Monday, February 28, 2011

Ele-What?

You may or may not have noticed this but RedRock Brewing Co's. Elephant Double IPA has undergone a name change. The new "Elephino" label will be in circulation soon and give some corporate hack the satisfaction that they beat-up on a small-ish, non-corporate brewpub. Don't worry the beer inside stays the same.

Well at least that bottle in your fridge is now a collectible. Retire some along with your old St. Provo Girl bottles.

Cheers!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Desert Select Comes to the Wasatch Front

A lot of you seem pretty stoked about the impending release of Duhbe and I don't blame you I'm a fan of the Black IPAs myself. But it's not the first BIPA to be made in the state.

Moab Brewing co. actually gets the credit for having the first BIPA a Double BIPA in fact. It was released about two years ago. The problem was it was only available in Moab, and if you never got a chance to get down there, you probably never got a chance to try it. This is no longer the case.

You can now get your Desert Select bottles at 7 liquor stores in the state. All three brands Black Imp. IPA, Scotch Ale and Belgian style Triple all are 8.59% by Vol. The locations are; W.V.C.(3381 s Redwood), Harrisville(484 n Wall ave), Holliday(1814 e Murry Holliday Rd), Draper(14445 Minuteman Dr), Park City(1550 Snowcreek Dr), Pleasant Grove(671 s Pleasant Grove Blvd), and Moab(55 w 200 s). They are not cheep at $14.99 per 1 Liter bottle.

Brewmaster Jeff Van Horn says, there is plenty of stock to last a while and to look for more styles in the Desert Select Series before the end of the year.

Also new, Moab is now producing all of the draft products for the Moab and Park City brands in Moab. These were formerly contracted out to an out if state brewery. It's good know it's local again. They've been doing this for a good month now and shipping to Carlson Distributing in SLC. Also, building permits for the big Moab brewery expansion have been approved, so look for big things from Moab in the coming year. Congrats to the entire Moab crew.

Hey, Uinta... Pass Me a Duhbe...

Black IPA's seem to be all the rage right now. Weather you call them Black IPAs or Cascadian Dark ales one thing is for certain they're one of the most popular and unique American beers to hit the market in quite some time.

If you've never tried a good Black IPA, think of it as a very hoppy porter. That description is a little inadequate because it's not easy to create a hop bill that complements the roasted grains in such a robust beer. If you've had a good B-IPA you know immediately when a brewers nailed it and when they haven't.

Uinta Brewing has entered the the Black IPA game and in typical fashion they're adding a unique twist. Dubhe, pronounced "Doo-bee" is the official state centennial star (yes Utah has an official state everything). Dubhe is one of the seven bright stars that make up "The Big Dipper" (part of Ursa Major, or the Great Bear constellation).

Anyway, what makes Dubhe different from other B-IPA/Cascadians is the addition of hemp seed. Get it... Doobie?

Now before Sen. Valentine starts getting his little "panties in a bunch" over this shocking revelation, it's well known that Hemp seeds do not get you high, or have psychoactive properties. The hemp seeds here are used to add a "nutty" profile to Dubhe.

Dubhe is still in the tanks and is expected to be available sometime in March, in 12oz bottles. Look for it at your local bar, liquor store and at Uinta's Bottle Shop as it has an abv of 9.2%. Thanks, Uinta! for giving us some extra good beer news this week!

I have more great Black IPA news for you tomorrow, stay tuned. And while I have your attention, If you find any value in this thing I do here, please consider voting for the Utah Beer Blog in City weekly's Best of 2011. It would really stroke my overly stimulated ego...

Cheers!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Hive Winery

With all that's going on up at the State Capitol in the realm of liquor condemnation, it's good to know that there are still a few bright spots on the horizon.

Utahans who strive for a bit of normalcy come from all walks of life and continue to create a little bit of normalcy in our sometimes backward world.

Take Jay & Lori Yahne of Layton. These two Geotechnical Engineers have a passion that extend beyond their chosen profession. They love wines. Fruit wines and meads to be exact. And they want to share their passion with you. So they started The Hive Winery.

For month now the Yahne's have been formulating various wines and meads for a hopeful July release. "If all goes as planned we anticipate our Utah Red Raspberry and Utah Black Currant wines will be ready around the first of July". Jay informed me last week. "Our current capacity is about 1100 gallons per run. once we get our legs we will increase that amount to 2500 gallons per run. Due to how we make our wines we can make 2 runs per year which should ultimately give us up to 5000 gallons per year. If the demand for our wines is there we have the ability to increase this amount, but we want to see what demand is before we ramp up production".

