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Friday, January 28, 2011

New Beer Friday 1/28/11

It's Friday and I can tell that your gunna need a beer after after work. We have two new options for you today, but beware... they may hit you like the Death Star. So like Luke, be prepared.

Sierra Nevada's Hoptimum:
The nose is of grapefruit rind and pine. Sweet malts are barely detectable underneath. As expected the taste starts nice and bitter with the juicy pine and grapefruit. next comes a good balance of sweeter malts. The finish is dry and resiny. The taste doesn't quite live up to the nose, but it's still quite the hop-head's dream. 10.40% ABV. At the Bayou, Beerhive and select Liquor Stores

Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout:
The nose has subltle espresso coffee bean notes, with a hint of berries. The taste starts with hints of hints of chocolate, vanilla and espresso beans. The malts are most prominent in the end playing-off of the hops even through the big roastiness. Alcohol is slightly warming. The finish is on the boozy side with bitter espresso flavors. A Super smooth beer considering all that's going on in there. 9.20% ABV. At the Bayou, Beerhive.

Also due to the chaos of the Sundance Film Festival, Ray's fundraiser has been moved back a week. We'll pass along the exact date asap.

May The Force Be With You!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Finally, Another Barleywine!

Back in the 90's there were very few high alcohol beers being made in Utah. They either came from Uinta or Wasatch and they numbered two or three. In 1998 Uinta Brewing Company brewed Utah's first really "big" commercial beer. The Anniversary Barleywine. Uinta's Barleywine reined supreme for over a decade being Utah's strongest beer and as the only Barleywine made in the state.

In recent months challengers have come along (Uinta among them) to knock off the award winning Anniversary Barleywine as Utah's "biggest beer". But no one has made a true Barleywine until now.

On Monday Epic Brewing release Utah's newest Barleywine. Barley Wine Release One is a 10.1% ABV American Style Barleywine. This first edition was brewed late last year and was aged for a couple of months in Highwest whiskey and rye barrels to give just a hint of barrel aged depth to the Barleywine.

Pours a reddish-brown with a big fluffy beige head. The nose is malty and boozy with pine and citrus. The taste starts with raisin, pumpernickel and some sherry notes. Resiny hops come next revealing a touch whiskey. The finish is sharp with alcohol and bitterness lingering on the tongue.

Definitely an American-style BarleyWine due to its punchy hoppiness. This newest offering is good fresh and young but six months to a year will add to it's complexity. $8.29 each 22 oz. bottle.

Also from Epic. Release #2 of the Impy Stout was released yesterday (1/25/11). It's 9.2% ABV is a little less boozy than release #1 and seems to be less on the fruity side. A different yeast was used and they upped the dark malts in the grain bill. Look for it at some State Liquor Stores sometime in February.

Epic also has 20 barrels of Imperial Stout aging in a mix of Stranahans and Highwest Whiskey Barrels. The final product could be a blend or go 100% barrel aged. Don't look for this one anytime soon.

If your local liquor stores aren't carrying any of these or any other local releases please ask the managers polity to bring some in for you.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Golden Halo

On the heels of a very successful re-release of Paardebleom We have another new release from RedRock Brewing.

Golden Halo is the newest bottled offering from Beer Yogi, Kevin Templin and his talented brew-crew consisting of Chris, Joe, Eric, Kyle and Isaac (hope I didn't miss anyone). Golden Halo is described as having a lightly malty palate with some subdued fruitiness. Hop character is moderate to agressiver, leaving a light to medium bitterness in the finish. A balanced beer, An ale with the cleanness of a lager.

Available today (1/25/11) at RedRock's Downtown location and Wednesday in Park City. 500ml bottle at 8.0% abv. As always call before you make the trip.

We're still in January and we've already got five new bottled beer releases from our local brewers. It's gunna be banner year!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Hide your kids, Hide your wife and Hide your husband. Cuz they’re rapin' errbody out here!

