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Friday, March 30, 2012

2012 Tour De Brewtah

A bunch of us got together last year and had the opportunity to participate in the 2011 Tour De Brewtah, what a great time! Beer, bikes, more beer, people in crazy costumes, it was a blast. If you like beer and have a bike I urge you to get your shit together and spend a Saturday afternoon pedaling around downtown for beer and a good cause.

The ride will be Saturday May 5 (Cinco de Mayo). There are two wave times and two routes to choose from, but the options only stay available until they fill up. Organizers expect the ride will sell out again this year, and quicker than last year too, so don't miss out!! Here's the link for registration.

Also, round two in the Utah Beer Challenge has been completed. The Sweet16 field looks to be a complete bitch, I expect there will be much tighter races from here on out. The updated bracket is here. Any comments or prediction for the finals?


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Squatters Crest Trail American Pale Ale

American Pale Ales in my opinion are the perfect beer. The right amount of caramel maltiness combined with that piney/citrusy bitterness always puts me in my happy place.

So you can imagine that when I heard that Squatters was doing a slightly amplified version of their Crest Trail Pale Ale, I don't mind telling you I started channeling Bruce Springsteen in his Dancing in the Dark video.

Anyway, my mad moves aside this beer is looks to be hop beast! Made with Amarillo, Cascade, Apollo and Chinook hops, then it's run through a hop back with more Amarillo hops, then Dry hopped with more Chinook... In the immortal words of George Costanza, "I think it moved".

Should be released tomorrow (3/30/12), possibly late this afternoon. Call ahead as always.

Utah Beer Challenge brackets are here.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Hop 'n Keg Brewery  

A few months ago we told you about the Vernal Brewing Co. A venture that could become the city of Vernal's first brewery/brewpub. They may not be alone.

In a meeting yesterday at the DABC, an application to manufacture beer was approved for what may be Vernal's second brewery, The Hop 'n Keg Brewery. From what we've been able to gather, this new brewery will be part of the Quarry Steakhouse. A restaurant that many in the area say, already has Vernal's best beer selection. 

It's still early in the process, but it looks like craft beer lovers in eastern Utah have a lot to look forward to. We'll keep you posted on their progress. Congrats to the Hop 'n Keg!

Voting for round two - part two, in the Utah Beer Challenge begins today. Like previous rounds, there are a lot of tough choices. Here's a link to the brackets.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Craft Brewers Alliance & Round Two Begins!

We have an update as to what Red Hook, Kona & Widmer beers are coming to the state first.

Fire Rock
Long Board
Kona Aloha Series (Seasonal)

Rotator Series (Seasonal)

Red Hook:
Long Hammer

This beers are not available as of today, but should be showing up in the next week or so.

Also, Round Two of the Utah Beer Challenge is finally under way! It looks like there are already a few tough choices.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Round One Completed!

Round one of the Utah beer challenge is finally over! There were a few surprises and some frustrating, early match-ups, but it looks like everyone still has a horse left in the race.

A bracket has finally been compiled of the field, it's available for you to look at here.

Round Two starts Monday morning and should rap-up Saturday. And the bracket will be updated after every individual match-up is completed.

Any comments or observations on the challenge are welcome.



Thursday, March 22, 2012

RedRock's Paardebloem

In 2008 the nations brewers experienced a bit of a hop shortage. Not everyone could get those signature hops that made their beers so special. So what's what's a brewer to do to stay creative in the brew house? Look to other, some might say, more exotic ingredients.

Well that's what RedRock and New Belgium Breweries decided to do, come together and create something that many in North America may have never tried. A Dandelion (Paardebloem) beer.

Dandelion greens were chosen as they have a natural bittering effect much like hops. The result is a blond ale brewed with toasted pilsener malt, flavored with fresh picked dandelion greens and grains of paradise and a dose of funky brettanomyces cultures to add some tartness.

Paardebloem is 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 added sourness that the New Belgium version lacks. This provides a nice balance for the big spicy/sweetness the ale carries.

The ABV for this batch is 9.2%. Paardebloem goes on sale today at 4pm at RedRock's Downtown Brewpub. As always call before you make the trip.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

5th Element is Back!

Yup! One of our all-time favorite beers in the world is back, in all of it's glorious funkiness.