The Raspberry and Black Currant wines aren't the only labels The Hive plans to offer. There's a Utah Peach Wine, Strawberry Wine The earliest these will likely be ready in August or September.

Meads are also due to be produced. The Yahne's plan on creating Melomel Meads as a signature wine line. A Melomel Mead is when the fruit and honey are fermented together. Jay believes this process intensifies both the fruit and honey flavors, and make for a better all around mead.

Meads seem to be a natural progression for a lot of beer drinkers and home brewers, I have a feeling The hive Winery will have a cult following when their first bottles are released. Remember you can't buy them right now, we'll be sure and get the word out later this summer.

Cheers!

Photo: Standard Examiner

SB 314 Update

In committee this morning the legislators passed SB 314 unanimously. There with be a couple of amendments made in the Senate, but nothing that will affect consumers.

There was some clarification made in regards to beer and liquor purchasing times. The original wording gave the impression that all beer purchases would be pushed back from 10am to 11:30am and Liquor sales would move from noon to 11:30am.

This only affect restaurants with limited and full service liquor licenses. Not taverns or clubs. Everything stays the same with them.

I saw a lot of familiar faces in the crowd, thanks to you all for making the time.

Cheers!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Zion Canyon Brewing, Heads North

Yesterday was a pretty heavy beer day. We could all use a pint right about now after getting all worked-up over the new proposed legislation.

To help calm the nerves I have some good news for northern Utah beer lovers. Zion Canyon Brewing Company, Southern Utah's only craft brewer will finally be sending it's beer north to the Wasatch Front and hopefully surrounding areas.

ZCBC currently has five labels. Springdale Amber Ale, Hop Valley IPA, Zion Canyon ESB, Jamaican Style Lager & Virgin Stout. All are 4.0% abv.

We're still awaiting word on exactly where you'll be able to by Zion Canyon's. Rest assured, we'll pass along the info when we get it. This couldn't have happened at a better time.

Also, the new poll is up.

Cheers!

UPDATE!
Here's the info on the committee meeting in regards to SB-314.

Wednesday Feb 23rd, 7:30am Room 210 Senate Building (east building).

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2011&Com=SSTBUS

http://le.utah.gov/~2011/bills/sbillint/sb0314.pdf


We need everyone who can possibly attend to be there.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Your Pound of Flesh is Due

Let me take you on trip back in time. Utah's legislators wrote laws to do away with private clubs, eliminate the so-called "Zion Curtain and the legalization of the home brewing of beer and wine.

This was a happy time. It was in 2009 and we thought that, we the cultural misfit toys of Utah, were finally allowed to behave just like the rational humans that inhabit the rest of the globe. It was too good to be true.

I've been saying for a long time that, there is no progression in Utah without regression. It's always one step forward two steps back. Soon we will pay for our 2009 advances.

There is legislation currently on Capitol Hill to take away the authority of the liquor-control board to elect its chairman. Instead, the governor would make the appointment, with the consent of the Senate. It's seen as a way to rien in free thinkers like Sam Granato, the board chairman of the Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, who defied lawmakers last year by refusing to close profitable liquor stores to make up for a state revenue shortfall.

And speaking of, closing profitable liquor stores some of our legislators are also mandating that the most profitable revenue producing arm in the state (DABC) close ten liquor stores and reduces operating hours across the board. All stores no matter how busy will close by 7pm. You may say to yourself, "no sane, business minded person would ever operate a business this way". and you's be correct. That's why it's retribution.

Don't tune-out now, there's more! Current law allows beer sales starting at 10 a.m., Senate Bill 314 seeks to allow all liquor service to begin at 11:30 a.m. The bright side here? You'd be able to have a cocktail 30 minutes earlier. Gee-wiz, thanks!

I'm not finished yet... The bill also bans beer containers larger than two liters. This is a big, Fuck you! to the Utah Brewers Cooperative, who as you know invested a lot of money in a new 5 liter kegging system after finding a loophole in the law. The "Chubbies" will be no more. Under this proposed legislation some boxed wines would also be outlawed.

For all our progress, this is still Utah. The people in charge still want you to know that they are and that they're not going to back away from their position on what they feel is a necessary evil. You can't hold back the ocean, but Goddamn it you can try! Please contact your representative and ask them to see reason.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Can You Name Utah's Newest Brewery?

