Photo: Chris Hollands

Beer Name: Hop Rising Tropical
Double IPA
Brewery: Squatters Craft Beers
ABV: 9.0%
Serving Style:  12-oz. can

Every now and then, we like to revisit our roots in the craft beer game. We used to pick beers based around theme, and one of our most memorable was the local–craft beer night. That included the tasting of an early standout from Squatters Craft Beers, the original Hop Rising Double India Pale Ale. Looking back, Hop Rising really made a lasting impression on the two of us. This beer became a go-to hoppy beer. At the time, there may not have been many other beers that offered the distinguished, hop-heavy flavor and ABV value for the price (and let’s be honest—we all know that there’s a significant cost hike when you commit to a craft beer lifestyle). Hop Rising Double IPA established a secure place in Squatters’ lineup history. Nonetheless, the local brewery presented the reimagining of their popular legacy beer, Hop Rising Tropical Double IPA.

Description:

We poured a chilled Hop Rising Tropical from its 12-oz. aluminum can into a Spiegelau IPA glass. The transfer releases full-bodied bubbles of all sizes, commanding the top of the beverage that leaves a sticky, cream-colored foam. Through the clear-orange liquid, a noticeable amount of carbonation frolics from the etching in the bottom of the glass. The exotic hop combination creates a tropical aromatic experience, showcasing hints of fruit zest layered over familiar sweet malts. Small sips give hints of biting hops followed by juicy blasts of mango and citrus. This flavor profile alone proves the expertise of Squatters Craft Beers, as there is zero fruit actually added to Hop Rising Tropical. The mouthfeel is clean and sharp, which contributes to the well-roundedness and full enjoyment of the beer. Being fans of Hop Rising for all of these years, this new variation gives a pleasant bit of zing while reminding us why we were so fond of the original.

Overview:

Tweaking long-standing brands seemed to be a trendy move prior to the “haze craze” that has taken over these days. Purists may prefer to leave things the way they are because it’s important to maintain a certain sense of history. On the other hand, there are a lot of innovative people who always want to continue to evolve. While we understand both sides to this argument, we tend to lean toward the creative side, in this case.

Squatters took a beer made for hop heads and turned it into a potential gateway beer for those new to the IPA style—while keeping those of us who love the original happy with another close option. Hop Rising Tropical Double IPA positions itself as a refreshing, next logical step in the history of one of Utah’s most renowned beers. Both Hop Rising selections are easily identifiable because of the bright colors and the well-known photo of their master brewer, Jason Stock, impaling a hop with a pitch fork. This Hop Rising Tropical Double IPA can design touts its tropical elements with a perky, yellow-and-pink palette. Of course, we don’t know the future of either the original or this newer version, but we are positive that there is something for everyone regardless of which you prefer.

Cheers!

Unlocking the treasure, the pour is effortless. It surges into a willi glass with a gurgle of micro–air bubbles. Gathering to a head of pure-white foam, a shallow barrier is formed between the lips and the reward. Photo: Chris Hollands

Beer Name: BrewSki Mountain Lager

Brewery: Bohemian Brewery

ABV: 4.0%

Serving Style: 12-oz. can

Utah’s premier lager shop is sharing something exciting this winter season. Bohemian Brewery re-launched the popular BrewSki Mountain Lager. Originally a popular collaboration with Solitude Mountain Resort, this beer spans all of the local ski resorts this go-around. Proving to be a hit with the support of just the single resort, the expansion is definitely warranted. You can find it served on draft with custom, specific-destination-branded tap handles at each of the resorts. In addition to the draft option, the BrewSki lager is available in six-packs at many of the local grocery stores. This is perfect for those of us who are a little less inclined to travel up the canyons to enjoy the winter wonderland.

The BrewSki lager doesn’t stray far from what Bohemian does best. They stick primarily to a traditional-lager brewing process, using only the classic ingredients of water, barley, hops and yeast. Full disclosure: We are not skiers, so it is a good thing this is not a “Ski Resort of the Month” column. However, we can take a cold ride down something we do know a little about, Bohemian Brewery’s BrewSki Mountain Lager.

