Monday, January 30, 2017

More New Beer Trailers - Wasatch and Uinta

Found some new stuff that'll be coming you way soon from a couple of our most long lived breweries - Uinta and Wasatch. For their 24th Birthday, Uinta will be producing a Sour Cherry Blonde Birthday Suit (above). This version will feature pant loads of sour Montmorency cherries that are as perfect for pie as they are in beer. Uinta's 24th Bithday Suit Usually hits in the first quarter of every year. 6.2% ABV

Uinta also has a Lime Pilsner coming our way soon. If you were paying attention to the draft handles at Uinta's Brewhouse Pub earlier in January, you may have got to sample a test batch of this summer time pils. The sample I had was lightly sweet and not too tart. this will likely not be the same as the finished product, but it is a good indicator of what their research team is developing. No info yet on it's draft or can release. 4.0% ABV

Wasatch's Session IPA that's made for Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort get the can treatment. Don't worry you'll still be able to get it on draft all over Snowbird, but if you can't make it up Little Cottonwood, you'll be able to find Snowbird Session IPA at the grocery store as well. Look for citrus and tropical notes in this one. This one is due in the coming weeks. 4.0% ABV.

Check back for these and other beer previews/releases.

Cheers!

Labels found at Shipcomplient.com

Friday, January 27, 2017

New Beer Friday 1/2717


I've found only one beer this week, and that's just fine with me! As soon as you've completed your weekly obligations, get out and enjoy a pint.

Proper Brewing Plum SkittleBrau - The crew at Proper took their popular SkittleBrau Saison and added 100% plum purée prior to fermentation. The result is described as a nice and dry ale that maintains that fresh fruit tartness that you've come to expect from the SkittleBrau series . 4.0% ABV. @Proper Brewing. 

Did you find anything, that I missed? Please share! This beer and more will be discussed today at 3:30pm when New Beer Friday on KBER 101 hits.

Cheers!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Final Call on the Zion Curtain

It looks like our old nemesis the Zion Curtain or as we like to say around here, the "Beer Burka" will likely be going the way of private clubs in 2017.  The bill, being proposed by Republican leaders in the House and Senate, would finally remove the architectural eyesores that prevent you and your impressionable children from seeing tantalizing drinks being made in Utah restaurants.

Now, before you get too excited - take into consideration that this is still Utah and that the "Utah Shuffle" (one step forward, two steps back) is still in effect. In order to get rid of this mistake that never should have been conceived of, we will have to entertain the following compromises.

•Increase training for servers in restaurants to prevent underage drinking, over-consumption and DUIs.
•Prohibit minors from being seated in an area around the bar.
•"Intent to dine," where customers must verbally state an intent to order food before being served alcohol would remain
•Maintain a requirement that at least 70 percent of a restaurant's sales be in food
•Liquor costs would go up. Right now, alcohol is sold at state-run stores at cost, plus an 86% markup. It will likely go up by one or two points.

Lawmakers claim that will generate some revenue to the state that will be used to pay for additional training. In my opinion more money could be generated by keeping the same 86% markup if the state decided to run the DABC as a legitimate business and not a anti-relgious burden imposed by Satan.

Of course, no legislation can become law without first being approved by Utah's true leaders on North Temple. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has repeatedly said it believes Utah liquor laws are fine how they are. However, they're comfortable with making these changes and the modernizing our liquor laws.

The Utah Restaurant Association said, "the devil is in the details" and it wants to see the bill, but believed the restaurant industry could comply with the terms of the deal. In an interview with Fox13 News - Melva Sine, the president of the Utah Restaurant Association said, "Based on we learned today in the overall aspect, those are things the industry can do,"

The bill is expected to be filed in the Utah State Legislature next week. Keep checking back for updates this and other alcohol related issue on Utah's Capitol during the Legislative session.

Cheers!

Source: Fox13 News
Image courtesy: Salt Lake Tribune

Friday, January 20, 2017

New Beer Friday - Happy Place Edition

This probably one of the best weekends to drown out all of the noise. Pop in your favorite 8-track, pour yourself some new beers and deal with the rest on Monday.

