Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Shload of Holiday Beers

Yup, I said Shload. From the ancient Messobeertanian language meaning "pant loads".

The following beers hail from all over Europe and the U.K. and are available right now at the Bayou.

Some are new, some are making a encore appearance. One thing is for sure they don't last long. You will not find such a varied selection anywhere in Utah.

Ølfabrikken Kloster Jul: Denmark
(The Beer Factory) is a small experimental brewery on the vibrant Danish
beer scene. Kloster Jul is a hoppy Christmas Ale brewed with large quantities of American Chinook hops and wonderfully spiced with coriander and cinnamon. 8.0%

Mikkeller Santa's Helper:
Belgium
11% Belgian quadruple style ale. Delicious with big flavors of cookie dough,
chocolate, figs and spice. The addition of actual cocoa powder makes this one incredibly special. 11.0%

De Ranke Pere Noel: Belgium
The De Ranke brewers make small batches of what many consider the best specialty beers of Belgium. Their beers are robust and flavorful, and famous for their massive hoppiness. Pere Noel has a gorgeous cellar aroma with a distinctive hoppy dryness. A true Champagne of beers. 7.0%

Serafijn Christmas Angel: Belgium
A tiny Belgian brewery wedged into a crowded garage on a quiet street in a small Flemish town. Started by an ex music teacher, Achilles Van de Moer, makes simple, honest beers and takes as his symbol the Seraph, a six winged high angel of heaven. A hearty amber brew, well balanced and warming with just the right spirit. 8.0%

Jenlain Noel: France
This holiday beer comes from Brasserie Duyck, in the tiny agricultural town of Jenlain, in the northeast of France, quite near the Belgian border. Famous for their Saison style Farmhouse ales, Jenlain's holiday beer has a rich full sweetness with a tinge of orange peel. A great dark holiday ale. 6.8%

Deschutes Abyss: USA
Ranked #4 on BeerAdvocate.com's Top Beers on Planet Earth. The Abyss has huge depth and an amazingly rich and complex character. Full of licorish, molasses as well as coffee and roast, this 11% alcohol beer is one not to miss. 11.0%

Deschutes Jubel 2010: USA
This remarkable beer has been brewed only twice. Once in 2000 and again in 2010. Originally created when a clumsy burglar didn’t realize the weight of his stolen keg of Jubelale. He dropped it outside to freeze in the season’s subzero
temperatures only to be discovered the next morning by Gary Fish, Deschutes Brewery's owner. More than half the liquid in the keg had frozen and the remaining beer was a very cold, highly concentrated “Jubelale on steroids.” It was so good that the brewers set about recreating it (minus the freezing part) coming up with an annual “Super Jubel” that is aged in Oregon oak pinot barrels. 10.0%

Struise Tsjeeses:
Belgium
A deep blonde abbey style tripel that has been aged for 8 months over different stone fruits. 10.0%

Thirez Bière de Noël: Belgium
A beautiful red/gold wheat beer, with quite subtle allspice and orange peel added. A slightly tart and quite refreshing festive brew. Champagne for the true beer lover. 6.0%

Bad Elf: UK
Old England meets the new world in this strong, warming winter IPA. 6.0%

Very Bad Elf: UK
Special Old Ale brewed from a 1795 recipe using speciallygrown
ingredients. 7.5%

Seriously Bad Elf: UK
An English Double Ale with a bit of Belgian character. Unique for the U.K. 9.0%

Criminally Bad Elf: UK
A boffo Barley Wine. Same basic recipe as Thomas Hardy's Ale. 10.5%

Insanely Bad Elf: UK
Billed as an Imperial Red Ale this is a gorgeous and tasty beer. 12.0%

Warm Welcome: UK
A stronger brown ale with more hops than you'd expect. 6.0%

Santa's Butt: UK
Strong porter. The original name for porter was Entire Butt, meaning the whole barrel. 6.0%

Pickled Santa: UK
Amber, spiced Christmas Ale. 6.0%

Lump of Coal: UK
Liquid consolation for a depressing holiday. Considering how bad you have been... This Bittersweet chocolate stout is more than you deserve. 8.0%

Reindeer's Revolt: UK
A golden amber, hop accented, English “winter warmer” brewed without spices. 6.0%

Other Domestic Craft Holiday Beers.

Wasatch Winterfest

RedRock Griswald

Hoppers SnoAle

Anchor Christmas

Anderson Valley Winter Solstice
Big Sky Powderhound

Deschutes Jubelale

Full Sail Wassail

Full Sail Wreck the Halls

Mactarnahan's HumBug Holiday Porter

Samuel Smiths Winter Welcome

Sierra Nevada Celebration


Thanks for bringing 'em in, Mark!

