Monday, April 30, 2012

Vino Volo Ale House: Salt Lake City

If I was to choose one thing that really make me proud to be part of Utah's beer culture; it's the sense of community the breweries share with one and other. This sense of community has been made a reality for consumers as Squatters opens it's newest venture, the Vino Volo Ale House.

Vino Volo has been around for quite a few years in a dozen states, but they've primarily specialized in wine with a few beer options. This new concept in Salt Lake City's International Airport brings Utah's craft beers into the forefront and features beers from Squatters, Wasatch, Uinta, Hoppers, Moab, Bohemian, RedRock, Desert Edge and Roosters.  

Located at Terminal 2 on Concourse D; the new space at the airport is a combination of a cozy adult lounge, restaurant, and boutique beer/wine shop that offers themed tasting flights of two or three glasses. Sadly, no bottles can be purchased to take with you.

If your on your way out of town or are visiting it's a great one stop shop to get a good feel of what Utah's Craft brewers have to offer. 

Cheers!

Friday, April 27, 2012

New Beer Friday 4/27/12

Just one new beer today. Thanks to Douglas for spotting this one.

 MacTarnahan's Spine Tingler pours a nice golden color with a touch of haze and a finger of compact white foam. The nose has a nice malt aroma with pear, Granny Smith apples, a light cherry character. Floral hops are present as well. The taste starts with a big maltiness and apples, though it is not as sweet as in the nose. Midway though, the spicy yeast phenols add a sharp twist. Candi sugar and big phenols round out the end.

Overall it's an Okay beer. I'm not really geeked about the whole package. It's a bit too phenolic; the alcohol is not particularly well hidden and the sweetness didn't meld well with the rest of the flavors. Available at select liquor stores. Cheers!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hoppers' Midnight Beer

Let's face it, Mexican beers don't get a lot of respect in the craft brew community. They are without a doubt one of the lesser appreciated North American made beers. In many cases I get it, the corny/grassy profile can get a little old and their reputation as a "kiddie party beer" can drive the serious beer officianto away.

Secret agent and Hoppers Brewmaster Donovan Steele would like to change that with his new Mexican Lager Cervesa de Media Noche (Midnight Beer).

Midnight Beer is a "dark" Latin American lager made with a Vienna and Pilsener base malts, a small amount of Chilean chocolate malt, Chilean dark caramel malt and some flaked corn for a hint of flavor typical of the style. The nose is full of Styrian Golding hops that impart a spicy sweet hop flavor and aroma. Nice drinkability yet slight malt leaning complexity, medium body, dry finish, full flavor, highly drinkable, refreshing, and pairs well with spicy or grilled foods. A perfect beer for our early summer temperatures. On tap now at Hoppers in Midvale, this one won't last long.

Salud!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vote for Phil!

One of our own needs your help! Phil Baldwin of SLC has made it to the finals in the Samuel Adams "Come Brew with Us" contest. Baldwin needs his fellow Utahns to vote for his video posted on the Samuel Adams Facebook contest page.

For the contest, Samuel Adams executives asked beer fans to submit either a video or essay that demonstrated their creativity and knowledge of their beer. Five finalist were picked in five regions. Baldwin’s 90-second video was the only video submitted by Western region contenders. It follows a bottle of beer winning a poker game and playing golf. One winner from each region will receive a trip to Boston to tour the famous brewery and meet Jim Koch, president, CEO and fifth-generation brewer. Beside Baldwin, other Western region finalists come from Idaho Falls, Idaho; Portland, Ore.; Yakima Wash.; and Sparks, Nev.

Do it now! The deadline is Monday, April 30. Good luck, Phil!

Cheers!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Barley's Angel's: Utah Chapter

Utah's craft brew community has come a long way in a short time and Utah's women have been a big part of it. There are plenty of homebrew clubs around but no clubs designed especially for women. That is about to change.

Alexandra Ortiz Fargher, co-owner of Shades of Pale Brewing Co. has started up a Utah Chapter of Barley's Angels, a group committed to involving women in the enjoyment of craft beer by creating environments where women can learn more about beer in a friendly, educational and supportive atmosphere, thus creating more women beer enthusiasts, and, ultimately, involving more women in beer- and brewery-related careers.