Strap Tank's New Hope Brown - Made with 50 lbs of 'Organa' Texas roasted pecans, cinnamon, orange peel and apricot. It's described as an uber crushable spiced-brown ale and Strap Tank's ode to a lifelong inspiration of Carrie Fisher, and new beginnings. 4.0% ABV @ Strap Tank

Proper's Snow Plow Pale - This American pale ale is described as both dry-hopped (think Citra and Lemondrop) and dry. . .peeled (meaning they added grapefruit and lemon peel after fermentation), resulting in a bright and hoppy brew that's chock full of midwinter citric joy. 4.0% ABVFull Sail Session Black ~ Black Cherry Lager - Not tried this yet. Thanks to Matt Walker for spotting this. 6.5% ABV @ DABC

Full Sail's Papaya IPA - Full Sail describes this as having notes of papaya with Pale and wheat malts along with healthy additions of Equinox and Cascade hops provide the perfect golden base for the addition of papaya. The result is a refreshing IPA with the subtle essence of papaya. Tropical aromas of citrus, passion fruit, and papaya are well complemented by clean malt notes. Thanks to Matt Walker for spotting this. 6.2% ABV @ DABC

Stone's Enjoy by 02/14/17 - Looks like an average IPA, smells like an IPA with a bit off coffee buried far below. The taste is mostly citrus and fruity hops with some cocoa and coffee. It kinda takes this into Black IPA territory - without the black. Not too bad,  but it's not in my groove. 9.4% ABV @ The BeerHive  

Stone's Ripper - The nose has grapefruit, orange, grass, peach and caramel. The taste has a good amount of sweet caramel and toasted bread, balanced with red grapefruit, orange flesh, a bit of apricot and pineapple, and dirty grass and pine on the finish. Not sure why it's called "Ripper". It's far from getting me ripped at it's pleasant 5.7% ABV. @ Beerhive

2Row's Dark Alley Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout - Looks like Utah has a new ABV beer champ. The standard Dark Alley from 2Row is already big at 13.4%, The barrel aging in this new version bumps it up to a bulky 14.9%. Luckily it doesn't taste like it. Look for molasses cocoa, dark fruits and of course Bourbon. Great beer! it goes on sale Saturday at 11am at the brewery. Very limited. This was brewed with the cooperation of SLC's Whiskey Street. Most of the bottles can be found there if you miss out at the brewery.

2Row's Hopslinger - This new IPA debuts Saturday also. Brewmaster, Brian Colman describes this one as an unfiltered massive 2x dry hop with a ton of tropical fruitiness. This one utilizes a different yeast than most of his IPAs. He also says, "it's similar to a New England style IPA flavor-wise with the mouthfeel of of a West Coast. It's a 2Row IPA - it's gotta be wonderful! 7.2% ABV @2Row

All this and more coming up today at 3:30pm when New Beer Friday on KBER 101 hits.

And, just a little House Keeping announcement. I've decided to delete the Utah Beer Forum. We created the forum back before social media really took hold. With the advent of Facebook and all the other social media outlets it's become obsolete. I really appreciate the efforts of those participated and made it work. Please feel free to keep on doing what you've already been doing... this time with your clothes on.

Slainte!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Melvin 2x4 Day

Melvin Brewing Company is throwing a party to celebrating 2x4, their Gold Winning - World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival,  North American Brewers Assosiation and Alpha King Championship Double IPA.  This is a damn fine IPA, it's well worth your time and deserving of having it's own party. It's a massive floral and citrus hop bomb that's crazy drinkable and highly sought after.

2x4 Day is the celebration of 2x4, 2x4 Man and drinking the best IPAs! Melvin Brewing has hand picked some of the best bars around the globe to help them celebrate this monumental day. Salt Lake City's Beerhive will be one of only 30 bars around the world participating in this celebration.

If you show up to the Beerhive on 2x4 day, you can expect great Melvin beers like:
Lambda IIIPA
Drunken Master IIPA, 
Asterisk IIPA, 
Citradamus IIPA
Hubert, MPA 
Melvin IPA 
and of course 2x4 

2x4 Day happens on February 4th, 2017 - There will also be free swag, music and of course Kung Fu!

If you can't be in SLC, here are some of the other bars/cities that will be celebrating 2x4 Day.