Pours a cloudy apricot/straw color with a fizzy white head that reduced to a thin froth. The nose has a bit a of barnyard funkiness to it with hints of lemon. The tastes starts with light citrus notes then transitions into tart green apples, peach and white pepper. Next comes a dry oakiness that compliments the tartness well. The finish is a combination a champagne like dryness and bitter florals.

Believe it or not we are in the finals of round one in the Utah Beer Challenge. Whew! At the end of voting on Thurs, we'll get a bracket up showing who moved on, while providing the broadest view of the remaining beers.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gordon Biersch Arriving Soon

This time last year we told you about The Gordon Biersch Brewing Company's plans to open up a new brewpub location at the Salt lake International Airport. At first we thought, if your not traveling through the airport, it's likely you won't be having their beer. Luckily that is not the case.

Two of their brands are due to be arriving soon, long before the airport's brewpub is set to open. In the coming days or weeks look for Gordon Biersch's Marzen and one of their rotating seasonal beers.

Gordon Biersch is a national brewery chain that specializes in authentic, German-style beers.

Also, round one continues today in the Utah Beer Challenge. Yes, it's still the first round! Getting though 64 beers takes a long damn time. You'll notice some of the match ups are still as frustrating as those of last week. And just to give you an idea, round one voting will be completed on Thursday.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Wee Peat Scottish Ale

Squatters has a new offering for you to help get your St. Patrick's day weekend going. Wee Peat Scottish Ale. The Scottish style of ales basically break down into three categories Light, Heavy and Export. This one falls into the light category.

Scottish Ales traditionally go through a long boil in the kettle. This produces a deep copper to brown in colored brew and a higher level of unfermentable sugars which creates a rich mouthfeel and malty flavors and aromas. Peat malt often provides rich, smokey character.

Overall hop character is low, light floral or herbal, allowing its signature malt profile to be the highlight. Available now at Squatters locations.

Round one continues today In the Utah Beer Challenge. We're increasing the number of beers for the next 48 hours to help speed things along.

No green beer tomorrow, damn it! Only drink craft brands and local if at all possible. And please be safe.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Great Start!

Looks like voting is going well for the first Utah Beer Challenge. Starting tomorrow morning we're gunna step up the number of beers so we can get through round one a little faster. Total time for round 1, one week. A bracket will be provided at that time. Voting time will still be 48 hrs.

Many of you have voiced your frustration over two heavy hitters going head to head so early, it can't be helped and if it's any consolation there's going to be more tough calls in round one.

If you haven't seen your favorite beer or brewery yet, don't worry. It should be popping up in the next few days.

My apologies. This could be better organized, it was a spur of the moment thing but one we get rolling it should be a lot of fun.

More beer news coming soon!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Utah Beer Challenge

Since it's all about "brackets" right now and there's nothing else to write about, I thought it'd be fun to have a little informal, local beer competition.

The rules are simple. Two days to vote in each single elimination round. The beers have been paired randomly, vote for your favorite in the column to the right.

The four top beers from each Utah Brewery have been selected, as determined by RateBeer.com's database. That's a total of 64 beers. I will post a bracket at the end of each round to help you keep score.

Voting for this part of Round 1 ends 3/16 at 8:30am. Any questions?


Friday, March 09, 2012

New Beer Friday 3/9/12

Gluten free drinker rejoice! You have another alcoholic option to help make your days brighter. Epic's Glutenator debuts!

Pours a bright golden color with light head retention. The nose has some good piney and citrusy notes with hints of gain. The taste reminds me of Grape-Nuts cereal at first then you get a berry tartness that takes over for the most part. The finish is floral and bitter. A medium to light mouthfeel, with a dry spicy aftertaste.

Overall there are many beers I prefer to this, but as a gluten free beer it is pretty damn good. Glutenator does it's best to mimic it's malty cousins. On sale today at Epic.

This next beer is not new, but it is quite popular and generally doesn't last for more than a few days.

Desert Edge's Bourbon Porter Beer is black with a moderate, bubbly tan head. The nose is faint with vanilla and roasted malts. As for taste, the vanilla notes come first then comes the bourbon and a little bit of oak. Lighter at first, but stronger in the finish. A nice malty background gives the beer a bit of a roasted cocoa flavor. The vanilla notes and bourbon are the main event.