Cheers!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Dark Side of Epic

Epic Brewing has debuted two new beers to help satisfy your dark half.

The first release is Epic's Imperial Stout. This is a big 10% brew. It is full of dark roasted malts, big coffee, chocolate notes and glowing alcohol warmth.

Epic's second release is a little more subtle. The Smoked Porter comes in at a mellow 6.1%, has nice chocolate and espresso notes with a moderate amount of smokiness.

These beers styles tend to do better with age. The Smoked Porter is drinking pretty well right now, but the Impy Stout could use some time in the bottle to mellow a little bit.

Regardless these are two great additions to the Holiday line-up. With all these great new local releases from the various breweries, there's no reason not to be drinking great local beers this holiday season.

Cheers!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The First SnoAle

Just when you thought that you had reached your local Holiday beer quota for the year, another crazy damn brewer decides to up the ante.

Hoppers Brewmaster and Secret Agent, Donovan Steele has been working on his newest creation for a couple of months now and the results make for a very happy tongue.

Donovan says, for The First SnoAle he wanted to merge the malt flavor and complexity of a French Bier de Garde Noel and accent it with an unspiced, purely yeast driven spiciness similar to a Saison.

By using a blend of French Ale strains it produced some rich malt flavors and a soft drying finish. As this ale warms it becomes more peppery in flavor with the complexity of the more prominent grains. Then comes citrus, fig and a fruitiness.

It also has a good dosing of Belgian candy sugar to fortify the brew. Wheat and raw oats lend a dry crisp finish.

The First SnoAle has an ABV of 8.1% and will be available in 25 oz bottles. It should be available around the second week of December.

Quantities are limited this winter and it will not be made again until next year. Only available at the brewpub.

Cheers!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Manuka Beer Made in Utah

Over the past year we've seen a wide array of beers that contain some of the more unique ingredients available to brewers, that are looking to push the brewing envelope.

From Dandelion to Jalapeno to Peppercorns people are looking to brewers and their beers to challenge their taste buds and get them away from the same-ol'-same ol'.

Enter Squatters owner, Peter Cole. Peter is very found of New Zealand and one of his favorite places there is the Mussel Inn. There they make a unique beer made from a plant that is unique to that region of the world. With assistance from the Mussel Inn's owners, Andrew & Jane Dixon. Peter was able to obtain an herb rarely seen or tasted in North America.

Manuka was first added to beer by Captain James Cook. Cook was searching for a way to alleviate the affects of scurvy, the Captain found it in the bitter plant. Cook knew it would be more palatable to the crew if put into a beer, rather than just chewing it or making it into tea. Besides finding a cure for his crew's scurvy, he also came up with a very agreeable beer.

We don't have much of a scurvy problem here in Utah but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the medicine.

The Squatters brew crew got their hands on the the Manuka (courtesy of the Dixons)and immediately got it into the kettle. They came up with a very unique lagered beer that's here just in time for the Holidays.

It pours a very clear ruby/amber color with a moderate sudsy head. The nose is of malt, herbs and coriander. The taste starts with a Tea like bitterness with hints of Lemongrass and ginger. Next comes a malty coriander punch that balances the spices well. The finish has a pronounced herbal/floral bitterness. The ABV is 6.25%.

This a great spice beer. It's not overpowering and it's punch isn't too overwhelming.

The Squatters label pay homage to the original Mussel Inn beer.

Captain Cooker Manuka Beer will be available starting Wednesday (11/24/10). $5 out of Squatters beer store and $9.99 at table. It will also be available at the UBC Beer Store.

Cheers!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Brainless on Cherries

The experiment continues on. Epic has released their newest barrel aged Beer.

Brainless on Cherries is the latest version of Epic's Belgian Style Triple Ale, which was aged in oak barrels with local cherries.

The first version Brainless on Peaches was a big hit and disappeared from shelves fast. The cherry version won't last either.

The timing is great for beers like these. The Holidays lend themselves well to these over the top, fruit harvest beers.

Brainless on Cherries is described as having big cheery notes with an ABV of 10.3%.

That'll put a hem in the ol' dress!

Available at the Brewhouse. 825s. State Steet, SLC.

Cheers!

Friday, November 19, 2010

New Beer Friday 11/19/10

We only have one new beer this week, but it's a doozie.