The Park City chapter will meet quarterly, with the first meeting being held on Thursday, April 26, 2012. The meeting will start with a brief brewery tour then adjourn to Good Karma for a beer tasting and just taking time to get to meet other women, network, chat and enjoy each other's company.

All are welcome, whether you are a beer lover or just tasting your first glass! If you would like to be apart of Barley's Angels but cannot attend this event email alex@shadesofpale.com and she will keep you up-to-date on meetings/events!

Thank you, Alex for putting this together!

Cheers!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The 2012 Utah Beer Festival

If the Mountain Brewers festival is too far of a drive for you or it doesn't quite satisfy your beerfest quota, the 2012 Utah Beer Festival should put you in your happy place.

In previous years the Utah Beer Festival has been held at Washington Square in downtown SLC. This year it's moving back to the newly remodeled Gallivan Center where most of our local beerfests have been held. This year the beerfest will be held on August 26.

This beerfest has sparked a lot of debate in the beer community. Many have called it unorganized and poorly planned. I personally don't think this is the case. Yes, the crowds are massive an the lines are brutally long, but in my opinion the festival as it is now is to small for the size of the Wasatch Front & Back. Here's my reasoning.

Too few breweries participate: Utah breweries are great, but the number of participating breweries can't possibly meet the publics demand unless each brewery triples or Quadruples their ability to serve.

Bring in out of state breweries: This would be nice and many out of state breweries would love to participate, but none are willing to endure the cost of bringing in thousands and thousands of bottles, when kegs are their preferred option. which they're not allowed to do by Utah Law.

Real estate: Washington Square was a full city block and it was never utilized. The Gallivan Center is much smaller and all of it will be utilized. This may cause more crowding and line problems if the numbers of tickets aren't greatly reduced.

The Number of Days: This in my opinion is the real key to making this a success. A two or three day festival would greatly reduces the burden on all parties involved. Brewers wouldn't need to increase their resources, crowd size could be limited and organizers could still make their bottom lines. Most everyone would be happy.

I've always had a great time at the UBF. I'd love to see it become life long tradition. What are your thought, anything I missed?

Cheers!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sorry, Everyone

I'm sad to say, that after 34 days I'm pulling the plug on the 2012 Utah Beer Challenge. I apologize to RedRock, Desert Edge and their crews for cancelling the challenge at the eleventh hour, but knowing these guys as well I as I do, neither camp would want to be associated with a tainted win.

Personally, this really blows. It's not like this is the equivalent of digging ditches, but it did eat up a lot of personal time and limited brain cells. As for the guy who screwed it up for everyone, thanks for the turd in the punchbowl.

Since I spent precious pillow time making awards, here are the winners certificates. Two great beer that deserved better. Please enjoy a UPA or an Elephino soon. They deserved to be here.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Cheaters Have Taken Over

I give up. I've just identified someone cheating on the Challenge. Within forty minutes a Linux operator from SLC using a Safari browser has completely fucked up the voting. Yes, I know who you are. I'll leave it to you. Should I kill this thing now? It's obvious I'm not capable of providing fair forum for this kind of fun to take place. It's your call.

The 2012 Mountain Brewers Festival

I was going to spend this time talking to you about the 2012 Mountain Brewers Festival, then I realized that there's really no need. If you've attended the annual event you know what it's all about and you've likely already made your plans and have made your reservation at the place that will shelter your hangover.

If for some strange reason you've missed one of my million posts on MBF, let me just say these four things. Approx 35 breweries, 140 different beers, less than 3 hours away & most importantly, no Utah bullshit! Yup, that right all that shit that pisses you off here, ain't happening in Idaho Falls. That right there is worth the price of admission.

Speaking of admission, tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the gate. Tickets will be available for purchase after April 20 at Bohemian Brewery, Rooster's Brewing & Uinta Brewing. This will get you access to unlimited 4 oz. pours from at least 35 breweries.

This is mostly a festival for western breweries, but look for offering from as far away as the eastern U.S., Germany and Belgium.

So save the date. June 2, 2012. Hope to see you there!

Cheers!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Finally the Finals!

In corner number one we have one of the "newer" kids on the block, RedRock's Elephino. It started as an Elephant but some prick of a layer got their panties in bunch over the pachyderm monicker, now we're stuck with the "ino".

"inos" aside, this one damn fine, juicy Double IPA. It has a nose full of juicy tropical fruits, grapefruit, nectarine and pineapple with a hint of dry pine. It's no surprise that this 500ml beauty is sitting pretty in the finals.

