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Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Legislation for Small Brewers

A new piece of federal legislation was introduced in the earlier this month in both chambers of Congress.

Senate bill, S534 is a graduated beer excise tax for America's small brewers. Specifically, S534 is geared to small breweries and brewpubs and would reduce the small brewer tax rate on the first 60,000 barrels by 50 percent (from $7.00 to $3.50/barrel) and institute a new rate of $16.00 per barrel on beer production above 60,000 barrels up to 2 million barrels. Breweries with an annual production of 6 million barrels or less would qualify for these tax rates.

I don't have to explain the math here, do I? lower taxes means less expensive beer, which leads to more sales, which translates to growth and jobs.

Small American breweries account for about five percent of all the beer enjoyed in the United States and 50 percent of brewery jobs.

Please urge your lawmaker to get behind this bill.

On a lighter note, thanks for reading! The Utah Beer Blog came in third in City Weekly's Best of Utah 2011. There's a huge amount of talented local citizen who are out there producing great stuff. It's gratifying that a narrow topic - tiny niche blog got enough votes to get noticed. Again, Thanks for reading and contributing!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Leffe Returns

Like Lucifer, we haven't seen this beer in Utah for quite a while; 2006 to be exact. It made its way here via the Sundance Film Festival, due to someones special order.

Bayou Mark, scored a few cases of it and made it available to the rest of us. Now it looks like Leffe will be making it's official return in the states regular line-up (as regular as it get for the DABC that is).

Leffe will start appearing on shelves... whenever it does. Christ, I still haven't seen the Zatec stuff yet, has anyone else?

Leffe Blonde Abby Ale has a nose is of sweet malts, candi sugar, pear, spicey yeast and clove. The taste starts honey-esque with fruits, strong yeast and spice, with a lightly hopped peppery/floral finish.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Desert Edge Bourbon Porter

Mrs. Mikey and I are at Desert Edge right now sampling Haas' Bourbon Porter. Roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, Bourbon. It's brilliant and going fast.


Friday, March 25, 2011

New Beer Friday and High Praise at Squatters

I've got your Friday fix. Who loves ya, Baby?!

North Coast Brewing Old Stock: Sweet caramel nose with a hint of alcohol. The taste strts with more of the same. Sweet caramel malt, with some roasted notes in there. Next comes chocolate, plum and coffee. The warmer this one gets the more complex it becomes. Well balanced, the alcohol is well hidden. The ABV can vary depending on which vintage you get. 10-13% ABV.

Full Sail Imperial Gold:
The nose is full of chocolate, coffee, and oak and boozy. The flavor starts with a lot of rich chocolate, espresso, and molasses sweetness. Bourbon notes come next with a light dose of vanilla and booze in the end. Quite tasty. 10.5% ABV.

Full Sail Bump in the Night: An Herbal citrus stands out with a bit of roastiness and licorice. The taste follows the nose. The hops are at the forefront. Grapefruit, backed up by some herbal qualities hit first. Some coffee and dark malts follow beneath the hops creating a bit of a balance. Licorice and chocolate notes are in the end. The finish is dry and bitter. 6.5% ABV

Lucifer: Not new, but it has been absent for a few years. The nose is of apple, pear, spicy yeast and just a hint of bubblegum. The taste is fairly citrusy up front, with some breadyness and a nice malt sweetness. The end has banana and pepper notes. 8.0% ABV

In other news. Squatters' own Jennifer Talley has won the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing. Jen is the first woman ever to earn this recognition.

If you've ever tried her beers; then you know she's some kind of uncanny beer enchantress that can bend any form of intoxicant to her will. Either that or she's just plain "scary talented". Maybe a little of both. Regardless, she's at the top of her game right now if your not checking out her beers at Squatters, it's your bloody loss! (photo shown is not actual award)


Photo Courtesy: Jay Brooks 2008

Thursday, March 24, 2011

2011 Tour de Brewtah

The 2011 Tour de Brewtah has been scheduled and all indications are that this years event will be bigger than ever. The aim is to build a stronger local community by featuring bicycling as a viable means of transportation, as well as featuring our local craft breweries,

Last year was the tour's inaugural ride and organizers were blown away by by the number of participants. They actually had to turn people away. This year organizers are adding more spots and customizing routes.

Some other changes include a map at registration that provide added "adventures" along the tour some new stops and other fun and exciting additions including prizes.

Costumes are encouraged as well are teams and themes.