Wyoming: 
Tusker Bar
3310 Ridge Road, Cheyenne, Wy 82001
Thai Me Up (original home of Melvin Brewing)
75 E Pearl, Jackson, Wy 83001
The Keg & Cork
5371 Blackmore Rd., Casper, Wy 82609

Washington:
Elizabeth Station
1400 West Holly Street, Suite 100, Bellingham, Wa 98225
The Hop and Hound
10827 Circle Dr, Bothell, WA 98011
The Beer Junction
4511 California Ave. S.W., Seattle, Wa 98116
The Copper Hog Gastropub
1327 N State St, Bellingham, WA 98225
Special Brews
14608 Hwy 99, Ste 307, Lynnwood, WA 98087
Train Wreck Bar & Grill
427 E Fairhaven, Burlington, Wa 98233
The Last Drop
8016 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115
McKay’s Taphouse and Pizzeria
1118 E Maple St, Bellingham, WA 98225
Trails End Taphouse
511 Maple Ave, Snohomish, WA 98290
Collin's Pub
526 2nd ave, Seattle, Wa 98104

Colorado:
Brewer's Republic
112 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903
The Crafty Fox
3901 Fox Street, Denver, CO 80216
Finn's Manor
2927 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Tap and Handle
307 S College, Fort Collins, CO
Hops & Pie 
3920 TENNYSON ST, Denver, CoO 80212
The Jailhouse Craft Beer Bar
PO Box 2003, Buena Vista, CO 81211
Backcountry Pizza & Tap House
2319 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302
The Falling Rock Tap House
1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202

Oregon:
ABV Public House
23588 NW Clara Ln, Hillsboro, OR 97124
The Bier Stein
1591 Willamette St, Eugene, OR 97401
APEX
1216 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
Roscoe's
 8105 SE Stark St. Portland, OR, 97215
N.W.I.P.A
6350 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206
The BeerMongers
1125 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
Valley Growlers
15735 SE Happy Valley Town Center Dr, Happy Valley, OR 97086

California:
Hamilton’s Tavern
1521 30th St, San Diego, CA 92102
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
210 E 3rd St, Long Beach, CA 90802
The Hop Grenade
2151 Salvio St. Ste. J-K, Concord, CA 94520

Idaho:
PreFunk Beer Bar
1100 W Front St, Boise, ID 83702
Bier Thirty Bottle & Bistro
3073 S Bown Way, Boise, ID 83706
Twisted Timber
4563 S Cloverdale Rd, Boise, ID 83709

Utah:
Beer Hive Pub
128 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Massachusetts:
Lord Hobo Brewing
5 Draper St, Woburn, MA 01801

Washington DC:
ChurchKey
1337 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

Alaska:
Humpy's Great Alaskan Alehouse
610 W 6th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501 United States


Arizona: 
TBA
Texas: 
TBA

Canada - British Columbia:
12 Kings Pub
395 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5T 3J7, Canada
The Drake Eatery
517 Pandora Ave, Victoria, BC V8W 1N6, Canada

Belgium:
Moeder Lambic
Place Fontainas 8, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

Cheers!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

For the Love of Beer

Listen up, Northern Utah! On February 4th Roosters Brewing Co., Talisman Brewing Co. and Proper Brewing Co. are joining forces to provide you with a taste of some truly unique locally made suds. In addition to the beer local spirits from Five Wives and New World Distillery will be on hand along with some great ciders from Mountain West Hard Cider. And, if you're craving a different kind of buzz? Daily Rise Coffee along with Beehive Cheese will be on hand offering some of their delicious blends and artisan cheeses. 

The Tasting will run from 4pm to 8pm at the Union Grill in Ogden - food will be provided by Union Grill and the ticket price includes tastings, a keepsake glass and light appetizers. Tickets are going fast, if you need some? they can be purchased here. Hope to see you there!

Prost!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Utah's New Brewery Updates

Over the last couple of years we've brought you all the info on the new breweries coming to a zip code near you. Many have already opened their doors and a few are in the process of opening up shop. I thought it would be helpful to give you all updates on the breweries and brewpubs that I've previewed and profiled over the last year or so.