In corner number two there sits a long time favorite, Desert Edge's Utah Pale Ale. For a low gravity beer this American Pale Ale is packed full of flavor. Cascade lovers are never disappointed with this one and when it's offered on cask, it takes UPA to new level..

The nose has a big citrus and pine perfume. The tatste starts with slight bitters of citrus zest then transformed to light biscut malts. The end is bitter and bready with a light crisp and dry finish.

Voting has been enthusiastic to say the least and I'm glad that you've all appreciated this little diversion that helps to break up the more mundane parts of our days. That being said, let's not ruin or taint the finish. We all have multiple devices that allow us to vote, please use them, it would be stupid not to. As your dad would say, "just use your head". Here is the bracket.

Congrats to Elephino & UPA

Yup. I said, "Taint".

Friday, April 13, 2012

New Beer Friday 4/13/12

Last week it was the Belgians. This week the Dutch attack along with Michigan. Michigan? Yeah, I guess it was bound to happen. Anyway, Bayou Mark managed to score four new beers from Brouwerij De Molen and added to their portfolio of Jolly Pumpkin sours.

De Molen Hemel & Aard: Translation: Heaven & Earth. Almost pitch black and opaque, small head. Furiously peated aroma, hiding the malt, licorice and dark chocolate somewhat. Very full bodied, thick mouthfeel, like fluid bread. Dark chocolate, loads of peat, lapsang souchong tea, chocolate cake, culminating in an almost endless aftertaste that also has licorice. Style Imperial Stout 9.5% abv.

De Molen Rook & Vuur: Translation - Smoke & Fire. No smoke without a fire goes an old saying. The result is this perfectly balanced beer with hints of smoke and an small fire on you tongue. Style: Smoke 8.2% abv

De Molen Amarillo: This beer got it's name from the American hop, one of the best hop varieties in the world Amarillo are a powerful hop in aroma, flavour and bitterness. Not a beer to drink as a session beer but one to enjoy. Style-Imperial/Double IPA 9.2% abv

De Molen Storm & Aneji: An Imperial/Double IPA: A hazy golden-orange colour with a rich firm white foam. Big fruity hop aroma with a little yeastiness of orange-peels, mango,pine-needles, peaches, hay and wet grass. Full-bodied with notes of yeast, blood oranges, mango, biscuits and orange-peels. Long orangey, juicy, bitter finish with touches of yeast and pine. Dry hopped with Czech hops.

Jolly Pumpkin Maracaibo Especial:
A rich brown ale inspired by the enigmatic monastic brews of Belgium, and the mysterious mist shrouded jungles of the tropics. Brewed with real cacao, and spiced with cinnamon and sweet orange peel for a sensual delight. A brew to be sipped, savored, and enjoyed!

Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca: Aged in large oak casks and refermented in the bottle, Calabaza Blanca is a Belgian Biere Blanche. Spiced with orange peel and coriander, you'll find it refreshingly tart, with a wonderfully dry finish.

There may be more added to this list later on in the day, so be sure to check back.

It looks like it's down to two pale ales in the Utah Beer Challenge. UPA vs. Eliphino. Watching the voting I can't say, everything was as ethical as we all would have liked but the voting was enthusiastic to say the least. Here are the brackets for the finals. They will begin on Monday morning and go 'till the end of the day Thursday.

Realize this is all for fun, but we'd still like to here your comments on the Challenge, both pros and cons.

Cheers!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Utah Beer Challenge: Final Four

Four beers. That's all we have left. One Double IPA, a Wild Saison, a Black Imperial IPA and a good old American Session Pale Ale. Personally, watching the Squatters sour showdown was bittersweet. How do you choose between two beloved children? And the battle for the Dark side, between Dubhe and Barrel of Russians really kept things interesting. Whatever the out come the finals will definitely be diverse. Voting is in the column to the right.

Updated Bracket is here.

Cheers!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Beer Lovers Mimosa

Epic's award winning Witbier returns this today. And if that wasn't enough, starting today (April 10th) the brewery will be offering a brewery only special. A Blood Orange Wit. If your not able to get to the brewery to try it, Brewmaster Kevin Crompton will be doing another blood orange Wit in a cask that will be making it's way to the Mountain Brewers Festival in Idaho Falls, June 2nd. Sounds like my kind of Mimosa!

