Saturday, January 31, 2009

Beer Prediction Engine for Superbowl XLIII

Here's a little experiment to test the power of craft beer. I've put together a very simple equation to predict the winner of tomorrows Super bowl game.
Using the # of beer establishments (Beer Bars, Beer stores & Homebrew stores), Multiplied by
the # of Breweries & Brewpubs in each city, Plus the combined averages from Beeradvocate.com stats on average user rating (per brewery/pub - per city) = The winner by high score. Make sense???

Using this highly convoluted, bullshit system; we come up this.

Steelers 40 x 6 + 21.5 = 261.50*

Cardinals 15 x 14 + 44.34 = 254.34

I was think that Phoenix's higher number of breweries and brewpubs would have put it over the top but Pittsburgh's high number of Beer Bars, Beer stores & Homebrew stores bearly put it over the top.

If this system is proven to work, I will leave you all and go into the Beer vs. "Whatever" field and retire to a small island in the south pacific and drink nectar from the navels of native island girls ( 'till my wife kicks me in the beer nuts). If it doesn't.... well... then I guess you all loose and your stuck with me!
Cheers! and Go Steelers!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Evanston's First Beer Festival

*****************click here for updated info************

It's looking like mid 2009 will be known as the Summer of the Beerfest. The city of Evanston, Wyoming will be hold it's first ever beer festival on Saturday, July 11, 2009. The name, times, etc., are still to be decided on by the committee, but it looks like things are a go.


This is a great town to hold a beerfest. It's proximity to the Wasatch Front provides a quick & easy drive, the city has plenty of lodging, The town is full of bars and most importantly it doesn't have Utah's bullshit beer restrictions. You could actually get a high abv Utah beer on tap! Wahoo! Not to mention other great regional craft beers to sample. We'll keep you up to date on all the particulars,but for now just mark the date on your calendar.

Also coming this summer is the annual Mountain Brewers Festival in Idaho Falls, Idaho. A slightly longer drive(2.5 hours from my door) but well worth checking out.


And making it's triumphant return in late summer the Utah Brewers Festival. No details are available yet on exactly when, but organizers tell me it'll be more like it was in the Good ol' days (mid-early nineties) when it was less about music (Blues & Brews Festival) and more about beer.
Cheers!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Deschutes Coming to Utah

Good News! One of the northwest's finest breweries will be sending their suds to Utah in '09. Deschutes Brewery makes some of the most flavorful beers in the northwest, including Black Butte Porter, Quail Springs IPA and "The Abyss" a tasty & highly sought-after Imperial Stout.

Deschutes opened it's doors in 1988 in Bend, Oregon and has become one of the more established craft brewers in the United States.
Right now the nearest place I know of to buy Deschutes is Franklin, Idaho. Not a brutal drive, but it'd be nice to have 'em in the neighborhood. No word yet on exactly when they'll be in the market, but look for them in the state stores.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Home Brew Bill Clears Latest Hurdle


House Bill 51, legislation to make it "officially" legal to home brew in Utah passed Unanimously in the House Business and Labor Committee yesterday.

At least a dozen or so home brew advocates attended the meeting (myself included) and faced surprisingly no opposition to the legislation's third time on the hill. The Bill will now move to both the House& Senate floors for official votes.

This should be a slam dunk. Through both committees the proposed legislation only met with one "No" vote. Keep-on your lawmakers back, and make sure he or she votes "yes" when it comes up.

Besides making home brewing legal the passage of this legislation could open the door to all kinds of home brew activities including home brew competitions and a category for it at the State Fair. Thanks to all who show'd-up and spoke in support. Cheers!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Utah's Very First Beer Commercial

A piece of rock art found in the deserts of Utah uncovered a prehistoric Fremont Indian rock art panel that conclusively shows a warrior or sports celebrity in the act of endorsing a container, probably beer.

The panel was found by subsistence journalist Steve Howe, while scouting off-trail hikes for Project Backyard, a self-assigned mapping effort of nearby adventures.

The 50- by 10-foot series of drawings was pecked into the Navajo sandstone sometime between 700 and 1400 A.D. by Fremont Indians, a more nomadic - and artistic- culture than the contemporary Anasazi who neighbored them to the south. The panel includes four anthropomorphic figures, the largest one with headdress and bottle, and three smaller, more ephemeral figures that have heads and limbs, but no bodies. Howe theorizes that the three smaller figures are cheerleaders whose painted-on clothing has washed off with time.

