Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A New Concept for Utah

There is a very interesting concept that is slowly taking hold here in Utah, a concept that has been around since commerce itself.  It's the radical  idea of selling what you make where you made it.

Now stay with me... I know I'm talking about stuff that makes String Theory sound like nursery rhymes here, but believe it or not there are places in this world where people can sell the things that they make, when they want to - where they're made (within reason of course). 

If you'll recall a few years back your favorite brewery could not sell it's customers all the products they made, especially if it was over 4.0% ABV. Now thanks to a little bit of rational thought from some lawmakers most breweries can now sell every beer in their portfolio from the very place their made.

Sundays and Holidays were a big bone of contention for many in the adult beverage industry. Utah is a tourism driven state and it was maddening for many to have to shut their doors during profitable times.

The High West Distillery was the first to convince our liquor overlords that Sundays & Holiday sales were beneficial to patrons and sellers alike. All they had to do was do one thing. Sell food. 

Within months nearly every class five packaging agency had gotten on board. And recently Epic Brewing came into compliance when they completed their own restaurant area at the brewery. So now you can buy Epic's beer 365 days a year (if they choose) and get a tasty sandwich. So come this Sunday January, 1st it looks like you'll be able to buy a beer at Epic - on a Sunday and a Holiday. What a concept Even for Utah.

Cheers!

Friday, December 23, 2011

New Beer Friday 12/23/11

Let's begin with Epic's second new release this week, Utah Sage Saison. The taste starts out bitter and peppery right up front. Herbal notes of sage come next with a hint of Rosemary. Underneath it all There are light malts with that unique Saison funk. I think it could use a little more balance. The herbal/hoppy character tends to dominate for the most part. The timing for this beer is perfect. It has a holiday feel without the intention of being a holiday beer. 

Next up is Boulevard Brewing's Bourbon Barrel Quad (B.B.Q). Tart cherries and a balanced bourbon flavor dominate up front, underneath there is more of what you'd expect from a quad - candi sugar, belgian yeast, and a big booziness. Hints of vanilla linger in the finish. Beautifully complex, this beer is a real joy to sip. It seems like the flavors that are present wouldn't work too well together but for some reason it comes together nicely.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dark Beers for a Dark Day

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice. Whether you refer to it as Midwinter, The Longest Night or The First Day of Winter one thing is certain this one dark day.

On this day before the darkest day of the year, it seems appropriate that two unique dark beers should debut to warm our inner beer geek.

Today's first beer was born from Outer Darkness, an Imperial Stout that was first released two years ago today. Brewed over five months ago, Barrel of Russians Imperial Stout (B.O.R.I.S) takes that same beloved recipe and combines it with Utah's own High West Rye Whiskey barrels. The result is a complex blend of toffee, bourbon, oak, hazelnut, vanilla, caramel, milk chocolate, and alcohol.

The Winter Solstice lasts only a moment in time, the same goes for this beer. Only available at Squatters Brewpubs.

Our second release comes from what may be one of the most prolific breweries in the nation. Utah's Epic Brewing.

Epic seems to release a new beer every month, their newest release dates it's heritage back many centuries to Germanic monasteries who called this specially made beer" liquid bread", due to it's high caloric nature. When your mother told you, "don't fill up on bread"! This is NOT the type of bread she was talking about.

Epic's Double Skull is full of solid malt, dark fruit and fruitcake that fades very nicely into slight char and chocolates. There is a special release party for Double Skull, tonight at the Poplar Street Pub. It will subsequent be available everywhere Epic Exponential Series is sold.

Even though it's looking to be a dreary day, I have a feeling many beer lovers may not notice.

Cheers!

Friday, December 16, 2011

New Beer Friday 12/16/11

One new beer for you today. Urthel's Samaranth Quadrinium is a beer that's dusky, light brown in color with a slightly off-white foam. In the nose, it's sweet and faintly spicy with notes of dried fruit, nuts, chocolate and marzipan.

On the palate, it's big and bold, massively malty and slightly warming from the 11.5% alcohol by volume. It is long and shockingly dry in the finish. Available at the Bayou.

Cheers!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Double Skull Dopplebock

First brewed by the Paulaner monks, Dopple Bock beers were born from a need to sustain the monks during times of fasting, particularly during the Lenten season, when solid food is not permitted.

Today's Dopplebocks have changed very little in the last four hundred years, they're still some of the strongest beers made—ranging from 7%–12% or more by volume.

Epic Brewing is carrying on the Paulaners traditions, producing it's own take on "liquid bread". The latest beer in the “Exponential Series” is Double Skull Doppelbock brewed from only four traditional ingredients: malt, hops, water and true lager yeast. The beer is malt driven and true to style with a dark brown color and packs a nice wallop for a lager, coming in at around 7.5%

Double Skull will debut on December 21st at the Poplar Street Pub in S.L.C.
This beer was designed for lent, but I think you'll find it hits the mark during the Holidays as well.