Description:

Looking at the can instantly transports the mind to a cold playground. This is something a big beer company has tried to do for years, yet Bohemian seems to execute it with the thrill of a craft brewery. To get the setting right for this beer, we ensured that the 12-ounce, light-blue, snow-glazed aluminum was properly iced before cracking the top. Unlocking the treasure, the pour is effortless. It surges into a willi glass with a gurgle of micro–air bubbles. Gathering to a head of pure-white foam, a shallow barrier is formed between the lips and the reward. BrewSki Mountain Lager has a pale-yellow tint that beautifully reflects its surroundings in the glass. This feature of the beer is perfect for the snowy landscape of the resorts it’s served in. As the bubbles pop, the aroma showcases hints of slightly sweet fruit and herbal flowers. The mouthfeel of this legendary style is spot on, keeping it light and easy to drink. With modest sweetness and soft hop bite, it is enjoyable. If you tend to like traditional, mass-produced lagers or are a craft beer enthusiast who wants an uncomplicated break from crazier beer styles, this is the perfect brewski.

Overview:

Though German-style lagers appear to be simpler styles, there is nowhere to hide flaws. Because of this, pilsners are often regarded as one of the most difficult beers to make well and repeat. This brewery has churned out some of the most consistent and approachable craft lagers for the better part of nearly two decades. If someone in Utah is searching for this style of beer, we would certainly send them for a garlic burger and a lager at Bohemian.

We love the fact this Midvale-based company has expanded beyond Solitude. Now Brighton, Alta, Snowbasin and the home of our state’s largest Oktöberfest celebration, Snowbird, proudly serve the BrewSki Mountain Lager. It is OK to seek past the stouts and porters this winter and look toward the brightness of a crisp, clean lager to consume in conjunction with your snow-sport activities. As the brewery states, they aimed for an “extremely approachable [beer] for winter-sports enthusiasts of all abilities.”

Cheers!

With balance from the tropical hops, the finish presents hints of fresh grass and slight yet welcome bitterness. Photo: Chris Hollands

Beer Name: Ferda

Brewery: Templin Family Brewing

ABV: 8.2%

Serving Style:  16-oz. can

Guess who’s back? After short time away, Kevin Templin, former head brewer of Red Rock Brewing Co., once again successfully immersed himself into the Salt Lake City brewing scene. Although, Kevin and wife Britt Templin weren’t just taking a vacation from the beer world, a life they have known for well over two decades. They were putting forth fantastic effort that they’ve brought to the booming Granary District, another must-visit location for adult beverages. Launched this past October, Templin Family Brewing hit the ground running. The amount of detail put into the project is remarkable, and even more so how quickly it appeared to come together. Though T.F. Brewing will be focusing heavily on lager beer, every aspect of the operation looks to be seamlessly thought out, including the first canned beer, a big Double India Pale Ale. T.F. Brewing features a modern space, diverse food trucks, a variety of beer, and even the glassware selection hits the mark. All proof that Templin’s true grit prevails, producing a selection beyond the assortment of wholesome lagers is the Imperial India Pale Ale, Ferda.

Description: A tall 16-oz. aluminum can showcases Ferda’s sleek label design with the classy moniker T. F. Brewing. The proper glassware is a slam dunk. It is slender yet large enough to fit every drop of goodness. Cracking the can, a liquid surge of bright-copper haze consumes the big drinking vessel. The bubbling froth forming at the top is clean, white and initially thick, protecting the treasure below. First whiffs of this Double IPA present hints of classic West Coast IPA flavors and citrus. Ferda’s mouthfeel is crisp and sharp while delivering a precise display of hops and sweetness. With balance from the tropical hops, the finish presents hints of fresh grass and slight yet welcome bitterness. For a super-hoppy beer, it’s well crafted and hides the alcohol well. This is a beer well-suited to start out the night or to close it down.

Overview:

T.F. Brewing offers a heavy selection of exceptional lagers, proving that Kevin wants to do what he loves and to love what he’s doing. With a personal affinity for German beer styles, Kevin sought to open a place mimicking the traditional family breweries he is so fond of. We have found many brewers clearly united in their love for a good lager and the amount of care it takes to get them right. Unlike a hoppy beer, there is little to hide behind in a clean German-style beer. Yet, another common sentiment among the brewing community is that the IPA is king, so it makes sense to ensure that one is available as casual patrons pass on through.

Head brewers have admitted that recipes aren’t always dialed in when working with a brand-new system. It could take a few batches to get accustomed. It’s Templin’s dedication to perfection that allowed the first batches of Ferda to shine so early on. We are sure that he is always working to make each beer the best it can be because he has always been a perfectionist in this aspect. Templin Family Brewery is meant to be a place to visit and enjoy the environment, people and beer. Though Kevin once told us the next big thing in beer was “the German pilsner,” he will make sure that his family brewery has something for everyone. If history is on Kevin’s side, Ferda will become a staple offering—much like another popular local Double IPA that Templin had his hand in during his previous gig, Red Rock’s Elephino.

Cheers!

