Friday, July 29, 2011

New Beer Friday 7/29/11 Addendum (Two Steps Bock)

There is one more new beer for you today. Two Steps Bock. Squatters decided to slip this one in at the last minute. It was originally due to be released next week. Thanks for keeping me on my toes guys....

Now you'll notice I said Squatters, but the keg above plainly says Wasatch. This is one of those beers that are specifically designed to blow the minds of friends like Douglas, who pride themselves on the proper documentation of every beer made in state. And by the way he does an excellent job.

It was brewed at Squatters, kegged at Squatters, by the Squatters brew team but it bears the name Wasatch. Suffice it to say, it's a technicality derived from Squatters long time partnership in the Utah Brewers Cooperative.

Two Steps Bock is the final "chubby" release. There will be no more after this. I think you can get sense of the lingering frustrations that are apparent in the name. It seems every time progress is made locally someone pulls us back. One step forward - two steps back. This particular release is a glaring example of that.

It's a shame, it's a nice container. It's simple, has a nice industrial feel to it. Due to be a collectors item for sure.

The beer inside is a Helles Bock. These German lagers tend to be lighter in color than other Bock beers and often have a significant hop character with a noticeable alcohol around the same as traditional Bocks. I haven't had it yet but I have a feeling this - the final bon voyage for the chubby will be a winner. Only available at Squatters' bottle shop.

Prost!

New Beer Friday 7/29/11

For the last New Beer Friday of July, Mark from the Bayou has obtained some yummy "new to us" Lagunitas ales.

Lagunitas Little Sumpin Wild: I was hoping this was a wild ale in the true sense, with a little funk to give it a tart edge. Alas, it's not. It is however quite delicious, regardless. The nose is of spicy, peppery hops, fruity notes including peach, fig, citrus and white grapes. The taste is spicy, peppery and citrus hop notes with a fruity finish, including lime, figs and peaches.

Lagunitas Lucky 13: The nose is of citrusy hops, pear, round malty scents some metallic and raw alcohol notes. The taste is full, nearly sweet, toffee maltiness pitted against bright and aggresive floral and berry-like hops. Alcohol and light piney bitterness in the aftertaste.

Cheers!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A New Era at the DABC

There's a new person in charge at the Utah Department of Alcohol Beverage Control. Gov. Gary Herbert named Richard Sperry the chairman of the DABC Commission. The Governor also filled one of two vacancies on the commission, former state senator David Gladwell, an Ogden attorney, was confirmed to a four-year term on the commission.

Once the remaining commission seat is filled, a search for a new executive director for the department will get under way. The current executive director, Dennis Kellen, will be retiring after allegations of mismanagement.

This new commission will be different from others in recent history because it will be more tightly monitored and controlled by a select group of anti-liquor legislators who will have full control of the type of persons that enforce and administer the laws they pass.

I won't make any judgments on these new and pending appointments, but it's likely they'll do their masters bidding (Valentine & Waddoups) without question. Unlike former DABC Chairman, Sam Granato.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Beer Taxes are Likely

Utahans love their taxes, especially when they're "use taxes". Now some of you may be saying, hold on there Beer Nerd, Utah is the most red of "red" states. Your wrong"! Trust the Beer Nerd... a politician loves nothing more than going to the "majority" of their constituents and proclaiming "we're raising the taxes but not on you fine, like-minded people". That's when "new taxes" really shine here.

This scenario is likely to happen if some in law enforcement have their way. Reed Richards, (Mr. Fantastic) a representative with the Utah Sheriffs Association, floated an idea early last week of earmarking five cents of the state’s beer tax for the county jails to make sure the Department of Corrections has the money to send inmates to the counties.

Reed's concept is that a five-cent tax increase on a 12-ounce beer would solve all of their budget problems because beer is the root cause of all of their inmates problems, ergo beer fixes it's own problems.

In regards to we beer drinkers, I don't think it's about adding a few more pennies to the price of a beer it's about beer drinkers and alcohol consumers being the states "whipping boy" every time some mismanaged state agency needs cash to fill some deficit - all the while rescuing drinker and non-drinker alike from annual budget issues.

If they decide to pile on us once again, urge the legislature to craft a modest and fair tax increase that would truly bring in the needed funds like, errr.... soda?

Friday, July 22, 2011

New Beer Friday 7/22/11

You made it to Friday. You've worked hard all week. You deserve a great beer. I've got a few new options for you today that are spread out over SL county.

Firestone Walker's Double Jack Double IPA: Really nice IPA. Hops are nice and smells unbelievable. Citrus is most noticeable with orange and grapefruit. Heavy piney sap is in there as well. The taste starts with grapefruit, cirtus, and even a hint of mango. Turns bitter toward the middle with piney hops that go till the finish. The finish leaves the mouth wet opposed to a dry, crisp end and lingers with bitterness. The 9.5% abv is well hidden. @ Beerhive.