-If your answer is Epic Brewing Co. I'm sorry to say, "you are incorrect"! Had I asked you this question yesterday you would have been spot on, but not today. This morning Utah's newest brewery is officially about to go online. Please welcome, Shades of Pale Brewing Company.

We first became aware of SOP back in November of 2009. Utah's newest brewery is the brainchild of Trent Fargher & his wife Alexandra. The two relocated to Summit County seven years ago from the Breckenridge, Colo., area.

This has been a long time in coming. Trent had hoped to have the brewery on-line last summer, but the realities of starting up a small "Mom & Pop" brewery quickly became apparent. From permits - to equipment issues - to an ever changing market, the business model would undergo many changes.

Even though SOP hasn't officially been making beer Trent & Alex have been out in the community at many local and nearby beer festivals giving local beer lovers a taste of possible things to come.

In late 2010 it became apparent that this entire operation was going to be too much for two Homebrewers to pull off. Tent and Alex needed some guidance from someone who's been in the brewing industry and found it in Brewer Matt Davis, formerly of RedRock Brewing company. With Matt's insights SOP found a solid direction and a fresh set of eyes (and tongue).

As of this morning, SOP will start the next chapter in Utah's Beer history by making Jack Wagon Wheat beer. It's described as an American Style Wheat beer, with over a 50% wheat grain bill, nutty with light citrus under tones. Low bitterness with sweat floral nose. This will be released in kegs however they are working on securing a small filler to pump out 22 oz. bombers in the next month. Look for beers of various ABVs to come out of SOP in the coming year.

I'm very excited for this; the newest chapter of Utah's beer history. Let's raise a glass to Utah's newest brewery and wish them well.

Cheers!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Kiler Grove Winery

This really isn't beer related, but I have a feeling this story can be tweaked to make for some good Utah beer news.

The Kiler Grove Winery is a unique find--an urban winery. The grapes come from California, but will be made into wine here in Utah.

So what's the silver lining for beer geeks here? Lotsa near-by wine barrels for "barrel aging" sour beers!

Located at 53 West Truman Avenue in Salt Lake City, the winery is open for tasting on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 7 p.m.

Cheers!

 

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Beer Friday 2/11/11

Today we have a bit of an anomaly for you. Mark at the Bayou got bunch of Firestone Mission Street IPAs. The reason this is strange is that these beers are made exclusively for Trader Joe's. And since there are no Trader Joes's in Utah and if there were, they certainly wouldn't be allowed to sell high point beer, so in my book this qualifies as weird.

So today, someone else's screw-up is your gain! Firestone Mission St IPA has a citrusy nose with good citrus/piney hop flavor and enough malt backbone to smooth the edges. The finish is clean and slightly bitter. Also at select liquor stores.

Rooster's made a special beer for the Winter Dew Tour. I have no info on "Dew Brew" but it's available at Roosters in Ogden. If you've had it let us know how it is.

Cheers!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Raise a Beer for Ray

Just a reminder that tonight (2/9/11) is "Raise a Beer for Ray" a fundraiser for Ray Madsen at the Wasatch Brewpub. Ray was seriously injured making yummy beer for y'all.

Please join us for a night of celebrating Ray, his recovery, and all his hard work. $10 door cover and $3 Drafts w/ proceeds going to Ray! Live music as well. Hope to see you there.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=185063161525874

Cheers!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Anniversary Barleywine XVII

I've heard a lot of strange descriptors for Utah's original "Big" beer. But the funniest was a bartender at Poplar Street Pub, when he informed us that this new fangled barleywine stuff was in fact made with wine. It was good for a laugh and we still joke about it's mythical Beaujolais notes.

In 1998 Uinta Brewing Company introduced the Anniversary Barleywine. Ever since it's been a staple in many refrigerators. Today I'm pleased to say that the latest vintage is out n' about in state stores. XVII is an American Style Barleywine that works two ways. Fresh it's has a big, bold hop smack. And as as other vintages have proven, it mellows nicely with age.

If you lovez the hoppiness in your barleywine I encourage you to get a fresh bottle and check it out, it's a beautiful thing. And as always, cellar a few bottles for that rainy day that's a few years down the line. Available state wide.

Cheers!