Light bodied because this is a 4.0% beer, but Brewer, Chris Haas manages to coax a ton of flavor out this seasonal offering. Get on it before Mrs. Mikey drinks it all.


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

CoHOPperation India Style Rye Lager

I love collaboration beers! There's nothing better than having creative minds come together in the brewhouse and produce something entirely new. That's what's coming your way tomorrow, the first-ever collaboration brew between RedRock Brewing Company and the Pelican Pub & Brewery in Oregon.

The concept for this beer began last spring, while Brewmasters Kevin Templin and Darron Welch were judging at the North American Beer Awards. These two previous winners of the Great American Beer Festivals 'Large Brewpub of the Year' had found over years of beer judging that they had a lot in common and shared similar philosophies in regards to brewing.

The result is a beer that's designed to be very hoppy. It has the hop bitterness and profile of an IPA, but with the hop character of a pilsner. Cleanness of the flavor profile will come from fermenting with lager yeast. Added spiciness will complement the malt character by including malted rye. A unique hybridization of existing beer styles has created something completely new and different.

Besides having the best name, ever! this beer pours a brilliant straw-tinged amber color with a vigorous off white head that leaves webs of lace all over the tulip.

Upon first impression, the nose is like an ordinary, citrusy IPA. As I bury my generously sized, ancestral, German sniffer deeper, the pilsner malt, and noble hops come through.

This is the beer that hop heads WANT and the masses crave. Great IPA qualities. The hops in this beer are amazingly intact. Front and mid body the citrus and florals seem to dominate the palate. Gritty pale, and caramel tastes appear. Finishes very rind-like with notes of berries and some dry spiciness from the rye malt. Very soft and mild, with a decent carbonation. Not extremely sweet; but very dry and bitter.

A refreshing and different variation from your run of the mill IPA. The 6.9% ABV, while not terribly strong, will sneak up on you if u have at least 2 of these 500ml gems.

CoHOPeration Will be only be available at RedRock locations starting tomorrow and at the Pelican Pub & Brewery. I imagine the Bayou and Beerhive will snag some as well.


Friday, March 02, 2012

Birthday Suit Debuts Today

I have yet to be disappointed by any of Uinta's Crooked Line beers. They are all pretty unique and all are above average in my opinion. Birthday Suit is Uinta's greatest departure from what they've traditionally done in more than one way. Uinta has never made a fruit beer or a sour. Birthday Suit fills these gaps in their portfolio nicely.

Pours a clear, yet robust Blood Orange color with a champagne like head that dissipates quickly to sturdy ring. The nose is complex - sour, dry cherry, tart, dusty with hints of wood, florals and some pale malt. The taste is all about cherry, but not overwhelmingly so. It starts out with tart cherry and light oak. Slightly sweet grain notes come next and transition into a finish full of florals and tannins.

The mouthfeel is light to medium, dry yet somehow juicy, sour but not puckering. The 5.7% abv is hardly noticeable, making it both quaffable and quenchable. Overall, another winner from Uinta.

Available starting today for $11.99 at Uinta's bottle shop. Next week in liquor stores. 1st 40 bottles sold will be autographed by label artist Travis Bone.

It's Friday! and that means new beer (besides Birthday Suit).

I mentioned Epic's Glutenator the other day. There are some new gluten free beers from New Planet Brewing out of Colorado. New Planet specializes in gluten free beer. I saw some of their labels at the 3rd east wine store in SLC.

Our brother in beer, Douglas spotted Full Sail's ESB (Brewers Share Series) at the Wine Store on 3rd East. Dougie describes it.... "Pours a clear copper hue with a medium white head. A sweet nose of floral hops and caramel, somewhat dusty. A nice quaffable flavor with distinct sweet and somewhat bitter hops, dry caramel malts, light fruit. Very drinkable. A big ESB".

Also today Shades of Pale and the No Name Saloon, "Butchers" are teaming up to bring you a limited release - 10 cases of Ready to Fly Amber Ale brewed to help support the women Ski Jumpers from Park City. No Name will donate $500 of the proceeds to the Jumpers.

Come on out and try a 22oz bomber of Ready to Fly Amber Ale for 5 Bucks. Only 120 bottles left so come early and donate to the Women Jumpers. Go Team USA!

Is this enough for your weekend!