Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Epic's Glutenator

After a half a year of formulating and reformulating, Epic Brewing Co. Has finally come up with a gluten free beer that will appeal to those who can and cannot drink regular barley based beer. And I think this may be one of Glutenators greatest strengths. One of the greatest strengths, the dedication to make it taste like a common barley ale without the irreplaceable barley.

Most gluten free beers are sorghum based. This tends to give the beer a cider taste, reminiscent of a wine or sake. This one gets it's base from sweet potato and millet which should provide a more "full bodied mouth feel"

Glutenator is tawny in color with a nose of piney hops and yams. The flavor is mostly sweet grains with a clean, sorghum-free, lightly hoppy finish.

It will be bottled this week, and should be in the cold cases on Friday, March 9. It will be in Epic's standard 22-ounce bottle will cost $5.89.

Cheers!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

No Help for Breweries and Wineries

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In case you didn't know, this is Sen Mike Waddoups' final year in the legislature. Congratulations to us one and all!

However, Jebus' favorite son is not about to go quietly into his righteous night. The "Wad Man's" crusade to extinguish the joy from those of us who support local craft brewers and vintners is a strong as ever.

SB66, a bill that would have reduced state price markups for small breweries and wineries was murdered by Sen. President Waddoups yesterday afternoon.

Waddoups, R-Taylorsville (congrats Taylorsville!), argued that reductions in the state’s alcohol taxing structure could spur more production, which he contended would lead to more drunk driving and teen drinking problems, without offering specifics to back up his claim. Does this surprise you?

There are two other bills that the "Gang of Mos" are unlikely to pass.

Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, is sponsoring HB270, which would raise the number of restaurant liquor permits that are based on the state’s population. And, SB75, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake City, would increase bar permit numbers, allow drink specials and get rid of Beer Burkas, which hide the evils that bartenders do from public view.

"Those are dead," Waddoups said of Froerer’s and Romero’s bills. "They will increase access to alcohol. When you increase quotas you increase access to alcohol. There’s no point having a quota if the minute you get close to it you raise it. The quotas are there for a reason."

"That’s news to me," Romero said, reacting to word that his bill may not be passed. "We have already exceeded the number of liquor licenses by population, so we’re living in a reality that’s not accurate.

"I think it’s unfortunate that these ideas won’t even be getting a hearing this year."

I don't want to see any harm come to "the Wadd Man". But when he does eventually pass, I'll be the first to posthumously baptize he and his family in to the true church of beer.

Source: Sltrib.com

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ready to Fly - Review

I had a chance to try Shades of Pale's Ready to Fly Amber Ale over the weekend and I have to say, it's one of the best Ambers I had a chance to sample in quite some time. Matt Davis, SOP's brewer has come up with a brilliantly done, solid ale.

Hopped with Warrior and Cascades hops, this beer pours a brilliant earthy-red hue with a foamy eggshell head. The nose is of grapefruit, pine and bit of light caramel malt. Still, Hop-forward though.The taste starts more malty than on the nose. It's fairly sweet with toast and caramel up front. Next comes grapefruit hops with a hint of pine. The finish has a pleasant, slightly dry-herbal/earthy hoppiness. A very good beer, well balanced and tasty.

This beer is only available for a short time and at a handful of places, your next chance will be today and tomorrow (Feb 20 and 21) at the Egyptian Theater in Park City.

The Park City debut of "Ready to Fly". Show starts at 7pm. Get your Amber on and support US Woman's Ski Jumping. Beer sold at the door. Proceeds support the team.

Also. If you like what we're doing here at Utah Beer, please vote us "Best Local Blog" in City Weekly's Best of 2012. Thanks for sticking with us!

Cheers!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Winger Brothers Brewing Co.

We're always on the lookout for new beer around here, so I was overjoyed when I came across Winger Bros. Brewing Co. I thought, A new brewery?? How the hell did this one slip in below the radar?

So, we did a little digging. As it turns out Winger Bros. Brewing is part of the Wingers Restaurant Group. I tried contacting Wingers Corporate about their operations, to no avail. Their website claims they produce four different beers and that they have a commitment to craft brews, but I can find no info on their brewing facility.

