Beer Reviews

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Sometimes it feels like I am beginning to drink earlier and earlier in the day. It’s not a bad thing—it’s just with this arid wasteland of desert we live in and those summer months creeping up on me, I have a problem trying to meet the needs of my drinking regimen—equalizing the demands for light and dark beer in my diet. Luckily, local brewers have cured my woes by creating artistic renditions of the breakfast drink. Here is a divine lineup of brews to enjoy before that bastard sun rises.

Squatters Beerista
Brewery: Squatters Pub
ABV: 6.3%
Serving: 22 oz Bottle
Description: This limited release pours deep brown to black in color with a small off-white head. The aroma comes off as a well-balanced amount of coffee, soft chocolate and some roast. The flavors open up to a heavy-sweet coffee backing with some chalky chocolate and a vanilla/coffee finish.
Overview: Squatters has a reputation of brewing fantastic espresso and coffee stouts, so it was doubtful that the release of the Beerista would be any different. With the use of Millcreek Roasting Company’s El Carmen Estate Guatemalan Coffee, this breakfast in a bottle disguised as a beer is very well balanced and brings out the best qualities in both brews. If this was not a seasonal release, I think I could give my bottle of Bailey’s a rest and make this my new regular breakfast apertif.

Bourbon Porter
Brewery: Desert Edge Brewery
ABV: 4.0%
Serving: On Tap
Description: Off the tap, this oaky goodness comes out a deep brown color with an off-tan head and instant perfumes of oak. With that, the nose leads into a bourbon base with heavy earthy oak notes and some caramel roast. The drink has a firm amount of bourbon oak and some of the roasted chocolate characteristics of the pub’s porter. It finishes with some dry oak on the palate.
Overview: I have to hand it to the brewers of Utah. Outside of the brewing bubble we have here, many people would say that our typical 4.0% beers do not have enough backbone to support the oak. To them, I say fuck off—we have brewers like Chris Haas. This delicious oaked beer is just what I was looking for, and with the pub’s signature lighter carbonated beers, the Bourbon Porter has an old world flavor that I greatly enjoyed.

Nostalgika Chocolager
Brewery: Bohemian Brewery
ABV: 4.0%
Serving: On Tap
Description: Yet another in the wave of popular coffee beers being released by our best local brewers, this version of the Cherny Bock pours a wonderful dark brown with very clear garnet highlights and a nice, persistent tan head.  The aroma is slightly malty with a hint of cocoa powder, while the flavor is still dominated by Cherny’s trademark sooty roast.  The chocolate was added in the form of raw cacao nibs and their flavor is a little more subtle than the coffee, but present largely in the mouthfeel.  The coffee’s bitterness blends well and picks up where the Cherny leaves off.  The overall effect is one of restraint—this beer won’t hit you over the head with a mocha-colored hammer.
Overview: It’s been a great year for Cherny Bock.  First it came out in that sexy black and gold can, then a special oak-aged release in 22 ounce bottles as Oakey and the Bandit, now this! Head brewer Bobby Jackson has added chocolate before, but this is the first time he’s played around with coffee.  What I liked about this beer was how mellow and drinkable it is.  Many other coffee or chocolate beers come off as overwhelming—like having your face dunked in a vat of Swiss Miss or drinking an entire Starbucks.  This Cherny cousin is actually refreshing.  I think it could easily replace iced coffee for the discerning morning drinker. –Rio Connelly