Today Begins the 2011 Utah Legislative Session. And already select lawmakers are set on making your lives more difficult for years to come.

A Legislative Audit Committee is proposing a 3 million dollar budget cut for the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control. The DABC, says that if lawmakers approve the cut it will mean the twenty liquor stores that now stay open until 10pm will now close by 7pm. This means no liquor stores in the entire state would stay open beyond 7pm.

If that's not bad enough, in addition to the new hours four or five stores would likely close for good.

Some of the more rational State Lawmakers say that it doesn't make much sense to cut the budget of an agency that generates 290 million dollars a year and pumps 105 million of that back into the State School Lunch Program and the General Fund.

It's time to start rattling the cages of your Senators and Representatives. I've provided links to lawmakers. Don't bitch and moan if this goes into effect and you know you didn't write one single email or make a phone call.


Friday, January 21, 2011

New Beer Friday 1/21/11

There are only two this Friday. To be honest I don't know how long this first beer has been out, but it's new to me.

Samuel Smith's Organic Raspberry
: This a murky reddish-pink color with a foamy pink head. The nose smacks of raspberry. The taste is pretty basic sweet tart raspberry with barely perceivable malt. The carbonation is nice. This is a nice beer, a little too sweet for me. But I like Raspberries. At select Liquor Stores.

Straight Up Saison: is Epic's newest release. Their Sour Apple Saison has been a huge hit. This as the named entails is a "straight up" Farmahouse Ale. Pours a hazy light straw yellow with a fluffy white head that settles to a finger sized cap. The nose is of lemon/citrus with clove and yeast funk. The taste starts with nice tart citrus zest. A hint of banana comes next with the slightest touch of a tart funk. Slightly sweet but finishes fairly dry.

And just a little something to wet your whistle. Uinta has a new beer on the way. I can't talk about it too much, but it's fair to say this one will stir up a lot of buzz in Utah. The style of beer is a fairly new one. Big in the Northwest. More to come.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The New Paardebloem is a Dandi

In 2009 RedRock brewing Co and New Belgium Brewing joined forces to create a truly unique beer that was inspired by true old world techniques. This was an old school attempt at making beer without using any hops. Instead Dandelions and other herbs or spices are used for bittering. Hence the name Paardebloem(Flemish for dandelion).

Chris McCombs of New Belgium Brewery. Spent some time in Salt Lake over the Holidays to assist on the creation of the newest batch. This newer version of Paardebloem has all the old world charm with a little something extra. Peaches.

Kevin And Chris acquired 45lbs. of fresh organic peaches to enhance the flavor profile of this news creation. The result is a blond ale brewed with toasted pilsener malt, flavored with fresh picked dandelion greens(50lbs)and grains of paradise.

Paardebloem batch #2 is slightly hazy and light gold in color with peachy/lemony nose. It has a unique floral bitterness with a big malty backbone. There is a touch of sourness along with some nice peppery notes This provides a nice balance for the big spicy/sweetness the ale carries. As the ale warms the toasted grains become more apparent and the sweetness from the ale become a little less pronounced.

The sourness in batch two is less pronounced but Kevin the "Beer Yogi" says, this beer is active with Brettanomyces. The longer you cellar it the more pronounced the unique tartness will become. I.E. get extras for cellaring.

The ABV is at 9.2% and sells out the door for $13.99. Most importantly there are far more bottles of this batch available, 1600 bottles. Only 150 bottle were available the first time around. Paardebloem will be available today(1/19/11) after 5pm. (call first) at RedRock Downtown and will also be at RedRock Junction, The Bayou and Beerhive in the coming days.

RedRock isn't done. Another new bottled release is due out next week. Stay tuned.


photo: Chris McCombs & Kevin Templin

Fundraiser for Ray

Twelve days ago our friend Ray Madsen received serious head injuries in a brewing accident at the Wasatch Brewpub. Ray is currently recovering at home.

