Peach Braggot is in another castle 26B Braggot 2
TYLER MAUGHAN SLC,UT GREEN TEA BRAGGOT 26C Open Category Mead 3
Table 24 - Ciders (5 Entries)
Jeff/Ayllyn Nolte Plano,TX Governor Perry 28D Other Spec. Cider/Perry 1
Jeff/Ayllyn Nolte Plano,TX Cranberry Cider 28B Fruit Cider 2
Rand Babcock Riverton,Ut Cider 27A Common Cider 3
BEST OF SHOW
Troy Faircloth Tooele,UT Schwarzbier 4C Schwarzbier 1
Mike Johnson SLC,UT Megan's Barleywine 19C American Barleywine 2
TROY JASKOWSKI SLC,UT FLANDERS RED ALE 17B Flanders Red 3