Cheers!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The New Moab Brewery

It was around this time last year that Moab Brewing announced that they were expanding their operations and changing their packaging from bottles to cans. Today it's all come to fruition, the expanded brewery is on line and cans of new Moab beer are hitting store shelves.

Moab's new packing revolves around 16 oz cans that come in 4-paks. The first two new offerings are Johnny's American IPA and Rocket Bike Lager. Johnny's IPA is described as a golden colored session-able IPA with four types of hops used and the Rocket Bike is a Steam style lager with roasted barley and Cascade hops.

In the near future Moab will start producing these brands in higher alcohol versions. The IPA will be 7% and the Steam Lager will be 5.5% abv.

And that's not all. In the coming months look for two new Desert Select styles a Rye beer called Hopped Rye and an Export Stout both will be upwards of 8% and bottle conditioned.

The 4-paks are said to be going for around $5.99 and are for sale now in select areas.

On a personal note, I'd like to thank everyone for coming out to the Holiday Tasting last Saturday. It was our largest event so far and the quality of the beer and the company was second to none. I'll post some pics from the party on the Utah Beer Facebook page today or tomorrow.

Cheers!

Friday, December 09, 2011

A Barrel full of Russians

Back in 2009 Squatters did something that the loyal beer gnerds of Utah had been pining for... Well, for years. A Russian Imperial Stout. Believe it or not, an Impy Stout had never been produced by a Utah brewery until that day. Today there are many. Uinta's Labrynth, Epic's Imperial Stout and a fourth and a fifth are due to be released soon from two other local breweries that I'm not at liberty to name... yet. 

Interestingly enough this beer style that bears the Russian name isn't "Russian" at all. It was brewed in the 18th century by Thrale's brewery in London, England for export to the court of Catherine II of Russia.

5 months ago, former brewer Jen Talley and current Brewmaster Jason Stock (by the way.. Congratulations Jason!!!) layed down a fresh batch of Outer Darkness into High West Wiskey barrels creating an Anglo-Russian-Utah-Kentucky hybrid, called Barrel of Russians. 

As is tradition, these the darkest of all Squatters beers is due to be released on the darkest day of the year. December 21st. 

This is a limited release of approximately 1200 - 750ml bottles. It has a potent abv of 10.5%. It's perfect (and recomended) for cellering and celebrating the holidays for years to come. 

Don't forget the 3rd Annual Utah Beer Holiday Tasting is tomorrow night. Those of you who managed to get in before the cut-off need to get your game faces on. It's gunna get biblical. Any questions or cancellations? Hit us up - utahbeer@gmail.com.

Cheers!!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

No More Sunday Beer in Pleasant Grove?

The city of Pleasant Grove, Utah is about to get a lot less pleasant if a new proposed ordinance to ban Sunday beer sales is adopted.

Tonight at P.G's city council meeting, the topic is scheduled to be brought up. Pleasant Grove Mayor Bruce Call says although Sunday beer sales are allowed now, a prior ordinance did prohibit beer sales on Sunday countywide. He says Tuesday’s vote is an option to return things to the way they once were.

“I like the idea of keeping things the way they’ve been in the county for years and years, ” Call said. “You know, that’s a tricky thing, some people say why ban anything? Leave it to the choice of the voters…and that’s fine. But, every community is different. Every community has its own unique personality, its own unique culture. I think a continuation of the ban on beer sales is true to our culture.”

Councilman Val Danklef says Sunday beer sales go against the city’s values, but worries what effect the ban could have on local businesses.

“I know that small business owners would be affected by it,” he said. ” I am leaning towards not allowing it to happen.”

The city council will also vote on a separate proposal to put a complete ban on alcohol sales at drive-through windows.

If you live in Pleasant Grove and you don't want your rights shit upon, I urge you to attend the meeting tonight.

Source: KCPW

Friday, December 02, 2011

New Beer Friday 12/2/11

Two new beers for you today!

First there's Desert Edge's Holiday Raspberry Stout. This beer comes on once a year for the holidays. It is a nice chocolatey malt stout with 165 pounds of fresh raspberries added in the fermenter. The fresh raspberries impart a nice tartness to the beer. The raspberries are subtle rather than strong and up front. A great beer to celebrate the holidays.

Sierra Nevada's Tumbler is a brown ale that has a faint, clean nose with touches of caramel, light chocolate and a little nuttiness. The taste starts with a roasted malt sweetness and a dark toasty breadiness. Next comes an earthy, nutty bitterness. While The finish starts in the sweetness of the malt, it gradually turns into a nicely bittered ending that leaves a nice dryness. Not overly complex, but the flavor blend and balance is quite pleasant. 5.5% ABV @ Beerhive and some liquor stores. I have seen it at 300 e. Wine Store.

Cheers!