The image not only depicts beer as a universal beverage, but that it predates the anti-beer pioneers that took over the land.
If you want a sense of what beer like this may have tasted like try Dogfish Head's Theobroma. This beer is a recreation of a central American recipe for the earliest chocolate drink in existence, consumed by the Aztecs. While this Utah drink probably consisted of mostly corn, it does provide a great insight to how varied beer can be to cultures. Salud!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Brilliant!

Look at the photo above... Every bottle of Suds, Hooch and Jesus-Juice up there has one thing in common. They all have that really cool D.A.B.C. sticker. This is how our overlords know that we've paid our tithe... errr taxes on the adult beverages that we drink.

The sticker system is quite the pain in the ass for state employees who have to (by hand) apply said stickers to millions of bottles annually. At a recent trip to the DABC warehouse is SLC I happened to show up at the beginning of a "tagging party". Barbara Love the manager of the Immense warehouse said that they had just received dozens of pallets Stella Artois for the Sundance Film festival. She and the crew would be pulling an all-nighter to get the boxes off the pallets, open the boxes, mark the bottles; Then re-box, re-stack and send them out. Sounds like a great use of resources to me, considering the legislature is looking to shave costs anyway they can.

Barbara told me that there was proposed legislation this year to get rid of the damn stickers (I'm paraphrasing). Considering the state is in such a budget crunch it sounds like a no-brainer to me. But no-brainers aren't exactly common on Capitol Hill. I've been looking but can't find the proposed legislation. If you've heard-of or seen it, send us a link! Cheers!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Squatters' Label Contest

Alright listen-up, it's time to get those creative juices flowing.
Last Friday Squatters announced that they along with X-96's "Radio From Hell" are looking for locals artist to design the label for Squatters next beer Hell's Keep.

If chosen the winning entry will get (besides having your work immortalized)
two Round trip airline tickets to the Great American Beer Festival on Southwest. (Valued at $500), as well as two - 3 day Passes to the 2009 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado (Valued at $400). The festival starts on September 24-26, 2009.

The competitions deadline is Wednesday – February 4, 2009. And will be available to the public on St. Patrick’s Day – March 17, 2009.

If your not artistically inclined, I'm sure you know someone who is... so pass this shit on.

Here are all the links to all the info you need to get the ball rolling.

Download the label template here

Download the full competition information here

Squatters

X96

The Great American Beer Festival


If you have never been to the Great American Beer Festival and you love beer this an incredible prize.

Much thanks to Utah beer lover Andy Russell for helping to get the word out

Friday, January 16, 2009

Big Brother is Nigh


One step forward, two steps back. That's how you dance the Utah shuffle. Last November, Governor Huntsman announced that his office was drafting legislation to do away with private clubs. And as I stated in that post you never gain ground in Utah as far as liquor laws are concerned. We just make concessions. Well here's a glimpse into a possible future for Utahans.


In exchange for getting rid of private clubs, some conservative legislators want even stricter liquor laws in return. In addition to hiding liquor at restaurants, another new idea is now being "talked" about at the Capitol. The idea is to put ID scanners in all Utah bars so underage drinkers can't get in. Makes sense...right? But there's a catch. Some of these scanners not only check ID's, but they can also collect information on you to store in a database. In other words, the state of Utah could keep permanent records of who goes into what bars, when and how often. That's right, George Orwell's Big Brother will have his eyes upon you. I can't conceive that this could be legal to do, but this is Utah. Anything is possible. Find out who your repesentative is and keep your eyes on this one.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Squatters, RedRock Updates

Two weeks ago, I mentioned that there were three outstanding Utah beers that are incredible, must-try beers. Two of those are back for another release. Reve from RedRock will be out soon (no date yet, but soon). And Fifth Element from Squatters hit the brew kettle on December 31st, for a release sometime in September 2009. This one will have to spend some time aging in oak before it's bottled, then a few more weeks or month in the bottle for conditioning.

Also, Jenny has Hop Rising returning this month. In addition, she's currently got a new Belgian Golden Strong in the fermenter called Hell's Keep. We should see it released in late February in 750ml bottles. The ABV. is still unknown, but will probably be in the neighborhood of 8-9%. Cheers!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New at Roosters

Roosters has some seasonal brews worth checking out.

