Friday, October 29, 2010

New Beer Friday 10/29/10

We're going Rouge! everything new this week is from Newport, Oregon... Well, almost everything.

First out of the gate is Rogue's Maierfest Lager. This Märzen pours a hazy deep gold to amber color. The nose is very malty with toffee and a little citrus. The Taste starts with Biscuity malt, toast and hard toffee flavors and ends with moderate citus/floral bitterness. Slightly warming alcohol in the finish. Available at the Beerhive.

Oregasmic Ale, also from Rouge is a cloudy orange/amber color with a dense yellowish head. The nose has a moderate, slightly sweet hop aroma with notes of grass, pineapple and orange peel. The taste starts with sweet caramel, grain, and wood. The end is huge with bitter citusy hops. Great bitter bite in the finish. Nicely balanced. At the Beerhive.

John John Hazelnut Rum Ale Poured a nice medium brown color, with a little light tan head. The nose is of cinnamon, anise, clove and light brown sugar. The taste stated with a light nuttiness and some solvent notes. the end was lightly spiced in the end.
Somewhat underwhelming. Just because you have the ability to age beer in Rum barrels doesn't mean you should. You may like it Douglas and I didn't.

Finally, Capt. Sig's NW Ale. If you don't know who Capt Sig Hansen is you obviously don't watch Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel. Pours a dark, hazy ruby color with a frothy head tan head. The nose is of heavy pine and rich malty sweet notes. The taste starts piney with hints of herbal hops. Rich sweet malts back up the hop bitterness with a solid bready base. The finish has a lingering herbal and citrus profile. At the Bayou & Beerhive.

Bacchus returns to the Bayou. It's a Flemish Sour Brown Ale aged in Oak. A typical Flemish beer with a pleasant wine-like taste and a rich past. This dark brown beer, which is matured in oak casks, has a slightly acid aftertaste. A little on the sweeter side of the style. At the Bayou.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Epic Expands

On March 26, 2010 Epic Brewing Company began brewing it's very first beer. That was seven months ago. Since then they have been adding and adding...and adding equipment inside their tiny State Street Brewery.

Living in Utah, you can never really know which way the wind of fortune blow where beer is concerned. But one thing is certain the boys at Epic greatly underestimated the public's thirst for craft beer.

In the next few weeks Epic will be expanding their existing brewery by 3,000 square feet. Their planned expansion will more than doubling their current capacity by adding three 40 barrel fermentors that will occupy the space east of the brewery.

The expansion shouldn't affect day to day operations or store hours.

Cheers!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cherney Bock Comes Home

One of my favorite beers is finally out of the brewery and ready for my beer fridge.

Bohemian Brewery began canning it's Cherny Bock Schwarzbier late last week and should be hitting store shelve in the next week or so.

Cherny Bock Schwarzbier is the third lager to be canned by Bohemian Brewery. Along with Bohemian Brewery's Viennese Lager and Czech Pilsener, Cherny Bock will add to Bohemian's lager spectrum offering a beer with darker, rich aroma and taste.

Cherny Bock Pours a very dark chocolate brown with a thick tan head. The nose is full of roasted malt, dark fruits with a pleasant nuttiness. The taste started with a deep roasted malt taste, then a dark nuttiness with minor raspberry notes beneth. The end is nicely balanced with an easy piney hop bite at the end. I really love this stuff and with a ABV of 4.0 I could drink it all night.

If you can't wait for it to pop up in stores you can purchase it at the brewery in Midvale.

Prost!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Griswald's Big Holiday

It might seem a little early to be talking about Holiday beers, but if you take a look outside you realize that the holidays are not too far off.

So here in the waning days of October we offer you, your first glimpse of some winter warmers, alla Utah.

The first beer announced is from RedRock Brewing Company's Beer Yogi, Kevin Templin. The name may be somewhat familiar but this is an entirely new beer. As the name implies, Griswald's Big Holiday is bigger version of Redrock's Holiday staple Griswald's Holiday Ale.

The original Griswald's poured a clear golden amber color with a nose is mostly of nutmeg and cloves and a touch of maltiness beneath. The taste started big and malty then the spices kick in. Nutmeg and Clove were very pronounced then transitions into a Cinnamon spiciness. The finish was bright and piney.

I assume Griswald's Big Holiday will be similar in taste except with a 8.5% abv punch. It should be available the week of November 15th and will be around 'till it ain't.

There are more holiday beers coming down the pike, but I ain't allowed to talk 'bout 'em yet! Stay tuned.

Cheers!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Beer Leaving the DABC?

I have good news and bad news for you.

The Good News. The DABC is is undergoing major reconstruction of their main warehouse in Salt Lake City. The current warehouse is already too small to accommodate the increase in volume the state's ever expanding adult population is putting upon it.

