Beer Reviews

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Normally, for October, I’d be pestering the shit out of all of the local breweries—hitting them up and gathering up all of the pumpkin beers I could find for one massive Utah beer “gourd-gasm.” But let’s be honest—How many damn pumpkin beers can you drink in a month? My money says a handful at best. This October, I’m not going to beat you over the head with pumpkin and spices. Instead, I thought we’d treat our palates to beers that are all nice, round and full of diversity—a month full of all-new beers as different as the leaves on the trees. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still throwing in a pumpkin beer. Pumpkin beers are one of the few ales that, for North Americans, evoke a unique autumn feel. Christ, if I didn’t, it would be the equivalent of a “mommy blogger” not blabbing about gingerbread houses over the holidays!
Fröhlich Pils
Brewery/Brand: Red Rock Brewery
ABV: 5.5%
Serving Style: 500 mL bottle
Description: This new release from Red Rock pours a brilliantly clear pale-golden color with two fingers of lacy white foam. This bottle is fresh, and the nose doesn’t disappoint—it’s full of fresh, grassy and toasted grain. There are hints of spruce and lemon rind lingering beneath, as well. The taste starts out with freshly baked bread and a hint of cookie-dough sweetness. The hops pop in next, providing a nice, grassy and herbal bitterness that balances the base malts quite well. The finish is bold but overly drying with a hint of rye-like spiciness.
Overall: Introduced in August as a year-round offering, this German Style Lager has no season, and is perfect anytime.
Black O’ Lantern
Brewery/Brand: Wasatch Brewery
ABV: 6.5%
Serving Style: 12 oz. bottle
Description: This beer is black and dense. There’s a nice, frothy tan cap of foam on top that hangs around longer than expected. The nose is an inviting mix of rich, roasted pumpkin, espresso and toffee malt. The flavor follows the nose with roasted pumpkin flesh and coffee bitterness. Some doughy zucchini bread notes come in next, which provides a nice backbone for the roasted flavors. It’s quite a nice balance. Nutmeg and cinnamon round out the back end, blending in quite nicely with espresso-like bitterness. The finish is smooth and creamy, with a subtle, boozy kick.
Overall: This beer is a blend of Wasatch’s Pumpkin Ale and Squatters’ Outer Darkness Imperial Stout: an all-in-one, handy-dandy, lil’ bottle.
Ales of No Return Series (Mutton Buster)
Brewery/Brand: Payette Brewing
ABV: 4.0%
Serving Style: 12 oz. can
Description: This Idaho-made beer pours a clear-brown color that’s full of amber highlight. The head is a ruddy, off-white color that leaves a sh’load of lacy residue in the glass. The nose smacks with hints of pumpernickel bread and some toffee maltiness. The taste starts with some sweet, lingering caramel malts, and next, some slight hazelnut notes. Toasted bread and cocoa rounds out the back with a splash of pine at the end. It finishes earthily and slightly dry.
Overall: This is the 4.0-percent ABV version that Payette has made for the Utah market. Compared to its 5.5-percent brother, this version is slightly thinner, but no less tasty.
Got any questions? Hit me up at or check out my other ramblings at the Utah Beer Blog. Prost!