The Wasatch Brew Pub will be hosting a fundraiser for Ray, to help defray the costs of his expenses. The Fundraiser will be held on Feb 2nd. at Wasatch. There will be local live music and silent auction. A $5 cover at the door will all go to Ray!

If you can't make it and would like to help, you can send a check to Wasatch.

Attn. Ray Madsen Fundraiser!
Wasatch Brew Pub
Po box 459
Park city, UT 84060-0459

More details to come...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Captain Cooker Article

Had that Manuka Beer yet from Squatters? It's nearly gone if you haven't. Anyway it's getting attention even on the other side of the globe.

I just thought I'd throw this article at you, it's from The Nelson Mail out of New Zealand. It's a brief article about the beginnings the Captain Cooker Manuka Beer.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Union Station Fermentation

There is a new home brew option for residents of the northern Wasatch Front. Ever since Grains, Grapes & Grounds closed their doors a few months ago (still open on-line) residents of Davis, Weber and Box Elder Counties have had to order on-line, or drive to Richmond or SLC to get their home brew supplies.

Union Station Fermentation
officially opened for business last month. Nigel and Shoshanna Itson relocated to Utah and fell in love with Historic 25th Street. They loved the look and the historic feel of Historic 25th street and decided this is where they wanted to open Ogden's newest Tuscan-themed Home Brew Shop.

Union Station Fermentation has all of the supplies needed to make beer, wine and soda. "We have 20 different malted grains available for home brewing," Itson said. "A lot of people prefer to make their own beer and wine these days."

But fermented beverages aren't the only items that make this shop unique. "Our cheese kits are very popular," Nigel said. "You can make your own mozzarella cheese in about 30 minutes with our kits. All you need to add is a little milk."

I've always wanted to try my hand at cheese, I look forward to checking it out.

Union Station Fermentation is open Tues-Fri from 10-7 and Sat from 9-8. They are located on the North side of 25th Street, next to Great Harvest Bread Co.

If your a home brewer in the northern part of the state, it's in your best interest to support business like these.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Oaky and the Bandit

Yesterday the Boys at the Bohemian Brewery had a few firsts. They made their first high point beer and they subsequently bottle their first beer. Until now, they've only canned their beer.

The beer in question is an oak aged black lager. Oaky & The Bandit has been aging in oak barrels for about a year. What makes this beer unique is that it's an aged lager. Typically you don't see many lagered beers aged for this amount of time. Most aged beers tend to be ales.

The Bohemian is trying to recreate what a dark Munich style or Schwarzbier lager aged and cellared in oak would have tasted like a couple hundred years ago. Reto-lagers are becoming the Bohemians trademark style. Remember that 1842 Pilsner? That was about as old school as traditional lagers get.

The body remains light since lager yeast was used. The carbonation is fine producing a wonderful head. The oaky notes compliment the coffee and roasted malt flavor profiles.

There's a very limited production run on this beer. 400 22oz bottles sealed in wax and individually numbered. These bottles are available for purchase at the brewery and possibly at a few select locations around town. Get a bottle while you can. Available later this week.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011 the Year of Bottle Shock

A few month ago we told you about the DABC's plans to start placing their high volume beers with local distributors. The move is designed to elevate storage space problems that face the DABC during it's warehouse expansion.

While this seems like a great first step (and it is) to getting high ABV beers out of the states control and getting into the private sector, it will create ripples that are already beginning to affect the consumer.

Look for prices on some of the most popular domestic and import brands to skyrocket in the coming weeks. You may see prices increase as much as $3.00 a bottle in some cases. Keep your eyes on Chimay, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, Full Sail, etc.

This will only affect state controlled beer, not grocery store brands, including locals. This may be a good opportunity to get reacquainted with with some of our tasty Utah brands.

The distributors are in it to make money, I get. But there's gotta be a way to ease the consumer into this transition without completely molesting the local beer consumer. Sorry for the bad news.

On the bright side, there is a new poll up....