Mine Shaft Brewing Co - Status: In Development. It's been two and a half years since we first brought you info on this ambitious Park City Brewhouse. They appear to still be searching for private funding and have a very active Facebook page that is updated often, however it offers little info on their opening. No response for my update request as of this writing. 

Maple Mountain Brewing Co. - Status: In Development. The Utah County boys are still fighting with Provo City on an alcohol manufacturing license. Maybe it's time to look at another city?

Canyon Brewing - Status: In Development. The partners are in negotiations for a brewing property and are working through some zoning issues right now. Their goal is to have CBC brews available in 2017.

Kilby Court/Poplar St. Brewing - Status just a concept.

Kiitos Brewing - Status In Construction.  Has finally received their permits from Salt Lake City for the last phase of construction. Hoping to fire up their brew system late Spring (if all contractors stay on schedule).

RPM Brewing - Status: In Development. Has scrapped their nano brewery in Draper but is still pursuing the idea of a production brewery located closer to downtown SLC. The RPM's Garage restaurant is still open in Draper.

Branagan's Brewery - Status: In Development. After a year long negotiation with Sandy City, Heather Branagan has received approval for their brewing and liquor licenses! Heather says she will be getting them in February/March. The wheels are slowly turning, but they are turning. The brewpub will be located in the area of 9000 s. 200 w.

Salt Fire Brewing - Status In Construction. These guys get the award for the most under the radar new brewery. You'd be hard pressed to find any info on these guys anywhere on the interwebs. However, they do have their brew system in place. It's located just a few doors down from Shades of Pale Brewing in South Salt Lake City. Hope to have more info on this new brewery in the coming days.

Toasted Barrel Brewery - Status In Construction. We haven't discussed Toasted Barrel yet because there hasn't been much to report on. Today we have much to talk about. They have officially acquired a building located at 422 w 600 n just next to the soup kitchen restaurant in the same Marmalade neighborhood as RedRock's Production Brewery. They've acquired a 7 bbl brew house and will be getting things started with 4 4.5bbl fermenters. They are strong believers of keeping to the style of that beer. They'll be starting with 4 beers available in 22 ounce bottles. A kettle soured Berliner weisse at 4%, a mixed fermentation saison at 4%, a white IPA at 5.5% and an American hybrid hoppy wheat beer coming in at 8%. As soon as their fully licensed, they will start brewing and and begin barrel aging their mixed and spontaneous fermented sours. Another planned beer will be a14% American sour Quad made with blueberry and pomegranate. Their main goal is to provide Utahans with awesome spontaneous locally made lambic styles. Stay close for more info on this news and exciting addition to our beer scene. 

A. Fisher Brewing - Status: Brewing but not Open. The Fisher boys have beer fermenting away in the tanks as we speak. They want to fill their taps handles with beer before officially opening the doors. The actual opening of the tap room is still a few of weeks away, probably early/mid February.

The RoHa Brewing Project - Status In Construction. Should have their brewery online in a week or so and will likely be opening their doors to the public in late February. Look for draft beer along with 12 ounce bottles and cans.

These are not the only new places on the horizon. There are others in the works, I'm still trying figure out if their legit. Stay close for more new brewery news.

Cheers!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Another Friday the 13th New Beer Friday

 Shades of Pale Espresso Stout - Releases latter today, so I haven't tried this yet. This is a new stout made with Ogden's Daily Rise Coffee. 8% ABV @ Shades of Pale

Shades of Pale Salt City Citrus - Releases latter today, so I haven't tried this yet. This the second New England Style IPA released this month (2Row's Tastes Like Citrus was the first). Look for  murkey IPA with big citrusy hops. 7% ABV@ Shades of Pale

Desert Edge Wai-iti Pale Ale. This is a single-hop pale ale made with Wai-iti hops from New Zealand. The Wai-iti hops add a nice citrusy aroma and the flavors of stone fruit, lime and grapefruit zest. The light malt flavor lets the hops shine through and a medium bitterness balances the fruity hop flavor for a crisp and refreshing beer jammed with hoppy goodness. 4.0% ABV @ Desert Edge

We'll discuss these and other beers with Mick and Allen on New Beer Friday's KBER101 segment at 3:30pm every Friday.