The Holiday Rosemary Porter pours a dark ebony brown with a sturdy finger of foam. The nose is of roasted malts and rosemary. A little buttery as well. The taste starts with roasted malt and caramel. next comes the rosemary and hints of cinnamon. the end has a slight piney bite. The finish was a little on the dry side. Mouthfeel is on the thin-side of medium. A unique, but tasty spiced porter. 4.0% abv.


Also available on tap is the Deep Powder Dortmunder. I love Dortmunder's, they hail from all places Dortmunder, Germany! They're typically pale golden lagers with classic a clean character. Look for notes of biscuity malts, moderate bitterness and an overall dry tone.


Deep Powder Dortmunder pours a clear golden yellow with a thick one finger white head. The nose is malty and grassy with a bit of a sour funk. Taste is nice, malty sweet at first then dry grains come next. Grassy hops and a bit of citrus round out the end. The finish is bitter and dry. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side. 4.0% abv. A nice session lager.
Available on tap at the Ogden and Layton Brewpubs. Cheers!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Powder Hound


Yeah! more new beer. Powder Hound is a seasonal offering From Big Sky, available at the state stores.


Poured a clear, rusty amber color with one finger of light tan head. The nose was of lightly roasted malt, caramel, chocolate and a hints of floral hops.

The taste starts with toasted biscuit and hazelnut, along with notes of maraschino cherry and red grape. The end is mildly earthy and piney. The finish was dry and nutty. Nicely balanced. Lacks real depth or complexity. Drinkability is high, definitely sessionable. Wouldn't go out of my way for it, but I'll defiantly try it again. 6.2%ABV.


I should note that Desert Edge also has a beer called Powder Hound that predates Big Sky's by a few years, check it out when Chris has it on tap. Cheers!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hazed & Infused

Here's a relatively new beer to the area, that you probably never got a chance to try. Even though this offering from from Boulder Brewing has been around since November not many have noticed it. One of the thing that makes this brew so delicious is it's great hop profile. Hazed and Infused is brewed with Centennial, Willamette and Cascade hops then is "dry hopped" with Crystal and Centennial hops. If your not familiar with "Dry Hopping" it's the process whereby hops are added uncooked or "dry" to the beer at different stages of fermentation. Many beer styles, such as pale ales or IPAs, are traditionally dry hopped to produce the authentic fresh hop flavor.


This brew really shines. Pours a clear light amber orange with a large three fingers of fluffy creamy white head. The nose is an intense bouquet of citrus and pine( I think I felt it move).
The flavor is even better, very hoppy for an APA, hoppier than some IPAs. Excellent grapefruit and tangerine find balance in soft floral and sweet grass. Solid caramel malt backbone. Complex and flavorful. Body is medium, soft, creamy and smooth. Extreme drinkability. One of the best American Pale Ales available in town.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Beamish is Back!

Back in early '06 Beamish & Crawford makers of Beamish Irish Stout quietly decided to pull the plug on Beamish exports to America. The company apparently wanted to concentrate on their Newcastle brand which was experiencing record growth in the states. Well it didn't last too long and after a near three year hiatus, Beamish is back bitches!

So what's the big deal? We already have Guinness and Murphy's in town, why do we need another? Well, there aren't many real Irish Stouts available around town. Most of the Guinness consumed in the states is made domestically. Murphy's Irish Stout, is made in Ireland, but is now owned by Heineken. That leaves us with Beamish. Irish owned and imported.


If you've never tried Beamish I'm confident you'll like it as much as or better than Guinness and Murphy's. Pours a very dark brownish black with a thin half-finger of creamy, tan nitro foam. The nose is of roasted malt and dark chocolate. The taste starts like the nose with roasted malt and dark chocolate. Light caramel and toffee come next. The end is slightly sweetness with a dry tobacco bitterness in the finish. The mouth feel is super creamy and smooth, but a little on the thin side. Drink ability is excellent! The nitro makes it feel fluffy and light.


The one drawback that Beamish has is it's ABV. Because of Utah law, anything over 4.0% ABV has to be sold in Utah liquor stores and can not be served on tap. Beamish comes in at 4.1%. That's right. A whole "0.1%" is keeping us from enjoying this on draft! Unfukanbaleevable!!!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Utah Beer Year '08 Part Two: Electric Bugaloo

First of I apologize for the delay on part two. My Internet has been down.


