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Friday, January 30, 2015

New Beer Friday 1/30/15

It looks like Sockeye Brewing will dominate this New Beer Friday. These guys have been a staple in Boise for many years. They busting into the Utah market with six beers from their "Natives" Line. Coming soon a session ale that will be available in cans at grocery stores and on tap in select locations. I know the Beer Bar is stock these today, They will be popping up all over town in the coming days and weeks.

Sockeye Woolybugger Wheat - Pours a hazy straw/amber color with nice fluffy white head. The nose is bready wheat with a hint of tartness. The taste starts with wheat crackers and a bit of yeast. Lemon notes come next adding mild twang. Finishes light and mildly dry. This is nice drinking wheat ale, not too out of the box, but enjoyable. 5.0% ABV @ Beer Bar

Sockeye Galena Gold Sockeye Galena Gold - Pours a clear yellow/amber color. The nose is bready with some grass and orange peel. The taste starts with some dry biscuit and caramel. Herbal hops come in next and soon transition into some minor citrus notes. The end is slightly bitter and grassy.
This is a really nice drinking golden. A pleasant surprise. 5.9% ABV @ Beer Bar

Sockeye Hell-Diver Pale Ale - Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a good amount of foam cap. The nose is malty with a bit of dry biscuit with citrus hops lingering in the back. The taste starts with more biscuit and some rich caramel flavors. Grass and pine notes come next adding nice a balance to the malt. Citrus peel comes next on the back of the tongue, drying out the the end. Nice straight forward drinking pale ale. 5.0% ABV

Sockeye Dagger Falls IPA - Pours a hazy amber orange color with some nice dense foam. The nose is bright with grapefruit, tangerine, and pine The taste starts nice and grapefruity. There's a lot of citrus and tropical flavors going on here. Some earthy malts come next adding to the complexity. The end has nice floral/pine notes that leave you wanting more. The finish is dry and lingering. This is a damn fine beer. It has everything you want from an American style IPA. 6.5% ABV

Sockeye Power House Porter - It has a great nose full of coffee and cocoa aromas with a hint of dark fruit in the back. The taste starts with nice roasted malts and bitter chocolate. Coffee flavors come next adding a slight acidic character. Creamy "Whopper" malt flavor providing balance and body. Mild dark fruit rounds out the back end.A solid porter, very enjoyable. 5.7% ABV

Sam Adams Cold Snap - Pours a hazy, golden/honey color. The nose has sweet citrus notes with a slight spiciness. The taste starts bready and sweet. Orange peel comes next with nice yeast spices adding a bit of depth. The end has more citrus notes with a nice peppery character. Finishes grassy and clean. A nice surprise! 5.3% ABV @ DABC

Boulevard Pop-Up Session IPA - I haven't had a chance to try this one yet. It's described as having an assertive hop flavor and aroma while maintaining a thirst-quenching drinkability by balancing the bitterness with a slight caramel malt character. A blend of our base pale, Marris Otter, and amber malts creates a simple, yet adequate malt backbone that allows Mosaic, Cascade, Amarillo, Citra, and Centennial hops to shine with bright, fruity, citrus notes. At 4.3% ABV and 41 IBUs, Pop-Up I.P.A. is a full flavored beer that’s suitable for all-day drinking.

Ninkasi Expo 58 - Golden straw in color with a bit of haze. The nose has some nice spicy clove Belgian yeast notes with nice grassy hops. The taste has a bit of toasted grain up front. Clove and honey come next with a huge spicy/grassy hop punch in the end. Finishes crisp and dry with lingering yeast and hops. Probably not for everyone, but I found enjoyable. 5.0% ABV

Vernal Chocolate Raspberry Stout
- Have not Tried this one either. Please share your thoughts.

Roosters Imperial Stout - For an Imperial Stout the nose is a bit subdued. Grainy and slight roasty with a bit of cola. The taste starts with roasted malts, sweet chocolate and some dark fruits. Vanilla and cola come next with a slight chocolate finish. At 9% ABV it's on the low side for style. Could use a bit more malt character. Not too bad for the first batch. @ Roosters locations and Beerhive

Wasatch Polygamy Nitro Porter - A hard pour produced a nice foamy nitro cap that contrasts well against the ebony body of the beer. Chocolate and black coffee dominate with caramel, raisin and fig. The taste is much sweeter than the standard Polygamy Porter. Mostly chocolate and vanilla up front with nice raisin and espresso notes rounding it out. The finish is light creamy. This is a nice beer. But it's not very porter-like. Had I not known I'd swear this was a Milk Stout. Very Drinkable. 5.5% ABV @ The Beer Store, Squatters/Wasatch location and DABC soon

The Annex Schwartzbier is all gussied up with lots of Coconut for the Annex's End of the Firkin Work Week Firkin. It's described as being like an Almond Joy. 4.0% ABV Tapping is at 4pm.