The registration fee $40, includes 4 pints, meal, commemorative pint glass, and a warm fuzzy feeling that your money is going to support great causes. such as Splore, Utah Clean Energy and Cottonwood Canyons Foundation.

The Second Annual Tour de Brewtah will be held on Saturday May 7th, 2011.

Here's a link to the registration page. Looks like I'm going to have to get my ass in shape!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tenaya Creek Brewing

There are some new beers available to you today. They're from a small Las Vegas brewery called Tenaya Creek. These new beer may be from Vegas but their beginnings were born in Utah.

Let's dial the Wayback Machine to the late eighties. The location? The University of Utah. Tim Etter, an average, everyday guy is introduced to homebrewing. This man's commitment to this once small hobby of making beer in a tiny apartment would soon blossom into a full time career.

When Tim finished his time at the "U", he moved on to attended UC Davis in Northern California to study Fermentation Science. Upon returning to Salt Lake, he aligned himself with a little known start-up brewery called Uinta Brewing Company. Tim excelled at Uinta, but on a trip to the place of his birth (Las Vegas) Tim would discover that the folks in the desert were in desperate need of fresh handcrafted suds.

Fast forward to early 1999, Tenaya Creek Brewing Company was established and Sin City has been a much better place ever since.

Unless you've been to Vegas you may have never tried Tenaya Creek's beer. However, recently Tim and his family purchased a bottling line, now Tenaya Creek is out of Nevada and Salt Lake is one of the first markets outside of Vegas to benefit from the Etter's love of beer.

There are three beers currently available in Salt Lake. All are currently only at the Beerhive.

The first is Old Jackalope Barleywine. This is the only one I've tried. Citrus and Piney nose with a ton of sticky malts. The taste starts with toffee and caramel. Pine and tobacco come next with a slight alcohol burn. The end is sweet with an aggressively hoppiness in the finish.

Next is Nut Brown Ale. Light brown in color, this ale is quite malty while the hop profile is generally low. 5.6% abv.

The final beer is Hop Ride IPA. This beer is brewed using 2-Row, wheat, Vienna and caramel malts and is hopped with Summit?s for bittering and flavor and Ahtanum for aroma. This IPA was also dry-hopped, to give a big citrus and spicy aroma, with Ahtanum, Challenger and Chinook hops. 7.2% abv.

It's nice when things can come full circle.... don't ya think?


Monday, March 21, 2011

A New Brewery Comes to Salt Lake

Well sort of... Gordon Biersch is opening a location in Salt Lake City, but your going to have to go to the SL International Airport to check it out. If your not familiar with The Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, they are a nation brewery chain that specializes in authentic, German-style beers.

SL International is an island of normalcy in Utah. It's likely this place could never exist outside of the confines of a "duty free zone". As Gordon Biersch make no 3.2 beer. Look for GB to arrive in late 2012, early 2013.

There's more. Squatters is partnering with Vino Vola to create the Vino Vola Alehouse. Vino Vola operates solely in airports around the country. Their concept is to showcase wine sampling flights and local ales in a comfortable post-security retreat for air travelers, combining a cozy wine lounge, restaurant, and boutique wine shop.

Vino Volo (derived from "wine flight" in Italian) offers wines from around the world by the glass, in tasting flights, and by the bottle for guests to take home or have shipped. This model will be modified to include select beers from many of Utah's Breweries.

Park City’s High West Distillery will also be slinging their spirits in the Airports very first Whiskey Bar.

Unless your heading out of town for business or for fun, it's likely you'll spend little time in these new adult friendly eateries because they are all in the concourse areas. Still, these are great opportunities to showcase some of the great things Utah Has to offer to the traveler that may not have time stick around town.

And there's a new poll. Sociology is fun!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2011 St. Patrick's Day Options

Remember. No green beer today. Some people will drink it. They don't know any better, you do... or else you wouldn't be reading this.

The following is a great list of "Beer Gnerd" approved Irish-ish beer options for your St. Patty's Day enjoyment.

Wasatch Jalapeño Cream Ale: Not Irish but it is made with something green.

Hoppers Red Head:
Brand new from Hoppers. It's an Irish strong ale modernized with a toasty flavor, golden naked oats for a nice creamy texture some roasted barley and a blend of crystal malts for a delicate sweetness and some depth.

RedRock Hibernian: A very malty, Irish style ale. Clean filtered and reddish brown in color. Up front character is caramel malt tones. Low in bitterness, however, has a slight hop finish to it.