The Bad News. The reconstruction of racking and changes to the physical structure of the building call for a 30% reduction in inventory levels to allow for movement of equipment and materials.

This reduction of storage space means that the DABC's smallest product department (beer) will need to find a temporary space. The solution? Put the higher demand beers with the distributors.

Brands like Sierra Nevada and Full Sail will need to find local distributors to get their beer into the state. This will take some time and paperwork to work out and may cause disruption of the flow of their products. The DABC's warehouse had kept a three month supply of the best selling brands.

While I labeled this as "bad news" I think you can already see a silver lining in there. Giving control of the beer to the wholesaler allows the vendor to better service their product. Temperatures will be regulated while in storage, decreasing the amount of old or expired bottles.

As I stated this is temporary. However this could be a permanent move if all goes well down the line. Beer lovers from around the state have always advocated that all "heavy" beer should get out of the hands of the state and into the hands of distributors. Rep. Curtis Oda proposed legislation regarding this in 2009.

The states requirements for the purchase and transport of beer into Utah are needlessly difficult on out of state breweries. The extra space and transportation options the distributors offer could open up many brands that have not previously been here.

The DABC will continue to procure beer products as needed and work to eliminate out of stocks as much as possible during this transition.

Discussion?

Monday, October 18, 2010

2010 Outer Darkness

Last year on the Winter Solstice Squatters released what was possibly one of their best selling beers ever. Outer Darkness.

If you were able to get your hands on one, you know that it was "a thing of beauty". It was the first time a commercial brewery in Utah tried making a true Imperial Stout and it didn't disappoint. It practically flew out of the brewpub in cases and was completely gone in less than ten days.

Today I'm happy to tell you that the 2010 batch is here early and is much bigger (quantity wise).

Outer Darkness is scheduled to be bottled tomorrow (10/19/10) and should be available for purchase late Tuesday or Wednesday at The Utah Brewers Cooperative. 1763 South 300 West, Salt Lake City.

Bottles should be creeping into Squatters later in the week and liquor store shelves within a month. Last year the price was $14.99 per 22 oz. bottle. Expect to pay far less this year.

If your wondering if you'll like O.D., it pores a thick, opaque ebony color with a good two fingers of dark copper colored foam. The nose was heavy with coffee, chocolate, licorice and a hint of vanilla. Definite alcohol perfume in the end. The taste starts with Chocolate covered raisins, followed by some underlying dark fruits. The sweetness fades into big roasted coffee and cocoa and finished up with a nice roasted vanilla malt taste. The alcohol is noticeable but it doesn’t taste like a 10.5% beer. An amazing, full and complex Imperial Stout. The mouthfeel is thick and rich, you really get a sense for how heavy all of the ingredients are as you swish it around.

This has to be one of my favorite Utah beers of all time. The chocolate and coffee flavors are balanced perfectly. Best enjoyed in small sips where you can really savor and appreciate the great flavor and artistry in the brew.

Cheers!

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Beer Friday 10/15/10

Today's New Beer Friday has some new and returning favorites.

Lagunitas Hop Stoopid returns to the Bayou. It has big grapefruit, pineapple and peach notes with touch of pine and floral hops in the finish. It disappeared very fast last time around. don't wait too long.

Lagunitas Imperial Stout. This one is new to the state and is only at the Bayou. It has Some chocolate, coffee, and caramel notes that are pleasantly sweet with a smoky finish. Balanced nicely by grassy hops. The abv on this seems to range from 8.2% - 10.1%. So check your bottle.

Bohemian Brewing in Midvale has a special Oktoberfest/Märzen on tap for a limited time. They just put it on yesterday afternoon. So I haven't tried it yet. only available at the Brewpub.

The Wasatch Brewpub also has an Oktoberfest beer on tap as well. I haven't tried this one yet either. Available at the Brewpub and at the Utah Brewers Cooperative. On draft only.

Returning from Epic Brewing is their popular Sour Apple Saison. Apple and hints of vanilla up front. Kind of dusty with white pepper and hay. Light, spicy and refreshing.
If your thinking of aging this one beware. I had a bottle of batch #1 explode in my cellar a few days ago. So segregate it or keep a close eye on it.

Cheers!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nice Cans!

In 2009 the owners of Buckbean Brewing Company, Douglas Booth and Daniel Kahn brought more than 30 breweries from around the world to Reno, Nevada to take part in the biggest celebration of the canned beer in the world. The reason? to expand knowledge and the reputation of canned beer.

I consider myself to be one of the converted. I used to be a Can snob, but recent developments in "canning technology" have shown my tongue that in many regards it's the best way to package and serve a beer.

