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Monday, October 31, 2016

Utah's 3.2 Beer Going, Going, Gone?

Last October I came across a story out of Oklahoma in regards to that state's plans to get rid of their "3.2" beer law. I thought this was very interest news considering how closely our [Utah's] liquor laws have mirrored one and other over the years.

Basically Oklahoma wants to do away 3.2 beer and according to recent polls, it looks like this will be  happening when the Oklahoma legislature meets next month. Right now there are five state that have some sort of 3.2 beer law on their books: Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and Minnesota. Oklahoma is the largest consumer of 3.2 beer with Utah a close second. Colorado [third] is looking to do away 3.2 beer in 2009.

So what does that do to Utah's beer landscape? If these three largest consumers of 3.2 decide to do away with the low point beers, will it be cost effective for the big breweries to keep making it? Apparently that question is already on the minds of some Utah law makers.

State Sen. Karen Mayne [D] has been approached by interested parties [distributors, manufacturers, etc] about revising the definition of beer under Utah liquor laws in response to Oklahoma's beer vote. She said she believes some kind of a policy change is necessary, which could include moving high-point beers to grocery stores and convenience stores.

If the large brewers drop 3.2 beer and Utah doesn't revise its definition, consumers could see a dramatic decrease in beer selection in convenience stores and grocery stores. This could be a boom for local beer makers that are currently making oceans of low point beers already. Alternatively, state-run liquor stores could be forced to absorb an extra consumer base they're not prepared for (heavy beer accounts for only 20 percent of sales, according to the DABC).

Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, who has been tasked by the Republican majority with overseeing liquor laws, told FOX 13 News the earliest the Utah State Legislature could look at it would be 2018 -- after observing the timeline of Oklahoma's beer vote, presuming it passes.

Now this doesn't mean that "skies the limit" in regards to grocery store beers. My guess is that you'd be looking at beers in 5.0% - 6.0% range. We also have to be prepared for the eventual loss of current drinking liberties that we now enjoy. that loss will likely be a big one in my opinion.

So, what do you think?

Image Courtesy: Pat Bagley
Source: Fox13now.com

Friday, October 28, 2016

New Beer Friday 10/28/16

I thought there was going to be a New Beer Friday drought this week then I came across all of these with help from many of y'all.

The Infinite Monkey Theorem's Dry Hopped Pear Cider - If your expecting pear, you're in for a let down. Mostly tart apple here with big hops in the nose. Hops are very subtle on the tongue. Nice cider, terrible Perry (pear cider). 5.6% ABV @Beer Bar, DABC

Oskar Blues Pinner Passion Fruit -Not tried this one yet. It's described as having clean malts, with hints of toasted biscuit pair with zesty hops to spice up the taste and aromas from pureed Passion Fruit and a small spike of pureed Blood Orange. 4.9% ABV @DABC

Desert Edge Dubbel Trubbel Abbey Ale -Not tried this one yet. It's described as a sessionized version of a Belgian Dubbel. 4.0% ABV. @Desert Edge

Desert Edge Latter Day Stout on cask with chocolate and vanilla bean - This sounds delish! 4.0% ABV. @ Desert Edge

Stone/Arrogant Double Bastard in the Rye - The nose is hoppy, malty, with some citrus/pine notes, some very nice whiskey/rye notes. The taste is very nice, hoppy, malty, with some very nice sweetness, nice touch of citrus/pine notes, nice whiskey/rye notes, bitter. Full body. A complex brew, with a very nice dry/bitter finish, definitely a sipper. 12.7% ABV. @Beerhive