Rogue Dad's Little Helper: This is Rogue's answer to the malt liquor. You know Colt 45? King Cobra? Anway the nose is of toasted malt, grass, and honey. The Taste starts with grass, honey, small amount of hops and toasted malt. Finishes grassy and boozy. not bad but I probably won't be going back for it. @ Beerhive

Bohemian Rye: This is supposedly a different rye beer from the one that was previously released. The nose is very flowery with some light earthy aromas and some biscuit malts. The taste is sweet upfront with some spicy and flowery notes in the background and has nice lasting bitterness. @ Bohemian Brewery

Desert Edge Espresso Stout: On nitro. The nose is of Espresso (duh!) a hint of cream, and a whisper of chocolate. The taste is mainly just espresso but executed with restraint. Moderate carbonation. A bit thinner than I'd prefer but it increases the drinkability factor. @ Bayou - Desert Edge.

Cheers!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Brewfest this Weekend and a Big Birthday

Just a reminder that the Third Annual Evanston Brew Fest is going on this weekend (7/23/11). The ticket price of $25.00 will include wristband for unlimited brew tasting and souvenir tasting mug. Brew tasting 1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

It looks like a fine list of participating breweries. Definitely looks like it's worth the drive.

Alaskan
Avery
Blue Moon
Big Sky
Bohemian
Boulevard
Deschutes
Epic
Grand Teton
New Belgium
Odells
Oskar Blues
Shades of Pale
Sierra Nevada
Snake River
Suds Bros.

By the way, it was 25 years ago today the beer scene in Utah got....well it got one! The Wasatch Brewpub came into existence in Park City, Utah. Reinvigorating a population that was starved for something other than fizzy yellow beer. Thanks, Greg and the Wasatch crew - past and present for changing all of our lives!

Cheers!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Maltman Always Rings Twice

If your familiar at all with yours truly, you know that my Koala-esque ass requires a serious, daily-dose of ass kissing. When the "Koala" is feeling a little prissy - particularly on brew day, it's good to know there's an option out there, to make your inner princess feel like she's sport'n one of those be-dazzled Hello Kitty purses.

Luckily there's a local option available to you now to help the most lazy of brew days stay on track with minimal effort. The boys at Brew in Haus an on-line home brew retailer plan to cater to the online shopper and are planning to offer a local delivery service where brewers in the Salt Lake City area can have their home brew supplies hand delivered to their doorstep in 1-2 business days.

Possibly at some point there may be a physical store front, but for now you'll have to be content with ordering from the comfort of your couch's ass groove.

Cheers!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Publican Pale Ale

Shades of Pale Brewing second release is finally out and it looks to be a big winner. Publican Pale Ale is currently out in limited release in Park City. It can be found currently at Club Lespri in Prospector. SOP is also planning to bottle 28 cases of 22oz bombers today for limited release around Park City, Easy Street/Purple Sage, Doolan’s and Lindzee O’Michaels will be getting it early next week. The second batch is in the works and you should see more of it in bottles in the next couple of weeks.

The Pale Ale has a nice Citrus Grapefruit nose. Tangerine notes are initially noticed, as it warms a you get a hint Carmel, this initial batch is not overly bitter but has a nice rise in the middle of with a very clean finish that comes back after a few seconds.

Cheers!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In the Meantime.....

Sadly last week there was no "New Beer Friday". However, later Friday afternoon two new beers did pop up at the Bayou.

Both are from Meantime Brewing out of the U.K. The First is Meantime's Coffee Porter. The nose is all coffee up front followed by a toasted, slightly creamy malt. The taste brings a rich coffee up front with a solid toasted malt middle followed by a long lingering bittersweet chocolate finish. Silky smooth almost creamy mouthfeel. This is a very drinkable porter with a reasonable 6.0% abv. Served from a 330 ml bottle.

The next Meantime beer is Scotch Ale. Sadly it's no longer being produced. These must be some of the final bottles produced. The aroma is a complex mix of malt, heavily toasted grains and maple syrup. The taste starts with a little dry toasted pumpernickle, after the swallow. The malts sweetness is able to develop into fresh baked dark wheat bread with toffee and coffee finishing the flavor profile.

It's a damn shame that beer was retired, because it's quite a fine Scotch Ale. 8.0% abv served from a 750ml bottle. Again, this beer is retired. It's likely once it's gone - it's gone for good. Both are at the Bayou.

Cheers!

Monday, July 11, 2011

We're Freaks, Once Again!

SB 314. If you'll recall this is the brilliant legislation that eliminated drink specials, allows the governor to appoint the chairman of the liquor commission, bans mini-kegs and ties the number of liquor licenses to population quotas and public-safety officers.

When laws like this go into effect, people from outside of Utah take notice and when noted publications such as Time Magazine publish stories such as No More Happy Hour Ever! How Utah Just Got to Be an Even Drier State. The eyes and ears of readers really perk up.