In categories condensed down to five, sixty beers were entered and awards were given to the best of those.

Bohemian's Viennese Lager won Gold for best canned lager. Since it been in the can - on store shelves, it's been a huge seller. If you haven't tried it in a while check it out and send some congrats to the boys in Midvale.

2010 Canfest Winners

IPA
Gold: TallGrass Brewing - English IPA
Silver: TallGrass Brewing - IPA
Bronze: Mammoth Brewing - Epic IPA

Pale Ale/Amber Ale
Gold: Maui Brewing - Big Swell IPA
Silver: Oscar Blues - Dale's Pale Ale
Bronze: SanTan Brewing - Epicenter American Ameber Ale

Dark Ales
Gold: Oscar Blues - Gordon Ale
Silver: Four Peaks Brewing - Kilt Lifter Scotish Ale
Bronze: TallGrass Brewing - Ale

Miscellaneous Ales (Kolsch, Wheat, fruit, etc)
Gold: Four Peaks Brewing - Sun Brewed Kolsch (Best of Show)
Silver: Big Sky Brewing - Trout Slayer Ale
Bronze: Maui Brewing - Coconut Porter

Lagers
Gold: Bohemian Brewing - Viennese Lager
Silver: Sante-Fe Brewing - Oktoberfest
Bronze: Coors Brewing - Coors

Cheers!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

More Märzens


Wahoo! More Märzens are here. Today's Oktoberfest selection comes from Squatters. This is the second year this Märzen has been available. It was originally brewed as Squatters' 20th Annibrewsary beer last year and was a big hit.

It pours a warm orange brown color with a firm, creamy white head. The nose is full of clean toasty malts with a bit of subtle nutty character. The taste starts with lots of crisp, smokey malts, biscuit tones and a good citrusy hop twang. Vanilla, orange peel and a spices lingering towards the finish. The bitter hops meld with a slight malt smokiness into the after taste. Very well balanced and highly drinkable with an ABV of 5.5%. This is a great example of what Oktoberfest biers are all about.

Squatters Oktoberfest is available in 18oz bottles for $4 to go, or $7.50 in the restaurant. At Park City and the Downtown SLC Squatters locations.

Also Squatters is having an Oktoberfest beginning Friday the 8th & continuing on Saturday the 9th from 5:30 to 11pm? The Märzen Oktoberfest will be available and of course, German food! $20 will get you in for food, an Oktoberfest Stein, & a beer. $10 for just food or for just the Stein & a beer.

And if Märzens don't float-yer-boat Squatters also has a Cocoa Porter on it's seasonal tap. I haven't had it yet, but just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

Prost!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Infinium Ale

Generally when something big hits the national or international beers scene we in Utah tend to get overlooked - due to the difficult nature of the states beer buying process.

I don't pretend to understand the inner-workings of the Utah's purchasing system. Suffice it to say that it's a needlessly difficult process for everyone involved.

That's why I was surprised to see that a rare collaboration beer between Weihenstephan, one of the world's most important breweries and Samuel Adams would be making it's way to the Beehive State.

The brewers at Weihenstephan watched what was going on in the States and decided they should innovate and make a new beer, within the German purity law. And they decided couldn't do it well enough on their own, that they could use a little assistance from an innovative American Brewery. Sam Adams fit the bill.

Weihenstephan sits on a hill outside Munich where brewers have been making beer for nearly a thousand years. Weihenstephan is not only the oldest brewery in the world but it's also the largest and best brewing university in the world. It's the Harvard of beer.

They have professors of hops, yeast, fermentation, brewhouse, etc. They are also the research center for the German brewing industry. In Germany it is considered so important that it's one of only two breweries owned by the Bavarian government - along with Hofbrauhaus. It's a national treasure.

This fall the two breweries are going to be launching a beer called Infinium, It will be the first of three beers released by the new collaboration. The others, Valtus and MXL are to follow sometime in 2011. Infinium is described as a combining elements of Dom Perignon, Noble Pilsener, Chateau d'Yquem and Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen. It's said to be dry without being thin. And it's acidic without being sharp.

This is the first new beer style to come out of Germany in a hundred years and it should be hitting liquor store shelves hopefully before the Holidays.

So what do you think, is this just another gimmick or is it the real deal?

Prost!

Monday, October 04, 2010

2010 RedRock Oktoberfest

Well it's officially Oktoberfest time. And with it come great German Lagers. If your looking for some great - award winning - locally made examples of German Beers I highly recommend that you head over to RedRock Brewing Co. and check out their selection of seasonal Oktoberfest beers.