Friday, February 04, 2011

New Beer Friday 2/4/11

Pyramid's Outburst Imperial IPA: Big aroma of citrus pops out of the glass. Taste is a mix of citrus and pine hops, and moderate caramel malts. A bit of mango and sweet resiny malt comes through as well. It carries an assertive bitterness through the finish, but it is still balanced for a double IPA. (DABC)

Meantime London Porter:
Isn't exactly new to the Salt Lake market, however when it does rear its head it disappears pretty fast.Aroma is chocolate malt, coffee, roasty. Good medium body with easy drinking roasty malt, chocolate and sweet creamy roasty finish. (Bayou)

Epic Brewing: Fest Devious Release 4 is a Märzen that's been lagering for quite a while. Nose is of toasted malts and caramel. Starts with sweet caramel and lightly toasted malts with a soft bready vanilla notes near the end. This is the last release of this beer until Fall 2011. 6.1% ABV

Cheers!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Glutten Free Made Locally?

There are not a lot of beer options out there for people who suffer from Celiac Disease. Basically it's an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in various grains.
Many have known the pleasures of beer, but have had to give it up due to their condition.

There are a few options available locally, they include Redbridge, Green's: Discovery Amber Ale, Endeavor Dubble Quest Triple & Bard's Tale Dragon Gold Beer.

It's tough to make a good gluten free beer. Beer is Grain, so finding substitutes for the traditional grains can be difficult. No one locally has made a gluten free beer yet, but that may change.

The guys at Epic have began test brewing a gluten free beer. Made with some of the more uncommon gluten free malts grains and a lot of Brown Rice. This is just in the testing stages, so nothing has been developed yet. We'll keep our gluten free friends of the blog updated on it's progress.

Also, you may have noticed there's a new poll up. As far as I know the beer styles listed in the poll have not been made in Utah. Of those styles which would you like to see pop-up next at your favorite brewery? Note: The poll was published before today's article on Epic's gluten free endeavor and does not represent a bias on my part.

And while I'm on the subject of polls. Some of you that represent breweries have tried to influence some of these polls by soliciting for votes in your favor. It was my hope that these polls would be a helpful tool for you guys to get an informal idea of what the local craft beer market is looking for. I not saying, don't participate just let your non-bias customers voices be the prominent ones. Daddy, still loves you....

Cheers!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Drinking Made Easy: Salt Lake City

Drinking Made Easy is a television show that airs on HdNet. It follows comedian Zane Lamprey and his friends, Steve McKenna and Marc Ryan as they travel across the country discovering local pubs, watering holes, breweries and distilleries that are unique to America's cities.

Tonight (2/2/11) Drinking Made Easy will be profiling good ol' SLC/PC. From what I understand Zane will be exploring the stigmas and myths of Utah's adult scene as well as visits to some of best watering holes in the area.

I personally don't receive HdNet and if your on Comcast you don't either. But if your a DIRECTV (Channel #306 and #1079) or a Dish Network (Channel #362) subscriber your in luck.

If your one of these lucky few, you have an assignment. Please watch the show and report back on how it was. I'm a big fan of Zane's and hope he represents us well.

This isn't the first time I've pimped Zane Lamprey. If you've been reading Utah Beer for a while you may have heard me mention Three Sheets. It's another show that is hosted by Lamprey and one that Mrs. Mikey and I personally love. Three Sheets is like Drinking Made Easy but on a global scale.

Three Sheets makes it's return to the telly next Tuesday (2/8/11) on Spike TV. Spike is available on most cable and satellite systems. Three Sheets is well worth your time. please check it out.

Cheers!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

An Epic Rating

Individually, we beer geeks may not know it all, but when we get together we have the ability to provide keen insight into a beers true merits.

Every geeky imbiber has his or her biases. People like-what-they-like for whatever their reason and sometimes it can be hard to get a good gauge on something new because of it.

Ratebeer.com has been around for nearly a decade and in that time it has become one of the great beer resources on the planet. Beer aficionados of all levels come together to share their love of beer and give their impressions. Bias are weeded-out and as far as informal polling goes, it's as accurate as a resource can get.

Based on it's near decade of data, RateBeer gathered it's information and came up with a list of the world's best beers and best brewers. Utah's Epic Brewing came up big, being named as one of the top new brewers in the world 2010. Being beat out by only Hill Farmstead Brewery of Vermont and Stillwater Artisanal Ales out of Maryland.

It's a big deal to be in the top five and even a bigger deal when one of those breweries comes from the lowest beer consuming state in the union. It's one more reason to look to our local craft brewers first while looking to make your tongue happy. Congrats to The Epic crew!

Also, Ray's fundraiser is officially rescheduled for Wednesday, February 9 at 7:00pm. It's at the Wasatch Brewpub. $10 door cover and $3 Drafts w/ proceeds going to Ray! There will multiple local live music guests and a drawing. Hope to see you there.

Cheers!