Friday, October 21, 2016

New Beer Friday! 10/21/16

As I'm coming of a week of doctor ordered sobriety, I haven't had a chance to try many of this week's beers. That sucks because there is a shload of beers out there. The plus side? It should make for a great weekend. We have a full plate, so let's get to it!
Proper  Idaho Pale Ale - Brewed with pale and Munich malts grown and malted in Idaho, as well as a brand new varietal Idaho 7 hops, this ale truly does justice to our northern neighbors. It's a perfect pale ale with notes of stone fruit and citrus over a crackery malt base. 4.0% ABV @ProperBrewing
Uinta  Bourbon Barrel Stout - A barrel blended American Stout fusing notes of roasted coffee and cacao nibs with an earthy bitterness provided by Willamette and Chinook hops that balance the finish.7.0% ABV
Uinta Croggy Brett Saison - This beer is described as being brewed with a hefty dose of mosaic hops, un-malted wheat, and rolled oats. Croggy possesses a tropical fruit character and snappy aroma that partners perfectly with the crisp, dry tartness of the Brettanomyces yeast. Available tomorrow at the Uintabrewpub and shipping out to Uinta's distribution footprint soon!

Talisman Session IPA - There's a very small batch of this new session IPA dry hopped with Mosaic available in the beer store for growler fills only until it runs out! 4.0% ABV @Talisman

Talisman Nut Brown - This beer was released yesterday under Talisman's seasonal label. Double check before buying as their Blood Orange is also still for sale under the same label. 4.0% ABV @Talisman 
Samuel Adams Nitro White Ale - This beer is described as being white capped and lively – the frothy white head of this distinctive nitro brew softly cascades into bright gold. The first sip reveals a smooth velvety taste with a light wheat character and hints of orange while an undercurrent of peppery spice adds a bright finish. 5.5% ABV @DABC,

Lagunitas 12th of Never - This isn't exactly new - it's a blend of Old and New School hops that play bright citrus, rich coconut, and papaya-esque flavors, all on a solid stage of English puffed wheat. Tropically hoppy. Light, yet full-bodied. Bright and citrusy. The 12th of Never Ale is everything we’ve learned about making hop-forward beer expressed in a moderate voice. Pale, cold, slightly alcoholic and bitter. 5.5% ABV @ DABC, Beer Bar, Bayou

Anderson Valley Barney Dry Stout - This a a new version of Anderson Valley's classic Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout. This one dials-in at 4.0%. Tastes of freshly baked bread, espresso, and dried cherries meld seamlessly with rich toffee flavors and a creamy mouth feel. Beer Bar has this on draft right now and it's popping up in some grocery stores as we speak.

Payette Blood Orange Rustler IPA - haven't tried this one yet, hopefully this afternoon! Described as having pithy orange flavors with some vague floral hops in the end. 6.2% ABV @Bayou

Sockeye Fred's Raging Red  - Not tried this one. This lager is described as having aromas of caramel malts, some hops - taste is like a red IPA, or red hoppy pilsner. A nice blend of hops and sweet caramel malts.6.5% ABV @Bayou

Crabbie's Ginger Beer - Not tried this one yet. 4.8% ABV @Bayou

We'll try to get a little more in depth with some of these this afternoon with Mick and Allen on KBER 101 at 3:30pm. Please tune in. 


Thursday, October 20, 2016

New Brewery Coming to Ogden

Hey, Ogden readers! Remember that old, west side Purina Dog Chow Plant that went bu-bye earlier this year? Well, a portion of that property was recently transfered to an LLC called the MacBeer Group which plans to develop the site into a 10,000 square-foot brewery and distribution center.

MacBeer plans to invest between $1 million and $1.3 million into the new development which is set to include a bicycle shop and a deli. The RDA agreement also stipulates that construction on the brewery must be finished by the end of April 2018.

I've been scouring the interwebs for info on MacBeer Group, LLC and have come up with bupkis. My guess is that MacBeer is very new and locally owned. If anyone has any info on who this new player is, I'm sure the rest of your fellow beer dorks here would love to hear the 411.

Even though this info is vague and incomplete, it's very interesting news, don't you think?

Keeping with the new brewery news, I have a Kiitos update. After months of paperwork and permit Hell, the west-side SLC brewery looks to be entering the final stages of construction and hopes to be online and brewing by the end of the year. For a refresher on what Kiitos is all about - here's a story I wrote for SLUG Magazine a few months ago.