Monday, January 10, 2011

Beer Buckles

You know we're all about buying local here at Utah Beer. We are also big advocates of keeping your trousers up while your out "bump'n around" in public. So as a public service I have something that meets both criteria while keeping the world a prettier place.

My friend, Dani has a new concept in high (or low) fashion accessories called Beer Buckles. The concept is simple. Dani will create a custom belt buckle from your favorite beer, wine or spirits label for a reasonable charge, all the while you do society the courtesy of keeping your ass-crack in check.

The buckles vary in size and shape and it's recommended that you keep in mind the size of the artwork that you want to use. We don't want you walking around with a Turkey platter latched to your belt, like some kind of cosmic rodeo clown... or do we?

Dani is able to obtain many labels, but if you have a special label that you'd like to sport you can mail it to her.

Right now Beer Buckles is on the Facebook, you know that thing on the Interweb? Or you can get a hold of Dani at beer.buckles@gmail.com. Please help our "Sista in Suds" help you.


Friday, January 07, 2011

Root Cellar

If you've never known the joy of a soured beer, your truly missing out. They can be complex, refreshing and sometimes down right puckering.

Sour beers are not only difficult to make properly but they can prove to be a detriment to a brewery's other non-sour products. If the slightest cross contamination were to occur, hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses could be inflicted on a brewey. That's why many local have shy'd away from getting into the sour beer game. Complete segregation is required and not many have the space available.

Odds are if your looking for world class, true cutting edge sour beers, made locally. It's likely you'll find Squatters on the label.

Squatters' next big thing is here and trust me, it not going to disappoint. Root Cellar is a beer anomaly. It defies categorization. It started out as a Strong Ale, then was laid down into Justin Winery's Obtuse Port barrels for 5 months.

Flavors of plum and caramel malt sweetness layer with oak and port to create a wonderful winter warmer. Sourness, developed during aging, brings forth both softness and complexity to this bottle conditioned American Wild Ale. "Brilliant"! is all I can say.

Root Cellar will be released tomorrow (1/8/11) out of Squatters' Bottle Shop for $9.95/750ml bottle. 8.4% abv.

On a sadder note our brother in beer, Ray Madsen was injured yesterday when a grundy tank at the Wasatch Brewpub ruptured on him causing a serious amount of head trauma. Ray is stubborn and is said to be up and about. He's scheduled for surgery sometime today.

Pray, chant, cast spells, smoke something, Drink something.... do what ever you do - to help ensure Ray's quick recovery.


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

2010 Utah Beer Year in Review - Part 2

Thanks for hang'n-in-there.

July: started on a down note... sorta, as we said good by to the infamous Bar X. Known for it's long tenure downtown as a one of the last "No Women Allowed bars". Bar X is said to be reopening very soon under new management. The Oxfordshire Triple B quietly entered the market and "Markets" in Utah. The Triple B is a true session beer in the purest terms. It's 3.7% ABV is dinky even by Utah standards. However it gives you an sense about the nature of real British ales. The Hogle Zoo's "Zoo Pub" began a (hopefully) long tradition as well in July. Zoo Pub offered up 15 different beers for adult patrons after Zoo hours. July ended with Squatters' Big Cottonwood Amer Ale. This was the first of their Small Batch Series and was quite a hit. Me want more, please!

August: The Chubby from the Utah Brewers Cooperative was introduced. A five liter keg for Wasatch and Squatters Brands over 4.0% ABV. Desert Edge Brewmaster Chris Haas introduced his Beer Bike to Salt Lake Streets. A way for him to enjoy biking while delivering his kegs. The 38th Annual Snowbird Oktoberfest began in August as the second annual 2010 Beehive Brew-off.

September: Hoppers released Stein Knocker Lager in bottles. Made with all German grain and Spalter Select Hops. The City Weekly Utah Beer Festival proved to be more than one city could handle. The festival drew crowds so large, many had to get refunds because the lines were so long. Squatters' new Bottle Shop opened and Epic's Fest Devious series was released for the first time.