Prost!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Talisman Seasonals Get Bonafide

Talisman Brewing has had a bunch of seasonal beers pop up over the past year. Two of the most popular brews are moving away from their generic special edition packaging to some new "bonafide" names and labels.

Talisman's Triple IPA is the only currently made TIPA that's brewed locally, when it hit's the bottle shop it goes fast. As the name suggests, this a big beer. At 11.3%. Hazards TIPA is not as sweet as you'd think, with a generous amount of citrus-peel-like-hops with additional herbal bitterness. 

The other "bonafide beer" is Talisman's Killer Grove Blood Orange Wheat. Once confined to growler sales, this citrusy wheat beer keeps walking out the door when it hits the taps. It's doughy wheat base provides a nice base for the orange and grapefruit flavors that rule the beer. 4.0% ABV.

These new looks should debut in the coming weeks.

Cheers!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

More From Uinta's Rotating Park Series

We have some new additions to Uinta's Rotating Park Series of Beers. Last November we brought you the first image of the new series, showing California's Yosemite National Park. Today we have three more to add.

The second in the series shows Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park (yes, I know it bleeds into Idaho and Montana) with Old Faithful featured on the label. Pictured above is label number three, and it displays Utah's iconic Delicate Arch from Arches National Park.

Label number four takes us back east to Tennessee's Great Smokey
Mountains National Park. It depicts a mother bear and her cub overlooking the parks skyline.

These beers will all be Golden Ales that will have one or more tweaks to make each of them unique. Plan on seeing all of these beers in the order listed throughout every quater of 2017.

Cheers!

Labels found at Shipcomplient.com

Friday, January 06, 2017

New Beer Friday 1/6/17


To start the year you get either IPAs or stouts. It's not my call, that's just the way it is. Luckily all of this week's New Beer Friday options are all damn tasty. Enjoy!

Blue Moon Cappuccino Oatmeal Stout - The nose has dark malts and coffee. The tastes has nice cappuccino flavors with raisin, roasty grains, chocolate malts, and a little bit of hop bitterness. Finishes nice and dry. This a pretty decent coffee stout.4.0% ABV @ Grocery/C-stores

New Belgium VooDoo Ranger IIPA - The nose is mostly pine with some orange peel. The taste starts with bready malts and papaya. Pine resins come next with a dose of mango. The end is all pine & grapefruit. Finishes dry piney and grapefruity. 9.0% ABV @ DABC


New Belgium Whizbang Hoppy Blonde - The nose has a nice bouquet hoppy tropical fruits. The flavor is much of the same with more tropical fruit, caramel malts and a bit of pine. Semi-dry finish. 5.7% ABV @ DABC, Bayou

Proper Grand Sláinte Imperial Stout - Not had this yet. This releases on Saturday in both the bottle shop and the brewery on Main Street. Avenues Proper has done a session-strength Sláinte in years past, but this is the first high-point version.

2Row Tastes Like Citrus IPA - This is a North East Style IPA. These are typically cloudy in appearance - like a hefeweizen. This beer looks a bit like Orange Juice, which is helpful because this a citrus bomb. The nose has a massive grapefruit, tangerine, orange, peach and pineapple thing going on. Smells incredible. The taste follows the nose. Grapefruit, orange, tangerine and lemon zest. Slight pineapple and stone fruit mix with a bit of grass. Bready/cracker malts balance out the fruit salad. minimal bitterness in the finish - nearing sweet. Crazy good! 2 Row is becoming Salt Lake's IPA House. 7.5% ABV @2 Row Brewing, Beerhive

Samuel Adams Hopscape - The nose has citrus/fruity hops and tropical fruit. The flavor has wheaty/cracker malts, tropical fruit and citrus. The end resiny and spicy. Finishes dry. Solid offering from Boston Beer Co. 5.5% ABV @DABC

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Golden IPA - The nose has citrus, pine, spice with a wheaty malts. The taste follows notes of orange and grapefruit along with pine and lesser spicy snap. Vague tropical fruits come next with wheat undertones. Some mild pith and pine in the finish. Another solid IPA
from Sierra Nevada. 6.5% ABV @ DABC, Bayou

Cheers!