Also the Annex has on a fresh batch of Berlinerweis along with a killer single hopped, Amarillo Golden Ale.

Whew! is that enough for you?


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Polygamy Nitro Porter in Bottles

Nitrogen and Irish stouts have always seemed to go hand in hand. Draft offerings are always readily available and nitrogen conditioned bottled and canned beer have been around for consumers for quite some time. Nitrogen isn't a naturally occurring gas in beer so it doesn't absorb into the liquid as easily as carbon dioxide does.

So breweries have had to get creative in order to effectively deliver the gas into the beer. Back in the sixties Guinness patented a delivery system called a "widget" to get the nitrogen into their bottles and cans. Basically they use a plastic gas filled ball that ruptures when the container is opened releasing the gas into the beer. It's not the most cost effective way to get it done but it works quite well.

Ever since the widget's inception breweries have been trying to come up with a way to effectively deliver nitrogen into into a bottle or can without the floating plastic balls. Left Hand Brewing out of Longmont, Co. was the first to perfect and go to market with a non widget nitro beer. Now that the technology is available we'll probably start to see more and more nitrogen beers hitting store shelves.

Wasatch's Polygamy Porter has been a staple in Utah for well over a decade. Until recently it was only conditioned with CO2 gas. Over the last year or so, Wasatch has been offering it on nitro taps for their various accounts. It's proven to be a big hit. Now Polygamy Porter is getting the full nitro treatment and an ABV boost in Wasatch's new beer Polygamy Nitro Porter. This Polygamy Porter is slightly different coming in at 5.5% ABV.

This beer was just bottled so I have no tasting notes on it yet. The original Polygamy Porter will still remain, there are no plans to change anything to it's original recipe. It's for sale at the UBC's Beer Store today.

Also available today is Rooster's Iron Rooster Imperial Stout. For now it's for sale at both Ogden and Layton Roosters locations.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The 2015 Legislature Begins

Well, It's legislation time time again. It's that wonderful time of year when people who don't know you try impose their values onto you. Now don't get me wrong many good things come out the legislative session every year, but what we tend to focus on here at the Utah Beer Blog is how the people who are making the laws affect our ability to live in a more prosperous adult oriented pro-alcohol culture.

So over the next 45 days or so we will attempt to keep you up to date on all of the relevant beer and alcohol related issues that may affect the way you enjoy and live your lives. With the departure of John Valentine (the main alcohol opponent) from the Utah State Senate, many feel this is the time for great change. My experience spending time in those Business and Labor Interim Committee meetings tells me there will be no significant loosening of beer/alcohol related laws this session. Any real change is going to take at least a year or two of examination before it will come close to being heard in committee. However, some tweaking may come around this session in regards to the Zion Curtain or "Beer Burka" as we're fond of calling it here. But who knows? They've surprised us before.

In any regard stay close and please participate in the process. Help spread the word if you come across anything positive or controversial so we can support or defend our beer releated interests.

As of Today Rep. Curtis Oda has filed HB0016 a bill to clarify special event permits. Remember that whole Snowbird Oktoberfest fiasco? And Rep. Steve Eliason has put forth HB0048 a bill that would outlaw powdered alcohol from being sold in the state.

If these are of concern to you, now is the time to get on your Representative or Senator and start rattling their chains. Now go forth and do Thor's work!


Cartoon Courtesy: Pat Bagley

Monday, January 26, 2015

Remembering Kyle Trammel

Sad news this morning. Our friend Kyle Trammel who had gone missing this time last week, was found dead Thursday night in a remote area near Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada. According to South Salt Lake police a passer by saw his black 2007 Subaru Legacy late at night and called it in to the White Pine County, Nev., Sheriff's Office. Kyle was located the next morning, police don't believe foul play was a factor. 

Kyle is a local guy who got into craft beer early in his life, working at the Beer Nut for many years before moving on to professional brewing jobs at RedRock and Bohemian Breweries. After years of learning the brewing trade here in Utah, Kyle made a move to Victoria, Australia where he took on the job as head brewer at Southern Bay Brewing located on the southern most tip of the continent. After nearly a year of making beer in Victoria, a new opportunity brought Kyle back to the states, to oversee and advise in the creation of Salt lake City's Beer Bar. His knowledge brought high standards and opened up a new pipeline for northwestern beer coming into the state. After Kyle's contract with the Beer Bar ended he started up his Beer Consulting business which aimed at helping bars, restaurants and start-up breweries become more beer proficient in regards to how they presented and sold beer. His next gig came soon after - helping to lay the groundwork for Ogden's first craft beer bar, the Barrelhouse. He was still under contract there until his disappearance.