The final beer in Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary Brewers Reserve series has finally arrived in Salt Lake. The Oak Aged Ale or Grand Cru is a blend of Sierra Nevada's most acclaimed ales: Oak-Aged Bigfoot Barleywine, Celebration Ale and fresh Pale Ale all blended together and generously dry hopped.

Those that I have talk to that have had it describe it as a great American Strong Ale.

Like it's three predecessors, the Oak Aged Ale is a one time release and won't be around long. You may find some at area liquor stores but you best bets will be at The Bayou and Beerhive.

Also, We are at capacity for the Holiday Tasting. No more RSVP are being accepted. I apologize if you couldn't get in this year, but we have limited space.

Cheers!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

$2 Pints at Roosters

Throughout the rest of November Roosters is spreading a little "Liquid Love".

All beers at both location are a mere $2.00. All Beers, All Day, All Month! (until November 30th, 2010) Mug Clubbers members will be getting their mugs filled for $3.00 in the November as well.

Xmas comes early. Cheers!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bohemian's Pumpkin Lager

A new seasonal beer is available now at the Bohemian Brewery. The Midvale brewery doesn't do a lot of seasonal beers, so when they do tend to go fast.

This new beer is quite a departure for the "old world" style brewery. Known mostly for classic euro beer styles, this mostly American style beer is made with pumpkin and and classic pumpkin spices.

It's Lagered of course. As is all of Bohemian's beers. Most of the Pumpkin beers you'll find are ales. I can't to see how it turned out.

Only available at the Brewery Restaurant.

Cheers!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Revenge of the Holiday Beer Tasting

***WE APOLOGIZE BUT THE HOLIDAY TASTING IS FULLL. NO MORE RSVP'S ARE BEING ACCEPTED***

Last year's Big-Ass Holiday Beer Tasting was such a huge success that we thought we'd try it again. So, We'd like to invite you to the, 2010 Utah Beer Holiday Tasting. If you weren't able to make it last year the concept is pretty simple.

Bring beer. A bottle or two of something that you'd like to share with the group. It doesn't have to be rare - expensive or outrageous. Just something that you enjoy. I gotta say, the generosity of those who attended last year was exceptional.

We're looking into providing some beer for those who attend.

If a fraction of those who attended last year return, it looks like there will be a decent turnout. If you have a tasters glass or a piece of stemware please bring it, you'll be glad you did. Plastic cups will be provided but I'd hate for anyone to have to use them.

Homebrew is absolutely welcome! If you've got something that you'd like to share please bring it. Give us a heads up if it's kegged so we can make sure we have the appropriate amount of room.

The Tasting will again be held at the Irving Schoolhouse located at 1155 e. 2100 s. in Sugarhouse.

We'd ask that this be limited to "Beer People". People who know beer or are interested in learning more about craft beer. Please feel free to bring a guest if you don't want to come solo. But please don't bring cousin Ted because "he's fun and knows how to get his drink-on".

Speaking of "Beer People". Some of our local craft brewers will be in attendance as well as industry professionals. It'll be a nice opportunity for you to get to know them - and they you.

We will have to put a cap on the number of people attending due to the size of the venue. So get your RSVP in ASAP.

Please RSVP to utahbeer@gmail.com

Absolutely no one under 21.

So here's what we have.

What: 1-2 bottle for tasting - tasters glass or stemware - some snacks provided.

Where: The Irving Schoolhouse located at 1155 E 2100 S in Sugarhouse.

When: Saturday December 11th at 7:00pm

Questions & RSVP: utahbeer@gmail.com

Cheers!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Holidays Start Early

Griswald's Big Holiday, the newest seasonal release from RedRock Brewing Company is due to be released tomorrow 11/10/10.

Look for a beer full of Holiday spices and warming alcohol (8.5%). Just in time for the cold weather.

Cheers!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Fifth Element Wins Gold

The United States has come a long way in a very short amount of time, as far as the history of beer is concerned.

Just a scant twenty years ago, if you were to ask someone out side of the U.S. about it's beer they would have poo-pooed it as flavorless, fizzy yellow beer. Which most of it was. That's obviously not the case now. American Brewers are embracing every style and technique conceivable.

Long before the advent of stainless steel, the use of wooden barrels imparted many unique characteristics to beer. These new brewing technics all but wiped many old world styles.

This past weekend The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild put on the Eighth Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel-aged Beer. The festival spotlights beer that has been aged in a wooden barrel or in contact with wood.

All of the beers entered are aged in new or used wine, whiskey or Bourbon barrels and take on many of the characteristics of that libation. Brewers of traditional or not-so-traditional Belgian-inspired beers often prefer used barrels so different resident microorganisms will impart a refreshing tart and acidic character. Fruit, spices, coffee and syrup may compliment the already complex character of wood-aged beers.