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Best of Utah Beer Awards

2016 was without a doubt, a tumultuous year. No matter where you fit on the political/social/cultural spectrum, your world got rocked in major ways. Thankfully the little craft beer hobby that many of us share has kept our minds and bodies happy and satisfied. Our friends, relatives and neighbors in Utah's Craft Beer industry have been keeping us stocked with great locally made ales and lagers designed for all pallets. There's a lot out there and I thought it might be nice to highlight some of the brightest moments from Utah's brew houses. So for the the first time ever, I'd like to present to you the Best Of Utah's Beer Awards.

These are just some of my personal favorites beers from 2016. Just to be clear, I'm just one asshole with an opinion. Your experiences will obviously differ and I invite you to share your locally made 2016 highlights as well.

1. Standard Pilsner - RedRock Fröhlich: Clean, toasty and hoppy. Low on sulfur this traditional German lager begs to be enjoyed over and over.

2. India Pale Lager - Mikey's Citra IPL: I have a horse in this race so I asked a five unbiased beer nerds to choose which IPL they found to particularly excellent in 2016. Their consensus was that 2 Row's Mikey's IPL was their favorite with RedRock's CoHOPeration a close second.  

3. Amber Lager - Hoppers Stein Knocker Marzen: The nose is of vanilla, earthiness, caramel, and a slight fruitiness. The taste begins on a caramel malty note, evolving to a vanilla/malt note, and then finishing with a clean and edgy orange peel dryness that cleanses the palate just as the malt elements start to compound and sticks around. Crisp and clean.

4. Dark Lager - Squatters Black Forest Schwartzbier: The nose is of roasted malt, ash, and semi-sweet chocolate. The taste follows the aroma with nice roasted malt, followed by coffee and chocolate flavors with a slight metallic dryness. The finish has a light malt bitterness.

5. Strong Lager - Bohemian Czechulator Dopple Bock: The nose is nutty, chocolate, clean notes of malty sweetness. Some toffee and caramel in there as well. The flavor starts off similarly with some notes of traditional chocolatey, nutty, and toffee malts. As the flavor develops on the palate, though, I get some berry sweetness towards the end. Easy drinking and enjoyable.

6. German Wheat - Proper Mabon Wwizenbock: The aroma is sweet and malty with some spices (clove), banana, and yeast. There is no sign of alcohol in the nose whatsoever. The taste is equally as good as the aroma. The taste starts out with a lot of sweetness with some wheat and banana. The clove flavors come in next along with some yeast and a touch of warmth from the alcohol in the finish.

7. American Wheat - Talisman The Kreation Krystalweizen: Bready and toasty nose. The taste follows with bread and crackers. There is a bit of raw grain in back as well along with a bit of doughy yeast. Light and refreshing.

8. English Bitter - Bonneville Railton Special Bitter: 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. Highly crushable.

9. Brown Ale - Strap Tank Dirty Politician: This has a toasty and nutty nose. The taste has notes of cocoa with toasted pecans semi-sweet malts and pumpernickel. Damn delicious!

10. Pale Ale - Desert Edge Citra Rye Pale: This is quite a nice pale ale, Citra hops give it a tropical fruit nose that is full of passion fruit, peaches and mangoes with a malt profile that has that nice spicy, rye kick.

11. Red Ale - 2 Row Random Red Rye: Look for citrus and pine in the nose. The taste follows with a semi dry malt sweetness and more citrus peel and pine. The rye comes through in the end adding a nice spiciness. Tasting notes can change for this beer - it is Random after all.

12. IPA - 2 Row Random IPA: Yep. Another nod for 2 Row. These guys are killing it in the IPA Department. The winning version of Random featured Falconers Flight Hops. This is a proprietary hop blend of various NW hops. It's very fruity with great citrus bitterness. There were many winners of similar hop profiles, but this one was exceptional.

13. DIPA - Epic Imperial IPA Single Hop Mosaic: 2 Row isn't the only place killing it with IPAs. This special version of Imperial IPA has a nose that is sharp with citrus zest and big, bold pine. The taste is fruit salad. With orange, lemon, and grapefruit - all fresh and in your face. Some floral hops flesh things out, until the unassuming caramel malt supporting act kicks in. Whoa!