This is a tiny representation of the guy I knew, there are many pages to be written in his book, I'm glad I have the honor to contribute a few paragraphs. This is all quite senseless. This is a  tragedy that didn't need to happen. Looking at the outpouring of concern from various broadcast and social media outlets, Kyle had far too many close friends and family members to confide in. If suicide is on your mind, perceived embarrassment or weakness should not be preventing you from getting help. Had one person known of Kyle's state of mind days before, this tragedy may have never occurred. 

Check back here or the various social media platforms for remembrance gatherings and interment.


Photo Credit: (right) SLUG Magazine and Chad Kirkland - (Probably my favorite photo of Kyle)

Friday, January 23, 2015

New Beer Friday 1/23/15

January has been brutally slow in the local beer world, but we've managed to put together a nice list of local options to help get the weekend started. Sadly, I've been "on the wagon" for most of the month so many of these beers, I have not tried. I have had a few from previous tastings, but those I've not tried are prefaced with "described as", these are the descriptions of the beer's producers.  

Bonneville Port Matcher Porter - Described as having sweet caramel malts and chocolate malt work together to give this dark English ale notes of bread, toffee and a hint of raisin. 4.0% ABV @ Bonneville, All Star Lanes and places with Bonneville seasonal handles.

Wasatch Rescue Dog American Brown Ale - Couldn't find any tasting notes on this one. If you've had it, please share your thoughts. 4.0% ABV @ Wasatch locations and where Wasatch has seasonal taps.

Alameda Barn Owl Imperial Brown - Is described as being brewed in the style of southern English brown ale, only much stronger (7.9% ABV). A myriad of specialty malts impart a smooth, layered flavor with notes of chocolate, caramel, and biscuit shining through. The perfect beer to celebrate the beginning of spring. @ Slackwater

New Belgium Yuzu Imperial Berliner Weisse - Pours a hazy, orange straw color with a small to moderate head. The nose is yeasty with Apple and Chardonnay. The taste is mostly yeast with some tart vine berries. Not as sour as I was hoping for. A bit more tartness would have made the fruit really shine. Yeast notes come next with a hint of floral hops. Somewhat dry finish. 8.0% ABV

Payette Pale Ale - Pours a semi-hazy amber/orange with a bright frothy head. The nose is floral with grapefruit and lemongrass notes. Malty notes way in the back. The taste is typical of a pale ale: graham cracker sweetness followed by floral and citrus hops. Finishes moderately dry. It's not a brilliant pale ale by any means, try Payettes's Rodeo Rye instead. 4.8% @ Slackwater

Payette North Fork Lager - Pours a very clear golden straw color with an average amount of head. The nose has herbal hops with a bit of toasty malt in the back. The taste starts with toasty crackers then transitions to herbal and grassy Euro hops. The hop bitterness is a little more subdued than I prefer in a lager but it's crisp and refreshing non the less. Still, it finishes with a nice lingering dryness. 4.4% ABV @ Slackwater

Returning Favorires

Uinta Tinder Rauchbier
Bohemian Grätzer
Avenues Proper Ro-Rye

Just in case your not aware Kyle Tremmel, Beer Consultant and former local brewer has suddenly disappeared and gone off the grid. Kyle is known for helping to get the Beer Bar off the ground and is currently contracted with Ogden's Barrelhouse as their Beer Consultant. Kyle failed to show up for work at the Barrelhouse earlier this week and has deactivated his mobile phone and suspended all of his social media accounts. This move is out of character for him, his family and we his friends are understandably concerned for his well being. There's a chance he may have left for the the North West. Kyle drives a black Subaru Legacy with the plate number X473CU. Any info should be directed to South Salt Lake Police 1-801-412-3600.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Vernal Imperial Stout and IPA

Back in 2011 when we first became aware of Vernal Brewing Co.'s plans to bring locally made craft brews to Eastern Utah, the owners always stated that they intended to package their beer for wider state distribution. Well, it looks like they're about to make good on that promise. I've received information that two new bottled beers are on coming on the horizon.

Vernal Brewing Imperial Stout and Vernal Brewing 50 Caliber IPA are in the planning stages and should be headed our way in the next few months. These are are both brewed to style ales (high point) and will be available at DABC stores in the coming months. We'll keep you up to date as to when they're going to be available.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Iron Rooster Imperial Stout

You'd be surprised how popular Imperial Stouts have become over the last few years. Most of the local breweries that produce them can hardly keep them on the shelves and many of those are coveted across the country.

Roosters Brewing is now throwing their hat into the local "Impy Game" with the creation of their up and coming, Iron Rooster Imperial Stout. No idea yet on the specifics of this high alcohol bomb because it's currently in the fermenters. Look for a beer full of huge roasted, chocolate and burnt malt flavors with an ABV well over 8%. We'll keep you up to date on it's release. Love the artwork for the label.