Squatters McGrueh's Dry Irish Stout:
Black with a thick creamy tan "nito head". The nose rich with espresso and roasted biscuit The taste starts with coffee then turns to espresso. Heavily roasted malt come next with a nutty/smokiness in the end. Mild hops come late and provide a slightly dry finish.

Uinta Wyld Organic Extra Pale Ale:
Not Irish but tasty. Starts with a pleasing pulse of grapefruit juice and orange peel followed by sweet maltiness. Into the finish the bitter hop grapefruit note grows and lingers deep into the after taste.

Desert Edge LDS Stout: One of the best year round stouts in the state.

Rogue Kells: Light in color. Very clean flavor, malty, with nice crisp finish!

Smithwick's: from Ireland's oldest brewery. This is a classic Irish Red Ale.

Beamish: doesn't get as much pub as Guinness, but is much better. In my Opinion.

Basically, if your drinking locally made beers today you've already made the best choice.

Sláinte & be safe!

Big Belgian Arrivals

I'm hesitant to put this out there to y'all, because frankly it would mean more beer for me, oh well here goes...

Mark Alston, Uber Beer Nerd from the Bayou has just received a few great gets that are new to the Salt Lake City Area.

Urthel Hop-it: The name says it all. Very hoppy, spicy, fruity flavor with a somewhat warming/boozy body. Brewed at first at Van Steenberge, now brewed at Koningshoeven - La Trappe brewery.

Urthel Saisonnière: The taste is of honey, lemon and cloves with that refreshing saison funkiness. There is a slightly bitter, dry finish but some citrus stays throughout. This is VERY drinkable, session beer.

Gouyasse Tripel:
Goliath is 9% abv, nicely balanced with a bracing hop note versus a solid malt wallop. Goliath is the only Tripel in Belgium that is all-malt – without any sugar or other additives in. (Everyone else uses some sugar to ‘thin out’ their Tripels, which gives them alcohol, without the body that you normally get from malt.) That means Goliath starts out a bit sweeter than some, but over time, as the live yeast in the bottle do their work, it gets drier and more punchy.

Who's your Buddy? Who's your Pal?


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Salt Lake City AHA Rally

Do you home brew beer? If you love good craft beer you should, it's the next logical step in your obsession. Not only does it gives you a better understanding of what's involved in it's making but it also aids in the enhancement of your pallet; to help you identify flaws in beer and what caused them.

The American Homebrewers Association is a great resource to aid you in the pursuit of Zymurgy. The AHA is committed to promoting the community of homebrewers and empowering homebrewers to make the best beers in the world.

If you'd like to explore the world of homebrewing or are just looking to build a tighter connection with our local homebrew community, the AHA is having a rally next month at Uinta Brewing Co. The AHA rally is free to current AHA members. Non-members can join now or sign up at a discounted rate at the door.

AHA Founder, Charlie Papazian will be on hand as well. If your not familiar with Charlie, he has done more for the craft beer movement in the United States than any other single individual. Charlie founded the Association of Brewers as well as Great American Beer Festival, and wrote The Complete Joy of Home Brewing.

Steve Kuftinec, Uinta Brewing's Co-Owner will also be on hand, as well as a special beer release and prizes from the AHA and Uinta Brewing Company.

So, save the date. Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Time: 7:00-10:00 pm
Address: 1722 S. Fremont Drive, Salt Lake City, UT
Space is limited, please RSVP. Hope to see you there.


Monday, March 14, 2011

The 17th Annual Mountain Brewers' Beer Festival

Saturday, June 4, 2011. Save the Date (I'm talking to you Ed). It's 17th Annual Mountain Brewers' Beer Festival.

This is a great Beer fest. Not only is the perfect excuse to get out of town and enjoy some great suds, it's also one of the preeminent beer competitions in the west. Breweries from all over North America will compete and offer-up some of their brews to sample. Proceeds go to local charities.

Idaho Falls is an easy, 3 hour drive... 2 1/2 if your spouse doesn't have a pea sized bladder.

Tickets Will be available beginning Monday April 25th at Bohemian Brewery, Rooster's Brewing & Uinta Brewing.


Friday, March 11, 2011


Good news! Beerista, Squatters new esspresso stout has been released early. It's available right now at Squatters bottle shop for $5.

Also, the Bayou has received a limited amount of Deschutes' Dissadent. This a Wild Ale that has nice, tart fruity notes. I haven't had this newest release. No idea if it will be in liquor stores. Keep checking back.