One of the beers that really shined this year was Squatters Fifth Element. It took Gold in the Wild Beer category and was also runner-up for best in show.

There are only two breweries in Utah making "sour beers" right now and Squatters is clearly leading the way.

Fifth Element, pours a cloudy apricot/straw color with a fizzy white head. The nose has a bit a of barnyard funkiness to it, with hints of lemon. The tastes starts with light citrus notes then transitions into tart green apples and peach. Next comes a dry oakiness that compliments the tartness well. The finish is a combination a champagne like dryness and bitter florals. Light and dry but highly drinkable. It's 6.75% ABV is well hidden.

I believe there are still bottles of Fifth Element available at the Squatters Bottle Shop. If you've never tried a sour beer, I invite you try this one. It's one of the best in the world.

Congrats Squatters Brew Team!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Mo'Town Brown

Squatters Debuted their Small Batch Series a few months ago with a nicely hopped amber ale called Big Cottonwood. This coming Monday, November, 8th Jenny and Jason will be releasing the second beer in the series, Mo'Town Brown.

If you live outside of Utah your most likely to equate Mo'Town with the city of Detroit. If you've been in Utah long enough you may have heard it as a reference to Salt Lake City. In our case the "Mo" is short for Mormon.

Enough of local pop culture. This new beer is described as being subtle with Chocolate, caramel and roasted malts balanced with big American citrus hops and have an ABV of 5.8%.

As the name entails this is a "small batch series" and won't last long. $5/bomber out of Squatters' beer shop and $9.99 at the table.

Cheers!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

KSL Teaches Kids to Make Alcohol?

KSL Televion in Salt Lake City recently ran a story on a product called Spike Your Juice. They promoted the story saying things like, (I'm paraphrasing) "a product that turns ordinary Juice into alcohol?" then they would show video of shocked parents alarmed that such a thing could possibly exist.

As I'm watching the promo I looked to Mrs. Mikey and said."it's gotta be yeast, right?" And it was. The controversial substance was a simple package of dry yeast.

Basic fermentation is a mind boggling simple process. If your going run a story that's supposed aim is to benefit parents and children, while teaching the said viewers the very process your aim is to protect them from, I think that you've sent a very conflicted message.

In a state where alcohol is the equivalent of "liquid Evil", you'd think an arm of the LDS church (KSL) would be more responsible. An Epic fail.

I won't drone on about the content of the story because I've posted it for you and you can judge it's merits for yourselves. Watch it. Is KSL just trying to create controversy where none exists or was this a good informative story.

I Guess what really burns my ass is that some overly righteous political zealot will run with it and try to pass some bizarre legislation to back their neo-prohibitionist agenda next legislative session. What are your thoughts?

Discussion is already underway in the forum.


Video Courtesy of KSL.com

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Big Things in Moab

Last week we told you about Epic Brewing and their plans to expand their very new brewery by 3000 square feet. The fact that they need to do this speaks volumes about the need for good craft beer in Utah.

Epic isn't alone most of the major local beer makers who distribute their beers outside of their establishments have greatly increased their production schedules and their real estate.

The Utah Brewers Cooperative, Uinta Brewing, RedRock Brewing, Bohemian Brewing and Desert Edge Brewing have all expanded their operations over the past year to meet the increasing demand for their products.

And the Utah beer-boom phenomena isn't just isolated to the Wasatch Front. Moab Brewing has announced a 5000 square foot expansion of their Moab facility beginning in Late December 2010.

The Moab expansion isn't just about meeting increased demand for their beer, it's also about taking back control over their distribution network and bringing the bottling or canning operations back to Utah from Montana.

You may have noticed the word "canning" in that last paragraph. That's right Cans are in Moab's future. So look for Moab's beer in cans this summer.

Not all of Moab's beer will be making the move to aluminum. The Desert Select Series will be growing as well. Look for a hopped up rye beer (RyePA?) and an Export Stout to Join the Black IPA, Scottish Ale and Belgian Style Triple on liquor store shelve.

You may have noticed the words "liquor store shelves" in that last paragraph as well. The Desert Select Series is currently being sold at the brewpub in Moab and will soon be appearing at select liquor stores in the next couple of months.

Since the whole "canning thing" is still in the planning stages there are no plans for what will be in those cans. Here is your opportunity to provide the Moab guys with you opinion on what you'd like to see in them. So, we've put together a poll. It's up top to the right. Don't fuck it up....

Cheers!

Photo: Bryan Serafini