June also brought a little known option for purchasing your high ABV beers. The D.A.B.C.'s warehouse, located at 1700 south and 900 west, has everything the state carries all in one place. All alcoholic bevs over 4.0% begin their statewide journeys at the already overcrowded booze hub. It's not a perfect place to do your shopping, but it does give an alternative option for the person who needs that special brew yesterday. We also found out that I secretly like Blue Moon and ABBA. I in-fact, still like Blue Moon and ABBA and remain confident in my manhood on both fronts.
Ahh children... You raise them, nurture them, give them the benefit of your knowledge, (or lack there of) send them out into the world to find their way. When they do find their way back hopefully they will bring back knowledge, experience and good beer. Well, we raised our kid well. On a recent whirl-wind trip of Italy my freshly (high school) graduated daughter knew to forgo the Gondolier T-shirt and Colosseum paper weights, and bring back the ol' man Venetian suds. Ah... the benefits of a high school education.



July. If your gunna drink Uinta, you'd better grab a bottle opener. Our buddies at the wind powered brewery began the industry preferred switch to vacuum caps from twisties. What's the difference? Well, if you try to twist off a vacuum cap with your grubby little paws, all your going to end up doing is turning your fleshy little mitts into hamburger patties.
Squatters began bottle conditioning for the first time at the brew pub. This is a great thing for Squatters. It gives Jenny and the crew a little more independence from the Utah Brewers Co-op. Now they don't have to rely on UBC's bottling facility every time they want to produce high gravity and unusual styles for Utah's Beer lovers.
Due to it's proximity to Salt Lake(a mere 1 hr 15 min. from mi casa) I decided to make Suds Brothers Brewery in Evenston, Wy an honorary Utah brew pub. Why the hell not, it's closer than some places, the beer is pretty good and it's not restricted to Utah's 4.0% draft cap. Please check 'em out.



In August, a ray of light was shined upon beer lover with the creation of the Type 5 package license. This allows breweries and brewpubs to sell their high alcohol beers right from brewery or brewpub without having to go to a state liquor store. As long as it's brewed and bottles on premisis. Can you say "really fresh beer?"
Utah's Uinta Brewery was one of the few breweries chosen to represent at the 2008 Great British Beer Festival. It's Britain's largest beer festival. They were able to sampled limited amounts of Anglers Pale Ale, King's Peak Porter and Uinta 14th Anniversary Barleywine.
One of Utah's best beers ever made it's debut in August. Squatters' Fifth Element was a true labor of love for Brewmaster Jenny Talley and became an instant hit both locally and nationally.
Utah's second best beer scribe Del Vance published the second edition of his book Beer in the Beehive. It's the bible for Utah Beer lovers a must read. Now if we can just get him to crack the whip on his new bar the "Beerhive House"!



September saw the debut of Utah's first all-locally-made beer. Desert Edge Brewmaster Chris Haas put together a special beer made from all local ingredients. Radius, was made with ingredients grown within 150 miles of the Wasatch Front.
Let's face it, we get rheamed in the beer tax department. So is it too much to ask that our State Liquor stores actually have refrigerator units? Many citizens don't think that's such an unreasonable request. So the guys at tributetobeer.com put together an online petition to get the ball rolling on this much needed improvement. Please sign it!



October started in Stockholm, Sweden where Uinta/Four+ entered four of it's labels in The Stockholm Beer and Whiskey Festival. Anglers Pale Ale, Anniversary Barley Wine, Wildfire Extra Pale Ale and the never before released Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine. Of the four only Wildfire managed to get a nod from the judges.
On the heels of that festival came the '08 Great American Beer festival. Where Squatters, RedRock, Wasatch, Bohemian, Desert Edge and The Utah Brewers Coop brought home medals.
Wasatch debuted it's newest 6.0% bottled beer. White Label is a Belgian Style Witbier in the tradition of Hoegaarden and Blue Moon.



November gave us a new state-of-the-art wine store with a huge selection, computers to assist in pairings and no beer... well, they have five labels and one of those was a cider. Bummer.
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. had his staff begin to draft a bill to get rid of private clubs. While I believe the Gov. is truly sincere. It'll never happen in my opinion.
Also in the politics and beer department, Rep. Christine Johnson re-introduced "the Home Brew"bill. The bill made it out of the Business and Labor Interim Committee and is headed back to the house and senate to be voted on. It is expected to pass this time.
Four+ Brewing re-released a new stronger version of it's Monkshine Belgian-Style Pale Ale.The recipe was adjusted, the alcohol was amped up and it was moved to the state liquor stores.