Well, there isn't one... at least that owned by Wingers. As it turns out Winger Bros. is contract brewed locally. The contract brewery asked that I not identify them yet, but you can probably figure it out.

Regardless of who making their beer - it is local and I whole heartily recommend trying them when enjoying a meal at Wingers restaurants. They are all familiar, enjoyable and solid beers.

I hope that Winger Bros. Brewing decide to go legit and start a true craft brewery with unique labels. Trust me. If you make them, we will come!

Also. If you like what we're doing here at Utah Beer, please vote us "Best Local Blog" in City Weekly's Best of 2012. Thanks for sticking with us!

Cheers!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

SAVOR a Taste of Utah

Since 2008 some of the best of America’s finest craft beers and culinary combinations have come together in Washington, D.C.’s beautiful National Building Museum to participate in SAVOR. A festival that provides the opportunity to participate in directed tasting salons featuring stars from the craft beer and food scene.

75 breweries from across the country are chosen to represent at SAVOR every year, guests have the chance to meet and mingle with the luminaries of the craft beer world.

Now, we all know our locally made suds are primo, I'm not telling you anything you don't know. However the rest of the country is quickly figuring out what we locals have known for many years, there's some solid beers coming out that "weird anti-alcohol state".

This year at SAVOR, not one - but two of Utah's finest beer makers will represent. Epic And Uinta Breweries will show-off the quality that the Beehive State has to offer. Pairing their beer with a variety of food items to illustrate how well craft beer and food complement one another.

If you are able to attend, SAVOR takes place June 8-9, 2012 in Washington, DC.

And speaking of Epic and Uinta they are also on RateBeer.com's 2012 Best Brewers in the World.

Cheers!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Behind Zion's Curtain

When I see the title, "Department of Alcohol Beverage Control" my first gut reaction is to wince. I know something difficult is about to accompany those words, and some days I just don't have the strength to deal with all the BS that comes with it.

Just as often, it can also bring me joy, some of my favorite treats are available there.

This is the reality that many consumers and purveyors of adult beverages face from Utah's favorite socialized industry.

I enjoy spouting off about the DABC every chance I get. It's the best "free" therapy a beer lover in Utah can self administer.

I'm not alone, many have the need to "spout off" and spread the word that, things ain't right and a change is needed...soon!

Film maker, Jason Vance is one such frustrated Utahan. Jason has been working on  Behind Zion's Curtain, a documentary that tries to bring the tainted agency's shadowy underbelly in to the light.

The first trailer for his documentary is out, ready to chap-your-ass and make your blood boil. Check it out below.

Behind Zion's Curtain Trailer from Jason Vance on Vimeo.


Cheers!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

4th Annual Beehive Brew-off & Red as Hell Ale

August 26th has been set as the date for the 4th Annual Beehive Brew-off. It's still quite a ways away, but trust me, you'd rather have too much time to get your entries together than not enough. Entries are the same as past years. One entry = (3)three unmarked 12 oz. bottles. Fees are $5 per entry. More info to come as the date get closer.

Also, Squatters' Radio from Hell beer, "Red as Hell Ale" is being released at 8am today at the Beer Store (1763 s. 300 w.). Radio from Hell will be broadcasting from there (not Squatters) from 6am - 10am. $3.99 per 750 ml. bottle. 5.5% ABV

Available at Squatters locations today and at DABC Test Stores: the 3rd Week of February

And, The Pelicans have arrived.

Cheers!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Beer Prediction Engine for Super Bowl XLVI

About three years ago we did a little experiment to test the power of beer and see if could be used to predict the future. It was a success! A cities beer culture foresaw the outcome of Super Bowl XLIII.

This year we thought we'd try again with a slightly different formula to see if lightening could strike twice. In 2009 the score was 27-23 Pittsburgh won. Our beer prediction engine said Pittsburgh would win 26-25.

This year's formula goes like this.

# of Breweries/Brewpubs x Per Capita Beer Consumption ÷ # Bars = winner

We used used Beer Advocate & The Beer Institute to get our numbers. And this is what we came up with.