Some styles are familiar to most, like a classic German Pils. While others like the Latzenbier may be new to many. RedRock's Oktoberfest runs from October 2-20.

Here's what is on tap for RedRock's Oktoberfest.

The Pilsner beer was first brewed in Bohemia, a German-speaking province in the old Austrian Empire. Pilsner is one of the most popular styles of lager beers in Germany, and in many other countries. It’s often spelled as “Pilsener”, and at times abbreviated, or spoken in slang, as “Pils.” Classic German Pilsners are very light straw to golden in color. Head should be dense and rich. Red Rock’s version is well-hopped, brewed using Noble hops such as Saaz, Hallertauer and Tettnanger. Lagered for five weeks and filtered bright.

A rather old, rare, and unique German beer style, Kellerbiers are unfiltered and unpasteurized lagers that date back to at least the Middle Ages. The beer is lagered. The final product is a mooth, naturally cloudy beer that's rich in vitamins (from the yeast). Hop bitterness is a compliment to the soft malt character. Made with organic malt from Wyermann Malting Company, and organic, whole-leaf Hallertau hops.

An old friend of Bavaria, Munich Dunkels are smooth, rich and complex, but without being heady or heavy. They boast brilliant ruby hues from the large amounts of Munich malts used, and these malts also lend a fuller-bodied beer. Bitterness is often moderate, with just enough to balance out any sweetness. Hop varieties used are German noble varieties, Tetnang and Hallertau. Lagered for five weeks and filtered bright

A darker seasonal variation of the traditional Alt Bier. Red Rock's Latzenbier is full bodied and well hopped, with a surprising balance between bitterness and nutty malt sweetness. And is accented by a subtle chocolate taste.

Haile's Helles is a filtered pale golden lager beer with a well attenuated body, highlighted by a noble hop bitterness. This style of lager was originally developed in the 19th century. It's dry, crisp, clean taste has helped it become one of the world's most popular beer styles.

German style dark lager, very smooth, medium body, low hop bitterness. Eight different malts and thirty-five days of lagering give this classic Schwarz-style beer it’s unusually dark color and remarkably smooth flavor. Not a big beer, but more of a black session lager. Gold Medal Winner at this years Great American Beer Festival.

Prost!

Friday, October 01, 2010

New Beer Friday 10/01/10

We haven't had a New beer Friday in a while, so I'm pleased to announce these new beers. Some are long overdue.

Epic Brainless on Peaches. Haven't had it yet. It's most likely being bottled as you read this. It's Epic's award winning Brainless Belgian put into oak barrels and aged with fresh peaches. Should be available sometime this afternoon (10-1-10). Available at the Brewery.

Big Sky Trout Slayer. This is a straw colored filtered wheat ale, fermented at cool temperatures, with Palisade, Glacier, and Mt. Hood hops. It's a smooth drinkable session beer. 4.7%ABV. Available DABC.

Pike Monk's Uncle Tripel. The aroma has notes of pineapple, mango, white pepper and coriander. The flavor has a honey sweetness upfront, along with some spices (white pepper, clove, coriander), as well as apple, pear, white grape and alcohol. 9.0% ABV. Available at the Beerhive, Bayou.

Full Sail Sanctuary Belgian Dubble. Rich malt aromas followed by the flavors of biscuit and roast that are rounded by a rich sweet malt character. With a light chewy finish. 7%ABV. Available at the Beerhive, Bayou.

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary - Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock. This one is long overdue. released last May this beer is a collaboration between Charlie Papazian and Fred Eckhart. Two men who launched a thousand breweries. Their writing on the art of homebrewing and steadfast promotion of beer culture helped propel the craft brewing movement. Charlie and Fred agreed to work Sierra Nevada on this special ale in honor of SN's 30th anniversary. It's an Imperial Helles Bock. Bold yet balanced with distinct toasted malt character, moderate sweetness and clean and floral hops. 8.3%ABV. Available at the Beerhive, Bayou.

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary - Jack And Ken's Ale. Another overdue beer. Released last July this is the third in the Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Series. A collaboration between Jack McAuliffe and SN's Ken Grossman. McAuliffe was the first American "micro" brewer. His tiny New Albion Brewery in Sonoma, California inspired countless dreamers to start small-scale breweries of their own. Jack agreed to guest brew this very special ale. This Black Barleywine Ale is a nod to the legendary ales New Albion served at their legendary summer solstice parties. Rich with bittersweet and roasted malt flavors, balanced with whole-cone American hops, this robust ale should age gracefully for years. 10.2%ABV. Available at the Beerhive, Bayou.

The fourth and final beer in Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary Series is set to be released in a couple of weeks. It shouldn't take as long to get this one in state. But the way things go around here... don't hold your breath.

Cheers!