Source: Ogden Standard Examiner
Photo: Mitch Shaw/Standard Examiner

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Uinta Releases Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout Today

I'm back. between the Great American Beer Festival, lack of news and my new bionic gut, I'm ready to get back to the serious news of Utah's beer culture. I've missed you too! Way back in June, I was happy to inform you about this brand new offering from Uinta. After spending many months in Heaven Hills Bourbon Barrels Uinta's Bourbon Barrel Stout finally here.

This is a barrel blended American Stout fusing notes of roasted coffee and cacao nibs with an earthy bitterness provided by Willamette and Chinook hops to balance the finish.

This beer is available starting today - Tuesday, October 18th at 11AM at Uinta's brewpub. It will start hitting the rest of the world in the coming days. This is a limited release beer so grab some now!


Image found at Shipcomplient.com

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Proper Brewing's Géol Barleywine

First off, Congratulations go out to our friends over at Wasatch Beers for bringing home a bronze medal for their Apricot Hefeweizen at the Great American beer Festival last weekend. That's no small feat now a days considering that this year's festival set a record breaking 7,227 competition entries. That's nearly 9% more than the 6,647 entries in 2015- surpassing all previous participation records from 1,752 breweries hailing from 50 states plus Washington, D.C. Cheers to everyone at the Utah Brewers Cooperative!

I got my hands on a preview of what's coming from SLC's Proper Brewing Co. This is your first peak at their upcoming holiday barleywine. Called Géol (old English for Yule), This beer will be a big malt driven winter warmer that will be full of toffee, tobacco and and dark fruit flavors. Look for the ABV to upwards of 9.5% and to hit Proper's bottleshop in the next couple of months. Who knows, maybe we'll be seeing this one in future GABF Competitions?.


Label found at Shipcomplient.com

Friday, October 07, 2016

New Beer Friday 10/7/16

It's the week of the Great American Beer Festival! Which means I'm suffering through this ocean of craft beer - Toiling! Just to bring you all, news of what great beerie things may be making it's way to our little Utah shaped corner of the universe. As I'm writing this from out of state, I'm assured the following yummy new beers are stocked and ready to go. If I missed anything please share the "beer love".

Please tune into KBER 101 at 3:30pm for my New Beer Friday and GABF reports. Also please follow me on Twitter (@utahbeer) to see how Utah's craft beers fare in the ultimate national competition.

One more thing. Keep a look out on the Utah Beer Facebook page for live drunken check-ins from the festival and various exclusive parties. My wife guarantees that I'll be an embarrassing gooey mess. Plus it'll be great blackmail ammo for all of you to use against me. Let's begin!

Let's begin!

2 Row Sour Saison - This beer was just bottled yesterday and I can't wait to try it! New Head Brewer, Clay Turnbow designed this This kettle sour beer made with a new saison base that features a a French saison yeast strain and is hopped with citrusy American hops. Look for that signature lemony tartness to back it up. 6.0% ABV @ @ Row's Bottleshop.

Robinson Brewing/Iron Maiden Trooper - Described as having caramel malt flavors and citric notes from a unique blend of Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hops dominate this deep golden ale with a subtle hint of lemon. 4.7% ABV @ Slackwater

RedRock Marvella - Peach and bubblegum dominate this Belgian style Tripel. This is the first real Tripel to come out of RedRock. (Reve is technically a wild ale).

Mother Earth Righteously Hopped Red - The malts have a nice berry fruitiness that plays well with the citrusy hops. Has a slight hoppy/nutty finish. 6.0% ABV @ BeerHive

Great Divide Claymore Scotch Ale - Big toffee malts with very little in the way of hop character. It all rounds out with very subtle smoke baking it all up. Medium to full body. Very tasty! 7.7% ABV @ Beerhive.


Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Epic's Big Bad Baptist - Hat Trick

Today we have pant loads of Big Bad Baptist to discuss. Not known for sitting on their laurels the kids at Epic have been busy over the past year creating two new incarnations of the most coveted of Utah beers.

First let's get into Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist. Hotbox Coffee Rosters out of Longmont Colorado has a unique process for some of their coffees in which they take their green coffee beans and age them in used spirit barrels. The bean soak up the aromas and flavors of their environment. If you put them in a used whiskey barrel, you’ll get notes of toffee, vanilla, oak, and campfire alongside the beans natural fruity and roasted flavors.