October: Due to the reconstruction at the DABC warehouse the DABC's smallest product department (beer) needs to find a temporary space. The solution? They're putting the higher demand beers with the distributors. Could this become a permanent thing? RedRock Brewing released , Griswald's Big Holiday It's bigger version of their Holiday staple Griswald's Holiday Ale. Bohemian Brewery began canning it's Cherny Bock Schwarzbier also in October.

November: Epic released their newest barrel aged Beer, Brainless on Cherries. It's the latest version of Epic's Belgian Style Triple Ale, which was aged in oak barrels with local cherries. A unique New Zealand beer recipe made it's way to Utah. Manuka beer made from a plant that is unique to New Zealand With assistance from NZs Mussel Inn, Squatters was able to obtain an herb rarely seen or tasted in North America. Moab Brewing announced a 5000 square foot expansion of their Moab facility beginning in Late December 2010. They'll be moving their bottling operation back to Moab and will also be canning their beer sometime this year. Squatters released Mo'Town Brown the second in their Small Batch Series.

December: we began the month with the mother of all beer tastings. The Holiday Beer Tasting was a huge success and brought together beer folk from four states. Finally, RedRock's Elephant Double IPA proved it's staying power and was made available to the masses. Elephant is now in many Utah Liquor stores and expanding.

We look forward to another great year in 2011. I can't wait to see what comes next.


Tuesday, January 04, 2011

2010 Utah Beer Year in Review

Welcome to 2011 and the Utah Beer Year in Review. Over the next few days I'm going to try and give an overview of the highs and lows of the 2010 Utah Beer scene.

January: We started out with a big stumble as Utah ran out of liquor licences. Last year Law-makers stated that there would be no new licences to be made available. This legislative session it's defiantly going to be looked at.

February: Uinta's Bourbon Barrel Barleywine second release made it back to Utah liquor stores with more hoops headaches. Deschutes' Abyss made to the state for the first time and the DABC celebrated by requiring the beer faithful to perform circus tricks for it as well. Squatters' 529 debuted. The most unique beer made in Utah to date. blending the oak aged 529 with a two month old 529 to marry the acidity and malty sweetness to produce one quaffable sour ale.

March: Started with the release of Hoppers Brewing's first bottle release, Double Black. Brewmaster & Secret Agent Donovan Steele first "high abv" beer came in at 6.4% abv. Dono calls this lager a Schwartz-Bock due to it's higher than normal abv for the style. The Wasatch brew pub got licencing to sell their High ABV brands out the door. Epic Brewing fired-up their brew kettle for the first time and started making beer on March 26. And Ommegang Abby Ale found it's way onto the shelves of the Foothill Liquor Store. No one has taken advantage yet of the open door this created for distribution. Hint-Hint.

April: We launched the Utah Beer forum. If you haven't used it, please check it out. Polygamy Porter, Black Forest Schwarzbier and Cutthroat Pale Ale won medals at the 2010 World Beer Cup. The inaugural "Tour de Brewtah" charity ride, which will brought together bicycles and beer to raise money for Utah charities was a huge hit. Look for it to be bigger and better this year. Roosters celebrated 15 years in it's historic 25th street Location And Epic beers went on sale for the first time.

May: The Fisher Family and Red Rock Brewing Company hosted the Albert Fisher Beer Garden on the mansion grounds. To celebrate the Historic Fisher Brewery. it was a great opportunity to get to know this great piece of Utah's beer history while enjoying great German food and local craft beer on the beautiful riverside mansion property. Uinta Brewing Released their Crooked Line series of beers. Debuting with Labyrinth Black Ale, Cockeyed Cooper Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine and Detour Double India Pale Ale.

June: Moab Brewing turned Fourteen. Utah Brewers killed-it at 2010 NABA Competition. Apa Sherpa broke his own record climbing on his Twentieth ascension on Mt. Everest and took Bohemian Brewery's Pils and Viennese with him. A first for craft beers! Wasatch released the little slammers and Squatters Provo Girl got a new look.

To be continued.