Friday, January 3, 2014

Utah Christmas Adventure

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

I spent about ten days in Utah for the holidays because that's where my family is... and I was planning on getting full tours in at some of these establishments... but an illness, busy schedule & a few other mishaps kinda messed that up... but still, there are some great beers being made in Utah. Here are a few of the bigger players...

Uinta Brewing - Salt Lake City, Utah

Uinta Brewing is among the 50 largest microbreweries in America... and was available at the grocery store... I tried their Mix'r pack with Wyld Extra Pale Ale, Baba Black Lager & Punk'n Pumpkins Ale... but feel free to check out some of their selection, it's pretty legit.

I also packed some of my homebrews to share as Xmas gifts...

Side by side of Uinta's Punk'n & our homebrew...
Taste test... the same.
Epic Brewing - Salt Lake City, Utah

I started one afternoon by going to check out one of Utah’s little gems, Epic Brewing Company. This is a fairly new entry into the craft beer scene, but they specialize in high-alcohol content beers… and have a wide variety of barrel-conditioned ales. Their “Brainless” series starts with a Belgian-style ale… then they add pureed fruits like raspberries, cherries, peaches, etc… and place them for long-term fermentation (about a year) in used chardonnay barrels. What comes out is about 10-12% ABV, pretty sweet for a beer, but pretty delicious as well. While there, I tested some of their goods along with fellow travelers.

One note about breweries in Utah is that you MUST order food before you can be given alcohol in a restaurant. There are some ways around these kind of archaic rules… but the main benefit is for the breweries, because then they can charge about $7-$8 for a Panini sandwich, then start with the beer tastings, basically doubling your bill. Not a bad racket… but yeah, it’s different from most establishments in the world. Still they’re reasonably priced compared to most here in San Francisco. I’d highly recommend stopping by if you’re in the neighborhood. No brewery tour this time, but it’s a fairly small operation with good beer.

Utah Brewing Cooperative - Salt Lake City, Utah

I spent a Saturday at my dad's... and because I was sick Thursday & Friday before, I didn't get to tour the Utah Brewers Cooperative but I checked out what I could. They also had an issue where their bottling line didn't start up immediately when it shut down for Christmas... so they were playing catch up... so even my charm couldn't squeeze us in. This location does the brewing & bottling for both Squatters & Wasatch Beers, both pretty big names in the Utah craft beer industry. In fact, I think they've gone into the Top 50 in the nation size-wise too. Anyway, I grabbed a sampler six-pack.... and yeah, they're all pretty good...

Rrrrr... really like Provo Girl labels & posters...

Rooster's Brewery & Eatery - Ogden, Utah

One of the nights that I was a little sick, the family went to Rooster’s Brewing & Eatery on Historic 25th Street in Ogden. They are a restaurant that brews their own beer... and the four kinds that they had at the time were pretty good. Standard recipes sure... but not horrible at all... and the atmosphere was pretty cool. Apparently they decorate like my mom does by putting cocks/roosters up everywhere.

Behind-the-bar setup...

Anyway, hope you found them interesting... and if you're in Utah or see them at a BevMo or something, give them a try. Happy New Year!

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