Boston - 35 Breweries/Brewpubs x Per Capita Consumption (26.5) ÷ # of Bars 296 = 3.13 or 31 points

New York - 67 Breweries/Brewpubs x Per capita consumption (22.6) ÷ # of Bars 648 =  2.33  or 23 points

Patriots win 31-23

Should the "Beer Prediction Engine" prove successful once again, I promise to take full credit and never let you forget it. Should it fail? There was obviously some bad data.

Cheers!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Uinta Reveals their Birthday Suit

"In the beginning, cherry trees shaded the beer garden. Resisting temptation no longer they picked the fruit and let it ferment in to a pleasingly sour and subtly sweet ale".

These are the words accompanying the bottle on the sixth addition to Uinta's Crooked Line of beers. It's the latest sour beer to come out of Utah. Originally brewed last summer, Birthday Suit was made to help celebrate Uinta's 19th birthday.

Birthday Suit is a Sour Cherry Ale with a hint of Belgian influence. Made with the latest "sour mash" techniques, this beer takes its sour base and fuses it with the natural tartness and tannins from the cherries to make an extremely quaffable and sessionable sour ale. "A sinful pleasure for the experienced and adventurous pallet".

This special bottle conditioned brew will come in at 5.7% ABV and be packaged in the Cooked Line's signature, corked and caged 750ml bottles.

Local artist, Travis Bone designed the label for Birthday Suit. He also did the artwork for Uinta's Cockeyed Cooper.

Birthday Suit is due to be released; end of February/beginning of March.

Cheers!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Craft Brewers Alliance Comes to Utah

Back in 2010 the DABC came to an important realization; that their tiny warehouse was bursting at the seams and they were in desperate need of extra space. Their solution? Get the beer distributors to take some of the load.

For the most part it's been a good partnership. More craft brands are making their way into the state, because out of state brewers are feeling more comfortable about having their beer in the distributors cold storage facilities, rather than sitting in the DABC's room temperature warehouse.

One of the newest acquisitions to the states craft beer portfolio is a pretty good get, The Craft Brewers Alliance. The CBA was formed with the merger of leading Pacific Northwest craft brewers – Widmer Brothers Brewing and Redhook Ale Brewery – in 2008. With an eye toward preserving and growing one-of-a-kind craft beers and brands. The CBA was joined by Kona Brewing Company in 2010.

Widmer Brothers has had a golden reputation since their inception in 1984. Their known for their wheat beer, but the Brothers continues to create handcrafted beers with a unique and unconventional twist on traditional styles that are award winning and please a wide range of craft beer lovers.

Redhook Brewing, one of the nations first craft breweries had lost some of it's luster in the past few years, but my friends from the North West say, they've noticed a change in Redhook's quality since Utah's Jen Talley took the helm last year. It'll be nice to taste what she's been up to.

Kona Brewing was founded in 1994 by the father and son team of Cameron Healy and Spoon Khalsa. Kona creates some complex, full tasting beers that expresses their Hawaii based roots and flavors.

I'm really looking forward to having these labels on our store shelves. We should start seeing them in the next couple of months.

Cheers!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Ready to Fly Amber Ale

On February 10th, Documentarian Bill Kerig, the producer of “The Edge of Never" will have the Utah debut of his newest documentary film "Ready to Fly". Kerig's latest doc follows the struggle of Women’s Ski jumping acceptance as a recognized international event in the Winter Olympics and stars Park City's own Lindsey Vonn along with her team mates, as they do battle on the international circuit of public opinion.

Last Friday Shades of Pale brewed a limited edition American Amber Ale to help promote “Ready to Fly” and to help raise awareness and support for Women’s Ski jumping.

Ready to fly ale is a deep American Amber with enough bitterness to mellow the truck load of crystal malt used in the recipe. Trent and Matt selected Cascade and Warrior hops to provide citrus undertones to complement the caramel flavors of the malt bill.

You will have 2 chances to get your hands on this tasty limited edition treat. First at the premier on Feb 10th, at the Megaplpex theater at the Gateway Mall (Believe it or not they are going to allow Shades of Pale to serve it in the theater), the second changes will be at the Egyptian Theater in Park City February 18th and 19th. Trent says, they'll only be releasing about a thousand bombers, so when it is gone it is gone.

Also, Shades of Pale has a new map on their website to help guide you to the nearest SOP store, bar or restaurant.

Cheers!