The Utah Hospitality Association, which is trying to sue the Governor and legislature claims that the system of fixed pricing for alcohol under SB 314 is a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act as it "deprives the benefits of free, open and unrestricted competition in the market" from the plaintiffs. The lawsuit also states that the extreme scarcity of available liquor licenses — which the DABC claimed in its spring 2011 newsletter was zero to one license for every five applicants per month — creates an unreasonable restraint on trade.

Since states are in charge of their own individual liquors laws it's likly that nothing will come from this lawsuit. However, the state was successfully sued nearly a decade ago when all forms of bar advertizing were banned. This law was repealed because it violated the first amendment.

I'm not saying this new lawsuit won't be successful, I hope it will be. But we all know how the game is played. Even if SB 314's laws are repealed Senators Valentine and Whadupps will be crafting retaliation legislation to balance their views over that of the states growing minority. Trust me, they have discussed and tried to do far worse recently in regards to Utah's liquor laws .

I guess what I'm saying is, Cheers to the Utah Hospitality Association for fighting this and trying to keep the state of Utah from becoming an even bigger freak in the ever growing religious global carnival. But, I'm not holding my breath. Here's a link to the Time Magazine article.

Cheers!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

July Beer Pairings and Classes


Interested in honing your beer pairing skills or learning more about civilization's oldest libation? Well my lads and lasses your in luck, the University of Utah and Desert Edge Brewmaster Chris Haas will be holding a class that takes care of the above mentioned, all the while examining America's rich history and diverse beer culture.

Then if that's not enough you'll also briefly explore how beer is produced, immerse yourself in beer styles as well as develop your palette and learn to identify different flavor components.

If an evening such as this seems like it will float your boat then follow this link to The U of U's Lifelong Learning page and sign up. The class meets at Desert Edge Brewery, Trolley Square and Tuition is $89 + Special Fee: $30 = $119.

That's not your only opportunity to learn from the best. Squatters' own Jennifer Talley along with the Viking Cooking School is pulling out "ALL" the stops for a crafted beer-Artisen food five course dinner, each crafted food course will be exquisitely paired with the best aritsen beers that Squatters and Wasatch have to offer. YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS. This dinner is only offered twice a year, you will want to make your reservation as soon as possible, as this will fill quickly!!

This pairing will be held on Wednesday, July 27, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and will run you $79.

Cheers!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Utah Medals in San Diego

Had any So-Cal beers beers lately? If not seek some out. If your a true fan of beer, you know that some of the best beers in the world are coming from the San Diego area from such noted breweries as AleSmith, Stone, Lost Abbey/Port Brewing & Green Flash.

It's also a tough place to showcase beers because the brewing community there is so strong and the quality is top tier. That's why it's a huge achievement when outsiders can come in to their local competitions and do well.

That's what happened recently at the 2011 San Diego International Beer Festival. Two of Utah's finest went in and emerged with some serious harwdare in some tough categories.

Three Gold medals and a Silver were awarded to two Utah breweries. Uinta Brewing's
Cockeyed Cooper won Gold for their Bourbon Barrel Barleywine in the Wood and Barrel Aged category. A second Gold medal was also bestowed to Uinta's Labryinth Black Ale in the Imperial Stout category. Those are two extremely tough categories; high praise for a Utah brand.

Epic Brewing Co. Earned a Gold as well for their Wit Beer in the Belgian-Style Wit or White Ale category. Witbiers are very popular right now and this one is one of the best. Epic's Pfeifferhorn Lager also won a Silver in the American-Style Lager category.

Congrats to our local boys and girls for going into a tough room and coming away with great honors.

Cheers!

Friday, July 01, 2011

New Beer Friday 7/01/11

Wahoo! July is here and on this first day we have new beer for you. Two from Mendocino Brewing Company have arrived in town.

The First is Mendocino IIPA. It has a pine and citrus aroma, bright and fresh with a touch of sweetness and a note of orange peel. It smells great. It's full bodied and very smooth with a clean, dry finish. It tastes very piny and slightly sweet with lots of orange going on. It's bitter, dry and well balanced.

Next is Mendocino Imperial Barleywine. It has a resiny, oaky aroma that's slightly sweet, with notes of cherry, vanilla and bay leaf. It's pretty full bodied and pretty smooth. The finish is slightly dry and slightly sticky. This tastes boozy, very hot and resiny. There are notes of cherry, dark fruit, oak and a slight sweetness. Available at the Beehive.

Finally there is Arts Fest Amber from Uinta. This beer was a special one off made exclusivly for the Utah Arts Festival. If you never made it to the festival, then you never got to try it. However, there is one keg left at the brewery's tap house. It may be gone before the end of the day today, so best of luck getting some. Haven't tried this one.

Cheers!

Cheers!