14. Barley Wine - Uinta Anniversary Barley Wine: I've been drinking this beer since Uinta has been making it. I enjoy a good, hoppy barley wine and this one still fits the bill. The nose is of burnt oranges, warm caramel malts, heavy toasted breads with pungent hops that produce pine and citrusy overtones. Earthy notes cinder behind most of the hop twinge in the nose. The taste started with hops up front, bittering with pine and dark citrusy stuff of orange and highly ripe peaches, malts play second fiddle with burnt caramel and toffee, crispy biscuit toasty edging, touches of chocolate, brown sugar, and then turns back to a hoppy finish of pine and citrus orange.

15. Common/Steam - Moab Rocket Bike: The nose is dry with bready malts and a bit of floral hops. The taste is quite nice. Starting with a great balance of malts with a short sweet bread notion, hops mildly enter with grasses and dull floralness, a bit earthy. Feel stays wet and loose with a light creamy dryness. This is an interesting take on a steam beer. Most breweries let the lager yeast and Northern Brewer hops meld to create the main flavor characteristics. Moab has brought out a smidge more malt character in this steam beer. Exellent!

16. Porter - Epic Galloway Porter: The nose is huge with roasted malt and coffee, a light toffee sweetness is also notable . Taste starts with a good dose of roasted malts. Dark cocoa notes come next providing a minor sweetness. The end is cappachino-esque. The finish is similar, with some residual hop bitterness. This is a nice, medium-bodied porter. Sadly, I hear this beer is going bye-bye for 2017. No! 

17. Stout - Talisman Iron Age: The nose has coffee, roasted malts. Taste has some coffee-esque flavors up front, some oats are present, a touch of chocolate. There's a slight sourness in the finish which is typical for the style. Nice, straight-up stout.

18. Imperial/Specialty Stout - Vernal Not Your Mama's Milk Stout: The nose is sweet with light chocolate and coffee notes - like a rich coffee drink. The taste with huge sweet lactose and chocolate followed by some balancing roasted malts. After you get past the lactic sweetness the coffee notes become more assertive. The end has some bitter cocoa and hint of black malts. Damn! I was really taken aback by how damn drinkable this 8.5% beer is. It's so drinkable and smooth on the palate, you'd swear it was in the 6% range. Highly recommended.

19. Kettle Sour/Sour Mash - Uinta Flamingose: Again, a very hard category for me to choose. The flavors in this beer kept me coming back to it, every time it was available. The pineapple sweetness works too well with the lemony base of the Gose. The added salt provides a nice balance. My lips are smacking already!

20. Wild Ale - Brett Sea Legs: We have a lot of great wild ales made locally, and I enjoy them all. This one slipped right in, under the wire and was a huge surprise, just edging out the others. This starts as a dry roasty beer with a tiny bit of earthy char that quickly transitions into a complex blend of malt and vanilla. This all combines nicely with the brett's tart plumb, cherry and lemon finish. Wow, wow and wow. 

21. Belgian Ale - RedRock Gineva: This category is very broad, but Gineva has a broad drinkabilty that made it stand out. A lot of juniper berries in the nose. The taste starts with coriander with a bit of tart juniper. The end moves to the yeasty side a big phenolic flavors take over. Would have liked to had a little more of the berry present, but all and all a really tasty ale..

22. Strong Belgian - Shades of Pale Saint Blackout Tripel Ale: It has a wonderfully peachy and pear fruitiness with banana and clove backing it up. Spicy Bubblegum rounds out the finish. Nice tree fruit flavors with none present in the brew.

23. Historical Beer -Proper Gruit: As you suck down this Belgo-fruited/herbal tea ale you can actually picture yourself centuries ago, swilling from your beer horn as Jebus trots by on his pet Velociraptor, Kenny. Gleefully gallivanting across the Franco-Roman hillsides.  

24. Fruit Beer - Tangerine Hop Nosh: Normally this beer would have been either a Wheat Beer or Belgian. Not this year, it's all about fruity pale ales and this one is a tasty winner. The best part about this beer is that you get all of the IPA with complimenting (real) tangerine fruit. Another nice thing about this beer is that when the hops start to turn, the citrus picks up the slack.  