Rio's Romp'in Rye is available as well. This is a new release from Epic. It's named after it's creator, assistant brewer Riordan "Rio" Connelly. It's the only high gravity Rye being made in the State.
As always, call first!!!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

2011 St. Patrick's Day Events

Officially, St. Patrick's Day is still a week a way, but if you want to be involved with the actual celebrations you'd better start looking to this Saturday 3/12.

The Hibernian Society of Utah puts on the Annual events. It was formed to promote and preserve Irish history, culture and traditions within the State of Utah.

Here's a list of 2011 St. Patrick's activities

March 11 Blessing of the Keg: (yes Senator Valentine, this is actually going to happen. You'd better start planning now, so that you can squash this for 2012. In the name of "over consumption" of course). All members welcome.

March 12--St. Patrick's Day Parade:
10 a.m., Gateway Center

March 12--Siamsa: Gateway Grand Hall, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

March 13--Mass in Honor of St. Patrick:
5 p.m., St. Joseph the Worker, 7405 Redwood Rd. Corned beef dinner to follow.

March 17--St. Patrick's Day luncheon: Memory Grove.

March 19--Night with the Irish Poets
: 7 pm, Dean's Hall, St. Mark's Cathedral, 231 E. 1st South.

For more info on what's happening check out The Hibernian Society's website.


Photo: Salt Lake Tribune

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Adios, Freedom

Just when you thought that your outrage over SB-314 was beginning to go from a sharp pain to a dull ache the anti-"you" weasels at the State Capitol have yet again quietly amended the Alcohol Beverage Licensing bill to take away yet more freedoms from bar Utah's owners.

The Utah Hospitality Association is upset over a one-word change in a substitute draft of the bill that changes a previous law that forbid daily discounted “liquor” to prohibit daily discounted “alcoholic products” this change would make it so that bars and clubs can no longer advertise or offer discounted beer specials. The change is aimed at curbing “over consumption” according to bill sponsor Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem.

Representatives of the UHA's requests for an audience with his Highness, St.Valentine have apparently been ignored. Our spineless, puppet-governor, however, did respond and listen to the concerns of the UHA.

“Any laws that are secretly drafted, then passed with little or no input, should concern all Utahns.” said, Lisa Marcie. Get used to it people with the passage of HB477 an open and transparent government is looking to go the way of the Utah keg.

Thanks to City Weekly's, Eric Peterson for the story.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Shades of Pale, Moving Forward

Park City TV did a profile on Shades of Pale Brewing recently. If you'd like a good idea of what happening at Utah's newest brewery, check it out.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

New Beers on the Horizon

Over the last few weeks we've had a lot of great new local beers hit the market; Which is a great thing. We should be spending the majority of our allocated beer money on our local breweries.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't explore all of the great option available. And there are some great option coming to you very soon.

FIRESTONE: ABACUS BARLEYWINE. This is an absolutely exquisite barleywine. It has an understated bourbon and vanilla blend up front. There is a gradual transition into sweet chocolate & caramel malts with dark fruit spices coming out in the finish. The taste is amazingly clean, with no lingering sweetness or booziness; which is surprising because it has an abv of 12.0%

DESCHUTES: THE DISSIDENT. Starts with a nice blend of sweet and sour cherries. A bit of funk and tartness follows. Notes of oak follow at the end. Really, this beer has a lot of tartness, but not a lot of true sourness. Still, It's quite good. We don't get a lot of sour beers brought into the state, this one may go fast.

SAMUEL ADAMS: LATITUDE 48 IPA. Starts floral and herbal unlike traditional piney and citrusy American IPA. Next comes a moderate caramel malt presence. The caramel malts play enough of a role to help balance out the bitterness of the hops. The body was smooth and very easy to drink. Reminds me more of a British style IPA.

CHIMAY: RED CAP. The same as your traditional Chimay Red except it comes in a handy 330ml bottle with bottle cap!. Sometimes ya just don't need a big corked bottle.

All of these beers get here, when the get here. We'll let you know when they start popping up and where.


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Dubhe Review

Had a Dubhe last night. Since I have nothing else for today, I thought I'd give my impressions on it.

Pours a dark mahogany color with nice mocha head. The nose is of sweet dark fruit, caramel, dark roasted malts as well as a big dose of pine and booziness.

The taste starts sweet with dark chocolate, toffee and a hint of licorice. Pine resin and slight citrus fruit balance nicely. The end is earthy and boozy with a leathery spiciness. The finish is sharp with hop bitterness. Well balanced with a warmth in the finish that makes this complex delicious beer extremely drinkable.

