Beer Reviews – November 2009

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In honor of the passing of this year’s farmer’s market, I figured I would do some reviews about beers that were brewed fresh, and what style is better than fresh-hopped ales? Before I get carried away with that beer business, the fine folks at SLUG have given me more than enough space on this page to get some shit off my chest. Listen, I like the farmers market—what I don’t like is people who see the farmers market and say,

“Hey, I think I want to walk my dog around in crowded areas and ensure that it shits in prime pedestrian walkways, and while I am at it I think I will bring the kids—well fuck, all the kids: neighbor kids, kidnapped kids, the entire SLC grammar school’s student body while I am at it, but only if they are loud and obnoxious. If I need to keep track of them I think I will just strap them into a quadruple wide stroller or tie them onto a fetus leash so they act like a bunch of little bolas tripping down bystanders and innocent people.”
All of that aside, I am a fan of the farmers market, just not suburban housewives. On to the beer. The selection we have lined up have all used hops that were either purchased from our new local hop grower or “acquired” from back alleys and back canyons of this fine state. They were all picked by locals and the brewers themselves.

Radius
Brewer/Brand: Desert Edge
Abv: 4.0%
Serving Style: On-Tap
 Description: The color is a light straw with a bright white head that leaves a quarter inch of foam with some lacing around the pint. The aroma is dominated by peaches, tangerines and then the smallest amount of malt. The drink is not so much on the bitter side, but more filled with sweet fruity complexities, moderate malt and a crisp finish.
Overview: Short of the great drinkability of this beer, the major identifier is the fact that it is 100 % local. From the brewer: “This is a 100% local beer, with all ingredients coming from within 150 miles of the brewery.” Cheers to Chris Haas (Head Brewer) for keeping it as local as it gets.

Hop Bandit
Brewer/Brand: Wasatch Brewery
Abv: 4.0%
Serving Style: On-Tap
 Description: Cloudy and deep orange in color, this beer is intensely ripe in the aromatics. The nose is filled with grassy apricots and oranges and this hidden backing of sweet malts. The flavor is rich in fruity sweetness, put off by the fresh hops with a definite sweetness that makes this very session-able.
Overview: Matt Beamer and Ray Madsen, along with a handful of others, laboriously plucked all the hops for this seasonal batch. Beamer found the hops from all around the Park City valley. A true local brew. The greatest eye opener about this beer is the extreme characteristics that Utah-grown hops can put off in a beer. Let’s hope that this is a new regular in the seasonal releases from the guys in Park City.

Brewers Select
Brewer/Brand: RedRock
Abv: 4.0%
Serving Style: On-Tap
Description: Fresh off the tap, this wet-hopped ale pours a hazy orange with copper hues and an off-white pillowy head. The nose is dominated by floral hops and a lemony pinch with a nice malt undertone. The flavor is moderate in bitterness with a lot of grassy hop characteristics to finish with a sweet malt backing.
Overview: This brew was made with local organic hops grown by High Desert Hops in West Valley City, Utah. At only their first year in production, it is cool to see that there are already some breweries using their hops. I am excited to see where they go from here. On to the beer, the lightly sweet malt backing made this a killer pairing with their Creamy Pear with Bleu Cheese soup. This is released shortly behind their seasonal Harvest Ale, so we will have to see how it matches up.