25. Spiced Beer - Roosters Rosemary Porter: When I first tried this beer many, many moons ago I wasn't too sure about the combo. I was pleasantly surprised. The rosemary is a natural compliment for the roasted and caramel notes found in the porter. It especially excels during the holiday months. It's also nice to see it in the grocery stores.

26. Field Beer - Epic Pumpkin Porter: There were quite a few pumpkin options this year, but the best by far was Epic's revamped Pumpkin Porter (formerly Fermentation without Representation). The nose is huge with pumpkin, squash, ginger, cinnamon, chocolate, roasted malt, clove and caramel. The taste of big with chocolate, roasted malt, pumpkin, caramel, cinnamon, ginger, light coffee, clove, and spices. Fair amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pumpkin, chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, clove, and spices on the finish for a bit. Medium carbonation and body; with a nice creamy mouthfeel

27. Smoked Beer - RedRock Franconian Rauchbier: These are tough beers to make and even tougher to sell to uneducated beer consumers. There are only a handful of local breweries producing them, RedRock has two. RedRock's Beer Yogi, Kevin Templin has produced an hommage to Bamburg, Germany's signature beer. It's smokey - but not too much so, with a complimenting malt base that creates a ghostly warming effect. It's worth your time. 

28. Barrel Aged - Epic Big Bad Baptista: Think "Horchata Beer" and you'll begin to get a sense of what this beer is all about. Pours black with a tan head. The nose has big cinnamon with vanilla and dark caramel in the back. The taste starts lightly sweet with cinnamon, vague spices and dark cocoa. Coffee comes next with vanilla adding some cappuccino qualities. Subtle barrel notes round out the back end. Full bodied with a smooth, creamy feel. Complex and tasty. An honorable mention goes to Shades of Pale's Gin Barrel Aged Pale Ale. The juniper and spruce notes from the barrel really made for a remarkable barrel aged beer.

29. Experimental Beer -Uinta 801 Coffee Pilsner: It's no easy feat to take two complete opposites and turn them into a cohesive flavor combination. Uinta managed to pull it off with their Coffee Pilsner. It retains the golden clarity of the base 801 Pils and adds the sweet roasted character of a cappuccino. 

30. Cider - Mountain West Hard Cider's Ruby: There are only two places in the market that make hard ciders - The Hive Winery and Mountain West Hard Cider. Between the two they've produced about a dozen ciders, but only one really stood out to me. Ruby. It pours a brilliantly clear golden color with a nose of dry apple. The taste follows the nose with subtle apple sweetness combined with some minor green apple tartness. Finishes nicely dry. This is my kind of cider. Brilliant!

These are my picks, I had to combine too many subcategories into one to get this list of thirty beers. What were some of your favorite local standouts from 2016? I'd really love to know!  

Cheers!

Monday, January 02, 2017

Cigar City Beers are Coming to Salt Lake City

Yup, my jaw hit the floor too when I heard the news, but all that slack jawed excitement aside, It is the truth - Cigar City's beers are on their way to the SLC. How could this be, you ask? Cigar City Brewing Company has until now never distributed outside of the east coast. Well you can thank a little entity called United Craft Brews LLC. A brewery group owned by Fireman Capitol out of Boston. If Fireman Capitol sounds familiar it's because it is also a controlling owner of our own Utah Brewers Cooperative (Squatters/Wasatch), along with Oskar Blues and Michigan's Perrin Brewing Company. Are you starting to see the connection?

United Craft Brews inked a deal last week that would bring Cigar City's brews to Denver and Salt Lake City, beginning in the first quarter of 2017. Utah and Colorado will be the only states west of the Mississippi to carry Cigar City's beers. SLC's M & M Distributing will be the Utah distributor. Availability will be limited at first, don't expect cases of Hunahpu probably ever. but some fun stuff may find its way here eventually. Stay close for Cigar City's arrival date.

You may have noticed I mentioned Perrin Brewing earlier. Their beers are also coming to the SLC market in the same time period as well. I'm not sure what beer they're sending, but I am sure it will be a welcome edition to our local line up.

If you come across M & M's Scott Stiltz (Helmut VonSchmidt) thank him for going above and beyond to help grease the wheels on this deal for we local beer nerds and on behalf of M & M.

Any thoughts on this crazy news? We'd love to hear from you!

Cheers!