As I have no experience with hemp seed I couldn't detect it. This is a pretty damn good beer. I see it becoming very popular. Kinda reminds me of a black barley wine.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Salt Lake's Newest Coffee Stouts

Believe it or not I appreciate a good beer. No, Seriously. I also appreciate a good cup of coffee. I need to, I get my ass up when most of you are going to bed. For the record, I wish that I was you and had your sleep schedule... except for Douglas. I don't want to be Douglas.

Yet I digress. So imagine my delight in finding out that the two most important beverages in my life were being melded into two big super beverages. Coffee and Stouts go together like Kurt and Goldie, forever separate but great together.

Our first Coffee stout comes from Epic Brewing Co. Jack Mormon Coffee Stout is named for Jack Mormon Coffee Company in Salt Lake City, the supplier of the locally roasted beans. If your not familiar with the term "Jack Mormon", it's slang for a follower of the LDS Church who doesn't completely comply with LDS teachings. I.E. Likes a beer, smoke or a cup of coffee.

Jack Mormon was conceived in the kitchen of Guest Brewer, Chris Detrick. Chris, like me is a Photojournalist by trade. Unlike me, Chris is very talented both in the field and in the kitchen/brewhouse. Epic's Brewmaster, Kevin Crompton immediately fell in love with Chris' concept for a coffee stout and the two began tweaking Epic's most unique looking beer.

JMCS is an Imperial Stout brewed with Jack Mormon espresso, cocoa nibs, lactose milk sugar and oats. It went on sale at Epic's bottle shop on Monday and will run you $11.89 for a 22oz bottle. Big Congrats to Chris! I know you've been working on this one for a long time.

Our next coffee stout comes from Squatters. Part of their Small Batch Series, Beerista (love the name!) is the result of a decades long partnership between Squatters and Millcreek Roasting Company in SLC. It's an evolutionary journey that began many years ago starting with the Squatters staples, Millcreek and Espresso Stouts.

Beerista is described as a smooth, creamy & full bodied stout full of roasted barley flavor and malty richness layered with the nuances of coffee with chocolate undertones. The coffee used in Beerista is El Carmen Estate Guatemalan Coffee, which is farmed in traditional ways and fair traded.

This Stout has an ABV of 6.3% and is bottle conditioned in 22 oz bottles. Beerista will be $5 out of the bottle shop in Squatters. Release date is March 14th.

I love local beers and I especially like local beers that use locally crafted coffee beans. I know that there's a Starbucks on every corner, but next time your "jonesing" for a cup of coffee please consider checking out your local coffee roasters.

By the way The Salt Lake Tribune must be getting desperate they found some "hack" to pimp some of his favorite local beers. Check it out. Thanks, Lesli and Francisco!

And... Uinta's Dubhe should be available sometime this afternoon. Please call first. Whew...


Everyone Loves a Red Head

Welocome to the first day of March 2011. Most of you will be celebrating the birth of our future overlord, Justin Bieber. While I commend you for kissing the ass of our inevitable ruler, I have have a better - self serving way to help get you through this most maddening of months.

Unlike the "Bieb" my harbinger is strong, Irish and frankly has a much better hairdo. You'd best get your shit together now, The Hot Headed Red Head is fickle and she doesn't like to stay in one place very long.

Hot Headed Red Head, is an Irish-styled Strong or Vintage Ale. Hoppers' Brewmaster and Secret Agent, Donovan Steele wanted to recreate a pre-Guinness era Irish strong ale and modernize it. For the "Red Head" Dono used darker pale ale malt varieties for a toasty flavor, golden naked oats for a nice creamy textured mouthfeel, some unmalted roasted barley for color and a hint of flavor, and a blend of crystal malts for a delicate sweetness and some depth.

Also breaking with tradition, Dono decided to enhance the attributes of this beer by combining two different ale yeast strains; one to give richness and fruit like aromas, while the other gives the beer a woodsy flavor. This ale is also hopped completely with 'noble' Sovereign hops from England. The result is a beer with malt complexity with a very distinct ripe black raspberry flavor and aroma, finishing with a silky smooth body. Remember this is a "strong ale" Go easy, at 8% abv she'll sneak up on you.

Hot Headed Red Head comes packaged in a beautiful 750 ml bottle and is reasonably priced at $7.50 out of Hoppers Packaging Agency. This is a limited run, only a thousand-plus bottles produced. Like I said, This girl doesn't like to stay in one place for very long. Available today, (3/1/11) late afternoon. Call to check on availability.