Beer Reviews – October 2009

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lutty costumes are by far the best part about Halloween and all of October in general. Profuse drinking is not as frowned upon this month, either. In fact, some of the best drinking holidays happen to fall in this time frame––Oktoberfest and Halloween (pagan version please) being the most noteworthy. So I ask of you, please do your part and make this state all the more intoxicated. From the looks of it, I think we all may need to get a head start, because the shitty X-mas season seems to be rearing its cheerful face. Fuck. So in honor of the drinkfest that this month bestows, I figured I would do some quality German-styled brews and even a fancy new “high point” that almost missed my radar. To make this month’s reviews sweeter, I have thrown in some beer pairings with Halloween candy, because I can.

Double Black Lager

Brewery: Hoppers Brewing Company
Abv: 4.0 %

Serving Style: On Tap Only
Description: Into the pint this lager is a deep, deep hazelnut color (basically black) with an off-white head that leaves some tread around the pint as you drink. The aroma is rich in roasted character with a light powdered chocolate, a pinch of butter and a grassy hop undertone. The flavor is thick with lots of that roasted character, and some more of that toasted chocolate, but not too much to be overwhelming.
Overview: For those of you that do not have the emotional capacity to leave Salt Lake City, and God forbid you make it past 3300 South, the fine folks of Hoppers now officially will have a tap at the new Beerhive Pub. So now you can sleep easy knowing you can get beer from “that side of the valley” in the downtown area. This is a dangerously easy-drinking brew, and I have yet to be displeased with any of Donovan Steele’s seasonals. Dart for the licorice to pair well with this malty beast.

Brewery: Squatters
Abv: 5.5 %
Serving Style: 18 oz Bottle/42 oz. Growler
Description: Out of the bottle there is a heavy malt intensity and some subtle toasted malts that hit your nose. The color is orange-red with an off-white standing head that leaves behind some decent lacing. The palate is light to medium in body with a nice little kick of malty sweetness, some moderate hop bitterness and a mildly dry finish that is lightly cloying to your mouth.
Overview: Oh, shit. look what you have done, Utah legislature: Our breweries have gone crazy. They are producing beer a whole percent-and-a-half more alcoholic than before! The streets are going to be overrun with criminals, abortions and good literature! Prost to Jenny Talley and Jason Stock over at Squatters for this one. This brew was spot on and with such easy drinkability, it was hard not to order another. Match this beer with a caramel apple, minus the razor blades.

German Pilsner
Brewery: RedRock
Abv: 4.0 %
Serving Style: On Tap Only
Description: Off the tap, this pilsner pours a soft yellow color with a thin white head that recedes quickly, but leaves some lacing around the rim. The smell is a subtle malty grain with some traditional noble (German) hops that all equal to a balanced nose. The taste is light and crisp with some malty sweetness, and a flowery/grassy hop pinch at the end that is nice and refreshing.
Overview: German beer reviews would be nothing without a decent pilsner to talk about. So why look any further than the folks at RedRock when it comes to the style? Head Brewer Kevin Templin is constantly producing amazing German brews, so it only makes sense that they are now expanding their brewing setup with some promise of a bottling line. Keep your fingers crossed, folks. As for pairing, this beer was a touch harder to put my finger on, but I noticed that it went well with anything that had coconut in it. Just avoid chocolate with this one.