There's only a few more hours left to vote on Utah's Elite 8 beers. Tomorrow morning, we go straight to the final four, with the final beginning next Monday. Brackets are here.

Cheers!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Roosters Plans to Bottle

It seems like the logical step. Build a following with your beer, create a demand, then find a more practical way to get those beers home. Many Brewpubs in Utah are already doing it and many more intend to follow. But today is Roosters' day and we're glad to hear their beers will be busting out of the brewpub.

No idea yet if their beers will be only be 4% or if they plan any higher gravity beers. In the coming months we'll be giving you updates to their progress. As for now, Congrats to roosters! We look forward to to bringing your suds home.

What packaging would you prefer to see Rooster use bottles? cans? We've thrown up an extra poll in the column to the right to see what you as consumers would rather have.

The Elite 8 voting is underway. It goes 'till 11:59 pm Tues. Then we immediately go to the final Four Beers on Wednesday morning. Brackets are here.

Cheers!

Friday, April 06, 2012

New Beer Friday 4/6/12

New Beer Friday has some real treats for you this week. Bayou Mark has obtained two fabulous Belgian treats that'll make you squeal like Kent... well, like Kent squealing over new Belgian beers.

Omer Beer: Pours a bright golden yellow color with two fingers of white creamy head. The nose is of Belgian yeast, hints of citrus, bready notes and some grassy hops. The taste starts malty and bready with some yeast flavors. There is some grassy bitterness underlying the malt. Next comes a touch of alcohol sweetness that transitions into lightly sweet, malt and fades into a light bitterness that eventually turns dry and disappears. @Bayou

DeuS(Brut Des Flandres): The bottle presentation is beautiful. Pours a clear pale straw color with a white champagne-esque head that settles to larger bubbles. The nose is of light golden fruit with apple, pear, grape, slight citrus and bread. The taste starts with notes of fruity sweetness, spices, funk and yeast with hints of white grapes and pear. The finish is slightly phenolic with pleasant malty flavors in the background. The complexities are more pronounced the warmer it gets. @Bayou

Gordon Biersch beers are in at the Beerhive as well. Marzen, Maibock, Pils. Round Three is done! Check out the updated bracket here. Next week the Elite Eight voting will be on Monday & Tuesday and the Final Four, on Wednesday & Thursday Cheers!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Please Stop Cheating!

Just a quick heads up in regards to the Utah Beer Challenge voting. We do have the ability to identify IP address to see where vote stacking is coming from. This is all for fun, but let's not be dicks about it. Agreed?

A Zoigl Birthday Bier!

Believe it or not, our favorite lagering house, the Bohemian Brewery is ten years old this month. To celebrate, the brewery has some limited Edition 10 year Bohemian Brewery Pint Glasses and of course, a special new seasonal offering for the Occasion!

Bohemian's newest seasonal is an obscure traditional lager that hails from a small area of northeastern Bavaria near the Czech Republic, known as Zoigl Bier.

For centuries, Zoigl was brewed in brewhouses owned by the town or an association of homebrewers. The wort was then brought to the private cellars of the brewers, where it was lagered until done. Then the beer was tapped directly from the lagering tank and sold in the private rooms of the brewery, which were used as a pub.

While Bohemian's Zoigl isn't a collaborative Homebrew it does pay homage to it's nearly 700 year old roots. Zoigl is unfiltered, brewed with highly kilned malt, which gives the beer a slightly darker, deep amber, color and malty taste. Zoigl is also brewed with noble hops from the Hallertau region of Bavaria.

This is a limited release. I doubt it will make it to the end of April. It's available right now, only at the brewery in Midvale.

Prost!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Round Three - Part Two

Looks like Latter Day Stout managed to rally at the last minute to pull out a win over Cherny Bock. The second part of round three has two of the best pale ales going against each other while two of the states most highly rated beers enter the arena sooner than many had hoped.

Any predictions or observations?

Updated Bracket Here.

Cheers!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Utah Beer Challenge's Sweet16

Round Three begins now! This first part looks like it's gunna get dark with Cherny Bock & Latter Day Stout going head to head. I also know the Cockeyed Cooper/Elphino match-up is going to scar many hearts as well.

If you haven't checked out the brackets yet, here's how it's shaping up so far.

Cheers!