Epic selected Hotbox's single origin Ethopian Yirgacheffe for its bright blueberry and pomegranate flavors. It’s a major departure from the classic Columbian and Central American flavor profile Epic  normally selects for Big Bad Baptist. With the additional flavor contribution from the whiskey barrel and Hot Box’s carful roasting, the coffee comes to the forefront of the beer and really showcases the unique process.

Double Barrel Big Bad uses equally creative and maliciously crafted cacao nibs from Solstice Chocolate - a small artisan chocolate maker based out of Salt Lake City. They specialize in sourcing exotic, organically grown cacao from around the world. Each single origin cacao is roasted in house to bring out its inherent characteristics. I'll be sure to let you know when Dbl Barrel Big Bad hits SLC.

Next up is Big Bad Baptista. Inspired by traditional Mexican coffee, Café de Olla, which is served with cinnamon and piloncillo, an unrefined sugar. The Cinnamon adds another layer of complexity and accentuates the earthy character of Mexican Coffee, but more importantly, it captures the essence of a place and its culture. As beverage geeks we wanted to pay homage to that rich tradition and offer our unique take.

Big Bad Baptista is a combination of Vanilla, Cinnamon, Mexican coffee roasted by Blue Copper, and Solstice Chocolate cacao nibs. It’s luxurious to say the least, with a pleasant warming sensation generated by the cinnamon and alcohol. The interplay of chocolate, malt, oak, and spice make this beer perfect for the coming cold weather months. Stay close for news on this release.

You've probably already had a chance to get to know this year's release Big Bad Baptist. This incarnation features three coffee roasters, Blue Copper Coffee from Salt Lake City, Novo Coffee based in Denver, and Dark Horse Coffee out of San Diego. We’ve worked with each roaster to select a coffee blend that enhances the flavor profile of the Imperial Stout coming out of the cask.

From Blue Copper, Epic featured their Mexican & Guatemalan Blend as well as a batch with their El Salvador Blend.  We worked closely with the roasters at Blue Copper to fine tune these coffees to accentuate the fruity notes found in both the roasted barley and cacao nibs with hits of Bergamot, Cardamom, and under ripe stone fruit.

For the Novo Coffee Edition, they take their espresso blend, Ethiopia, Columbia, and Panama origins, just a little darker than normal to highlight rich notes of milk chocolate, caramel toffee, and blueberry which play wonderfully with the vanilla and toasted marshmallow flavors from the whiskey casks.

A new partner for Epic this season is Dark Horse Coffee from San Diego and they’re roasting some pronominal coffee. After tasting through their lineup Epic decided their “Best Friend Blend” was well suited to Big Bad Baptist. The blend is a combination of Guatemalan and Brazilian origins which offers a rich chocolate flavor and toasted nut aroma to the beer, similar to toffee or Christmas peanut brittle. 

Big Bad Baptist is on its way across the country now and will be appearing on shelves during October. Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist and Big Bad Baptista will follow shortly with releases in November. Be sure to look for 2016 Rare Release labels and don’t forget to grab an extra for the cellar.

Technically, I guess this means there's six new BBBs coming. Cool! 


Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Uinta Croggy Brett Saison and Jack Rabbit Gin Saison

Uinta's next Brett beer will soon be making it's way to shelves soon. Their Croggy Brett Saison will be a sour Brettanomyces based beer blended with a newly concocted Saison base beer. Croggy will dial in at 6.9% ABV and will be packaged in Uinta's corked and caged 750ml bottles.

That Saison is not going to be unique to the Croggy. That same beer is currently maturating right now in barrels of Beehive Distilling's Jack Rabbit Gin. The time in the barrel will amp the ABV up to 9.3 percent and will impart those juniper and pine notes that make Jack Rabbit so enjoyable. This beer will be packaged in standard 750ml bottles.

These beers is not too far off from their individual scheduled releases - but with all barrel aged beers, "they're done - when they're done". Stay close for those dates.