Friday, January 09, 2015

New Beer Friday 1/9/15

Thanks for hanging in there during this slow time of the year, things look to be gathering momentum in the coming weeks. Look for a lot of changes in the coming months!

Ninkasi Expo58 - Pours a crystal clear straw yellow color with a fizzy cap of foam. The nose has some slight spicy yeast esters with a bit of floral hops. The flavor starts with malty with a bit of wood dryness. A bit of clove comes next with a hint of sulfur. The end has some floral and spicy hops notes. The finish is dry and light. 5.0% ABV
The Annex Kettle Sour IPA -  Pours a somewhat hazy apricot color with a thin to moderate amount of foam. Citrus and floral hops dominate the nose with a bit of sour dryness beneath. Look for sour green apples on the tongue with a bit of flowery bitterness and resiny citrus peel slightly underneath. The beer is not overwhelming sour, but there is some puckering. 4.0% ABV @ The Annex

Wasatch Brewmaster Special: Gose - Haven't tried this one yet. Look for lemony tartness with a light to moderate sodium finish. I believe this is the first beer produced on premises in the brewpubs's pilot system. 4.0% ABV @ Wasatch Brewpub in Sugarhouse 

Hive Rhubarb Wine -  It's described as having a slightly sweet nose capturing the essence of berries and floral notes. However, don’t let the nose fool you, this wine is unexpectedly dry with only a hint of sweetness which complements the berry notes in the wine. A soft and smooth wine with a slight tartness and subtle spice on the finish. Only 140 bottles produced.

The Annex's "Middle of the Firkin Wirkin' Week" firkin tapping has moved back to Fridays. So now I guess it's "End of the Firkin Wirkin' Week" Firkin? Today's offering will be their Bavarian Hefe with Lemon and Lime zest. I believe the tapping is at 4pm. 4.0% ABV

Returning Favorites
Desert Edge's Powdershot Porter and Desert Hell Helles 4.0% ABV

And congratulations go out to Salt Lake City's Beer Bar for making it into Draft Magazine's Top 100 Beer Bars issue. The feature's photo shows co-owner Richard Noel and praises Beer Bar's dedication to innovation, proper glassware and temperature specific storage. Prost, Beer Bar!


Thursday, January 08, 2015

The Annex Sour IPA

Sour IPAs are one of those weird hybrid beer styles that should not work. One of the basic characteristics of a proper IPA is the caramel malt profile that provides a base for the resinous hops to build upon. Sour beers tend to shine best when you get that unripened tart fruitiness that you can feel deep within the jaw.

So whenever you cross styles like this one of the most important things to look for is balance and respecting the individual styles represented. It's not always easy to create a beer that can properly represent both styles equaly, but when it works it can be a thing of beauty.

The kids over at the Annex have done just that. They somehow managed to create a sour IPA that marries the best of both worlds. This new creation pours a somewhat hazy apricot color with a thin to moderate amount of foam. Citrus and floral hops dominate the nose with a bit of sour dryness beneath. Look for sour green apples on the tongue with a bit of flowery bitterness and resiny citrus peel slightly underneath. The beer is not overwhelming sour, but there is some puckering. A refreshing and bold way to start-off 2015. 4.0% This only at the Annex right now, it may end up at bars with an Annex seasonal handle.


Friday, January 02, 2015

New Beer Friday 1/2/15

Bohemian Kölsch - The Kölsch style of beer is an ale/lager hybrid originating from the city of Köln (Cologne), Germany. It's basically fermented warm like an ale then lagered or (cold conditioned) for a couple of weeks to give it that bright/clean taste. The Bohemian take on this beer is brewed with specialty Köln malt and Hallertau hops and a yeast unique to this style. The result is a beer with subtle fruit esters and a clean malty finish. It's filtered for a brilliant golden blonde presentation and served in a traditional .3 liter "Stange" glass. Available at BOHO for a limited time. 4.0% ABV

Hoptah Session IPA - "brewed with large amounts of Citra, Centennial, and Chinook hops, this lower-alcohol IPA doesn’t sacrifice any flavor. A full body and slight caramel sweetness balance the pleasant, resinous hop bitterness". 3.9% ABV @ grocery/convenience stores

FYI: Fore the next four months Uinta's Brew House Pub will be closed for remodeling. Look for a bigger and better space sometime this spring. The retail/beer store will still be open. A new shop is being finished as we speak. You'll be able to buy most bottled and canned options. Sadly no growler fills will be availble durring the remodeling. We'll keep you informed as to the pubs re-launch as it's time gets closer.