And finally in December The Logan City Council approved a chance in city ordinances allow the manufacturing and sale of alcoholic beverages within the city limits. This is paving the way for Cache Valley Brewing to open it's doors in the next few years.
The Twelve Beers o' Xmas made it's return, making at least a dozen days in December bearable. And Finally, Boulevard Brewing appeared in the Utah Market... to some anyway. It's availability is limited.



Thanks for Checking out The Utah Beer Blog, and for all the great input. Utah's beer community is huge! and is only getting bigger! Cheers!

Monday, January 05, 2009

The 2008 Utah Beer Year in Review

This was an atypical beer year in Utah. We had a banner year in the new beer department. One of the best in recent history. And of course to counter that, many of our glorious elected leaders whipped out a new batch of laws and used them to pee in our collective punch bowls. So what happen??? Glad you asked. Commence O' ye official 2008 Utah Beer Year in review.

January started with a new brew and and a new way of thinking for Wasatch Brewers. Greg Shcirf and his clan debuted the first in a new line of high gravity beers. Devistator Double Bock was an immediate hit, both with it's flavor and punch; as well as it's typical Schirf-esque label. Sam Adams Utopias made it's first appearance in Utah as well. This amped-up-super-uber-beer has it's own cult following. Some love it, some hate it. If your able to pony up the coin for the two-hundred-plus-dollar bottle you can decide for yourself.
Every year a local legislative douche-bag rears his or her's head and does their best to "protect the children" from whatever the Ivory Pulpit deems fit. It's usually the tiniest squeak from the previous Sundays sermon. January's douche-bag wanted to do-away with... and I'm not joking... ALL COLD BEER. Luckily, the bad man was dismissed. What an ass!

In February, McCools in South Jordan, Utah, became the 500th establishment in the US selling cask ales. This is the 3rd McCools in Utah, and all have cask beer engines. Also in February, the home brew bill died due to lack of time in the legislative session... more later.


March was rather quiet. However it provide the world with a shit-load of ammo for their ridicule Utah guns. Some "culture victim" decided that they would put together a "Root Beer" Pong league. Really! Root Beer Pong! These are the same types of people that concoct so called "Mock-tail" parties to experience a social tradition that's denied to them because of some primitive superstitions. If your going to set yourself apart, great! Just do it with a little integrity. Faux cussing, faux indecent attire (rolling up the magic jammies so they don't show), and now faux drinking of alcohol? Appearance and intention is just as important as the act. What's next a smoking section for bubble gum cigars or snorting lines of Fun Dip?


April saw the Utah Brewers Coop retain a place in America's top 50 breweries. Even though Utah is dead last in U.S. for beer consumption.
Utah's brewers had another great showing in The World Beer Cup. Local brewers entered 56 beers and came back with 6 medals. Two gold, three silver and a bronze. That may not sound like a lot, but it gave Utah's beers the fourth highest winning percentage by states entered.


In May, Four+ Brewing debuted a new beer. Rype a Belgian style wheat beer brewed with orange peel and spices. It tastes a lot like a Belgian Style Witbier but looks nothing like one. No matter, it's damn tasty!
Jon Lee one of the brewers at the Utah Brewer's Coop, had brewed a special, one-time beer in celebration of his first child. The Ava Lee Triple dials in at 9% ABV, but was only available in bottles at Squatters' three locations. This was a one time batch and will never be brewed again(maybe).


June brought with it warmer weather and Big Sky...Brewing, that is. Big Sky Brewing out of Missoula, Montana started shipping Moose Drool Brown Ale, Scape Goat Pale Ale and it's Big Sky IPA. And there was much rejoicing...Yehhhh!
Salt Lake Under ground Magazine(SLUG) reached new highs and lows. While they published their first ever issue devoted to beer(HIGH), They tapped me as Guest Contributor(LOW). They may never recover. On the heels of the SLUG issue, the 12th annual Mountain Brewers Fest: Salt Lake's Best Beer Festival(except it's in Idaho) was held in Idaho Falls. Utah's brewers shined, bringing home 19 medals and giving me the worst hangover in a decade.


To Be Continued