The added java may not affect the color, but it is a stronghold on the aroma. Photo: Chris Hollands

Beer Name: Coffee Cream Ale
Brewery: Kiitos Brewing

ABV: 4.0%
Serving Style: 12-oz. can

Are you looking to try a beer that is effortlessly drinkable and contains the maximum amount of flavor? This is a great place to start. We love coffee and beer—don’t you?

Coffee Cream Ale from Kiitos Brewing carried home a gold medal from this year’s Great American Beer Festival. As we sat among the hordes of brewery employees in the Colorado Convention Center during the awards ceremony, we were elated to witness locals receive the highest honor. Coffee Cream Ale won the top award in the competitive Coffee Beer category. “I still cannot believe it happened,” says Kiitos Head Brewer and mastermind Clay Turnbow. “It was great for the entire team to see our hard work and attention to detail pay off.” It’s impressive for a young brewery, opening up just over a year ago, to win such a prestigious award. And without a doubt, winning the craft beer equivalent to an Oscar or Grammy has certainly bumped the popularity of the beer. “We have [definitely] noticed an increase at the tavern and for cans to go,” Clay says.

Kiitos’ Head Brewer reserved this recipe from his extensive home-brewing days and was pleased to offer it at the launch of Kiitos Brewing. Blending coffee with beer is not a new concept, but recently merging the two popular beverages into a lighter style of beer is gaining increased popularity.

Description:

Distribution of Coffee Cream Ale expanded only weeks before the medal-winning beverage was crowned, allowing us to purchase it from our local Smith’s grocery store. Pouring a frosty 12-ounce can into a branded tulip glass presents a thin, white lining of carbonation resting on the top of the fill. Visually, Coffee Cream might throw spectators off as it pours a flawless, golden-yellow hue instead of a dark shade one might expect from coffee. The added java may not affect the color, but it is a stronghold on the aroma. Influential fragrances of La Barba coffee blend perfectly with the sweet malts. Smooth Guatemalan coffee with hints of sugary malts are picked up during consumption. This beverage is super crisp and light in mouthfeel with bright flavors, making this brew supremely balanced and refreshing—quite the opposite of darker coffee beers that generally come across on the heavy side. Coffee Cream Ale resembles a cold-brew coffee with just a touch of raw sugar.

Overview:

Kiitos Brewing and newly rebranded Shades Brewing were the two breweries that took home GABF gold medals for our state this year. We are cheerful and proud of the recognition the Beehive State receives when the locals do well in these influential competitions. When asked how winning will affect not only the brewery but also the Utah beer scene, Turnbow says, “For now, it helps our sales team sell the beer, and it’s a nice talking point for the tavern staff … I think it helps get rid of the ‘4-percent beer is watered down and thin’ stigma.”

Kiitos entered four beers into the GABF competition. Though Turnbow was confident about the quality of Coffee Cream, he actually thought the Barrel-aged Imperial Red had the best shot at placing for a medal. We agree with the judges’ assessment that Coffee Cream Ale is one of the best coffee beers in the land. However, it is recommended and obvious with local craft beer enthusiasts that you should give any and all of Kiitos beers a try.

Cheers!

SeaQuench Ale pours a light-straw yellow that falls on the hazy side of the spectrum. Photo: Chris Hollands

Beer Name: SeaQuench Ale
Brewery: Dogfish Head

ABV: 4.9%
Serving Style: 12-oz. can

Something weird this way comes to our beer market. Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery (and arguably one of the most recognizable names in craft beer), raised the Utah flag surrounded by a sea of silver brewing equipment—and we are rightly stoked, to say the least. We are amped when big-name breweries come knocking on our door. Calagione helped spearhead the growth of the first wave of craft beer by positioning his Delaware-based brewery as one of the leaders in thought-provoking, experimental brews. Founded in 1995 with a tagline of “off-centered ales for off-centered people,” Dogfish Head has surely made a name for itself. Years ago, this brewery’s beers were among our most sought-after when we traveled out of Utah.

The initial lineup slated for our state includes several classics: Flesh and Blood IPA and the popular 60- and 90-minute IPAs. But the most interesting offering thus far is the session sour, SeaQuench Ale, a unique mixup of a gose, berliner and kölsch. It is a lower-alcohol-content beer brewed with black limes, lime peel, sour lime juice and sea salt.

Description:

Cracking the cold can, we can almost hear it whisper a hissing “welcome”—or maybe it’s just our excited ears playing tricks on us. Nonetheless, we transfer it into a name-branded goblet, which seems to fit this multi-category beer well. Loads of bubbles generate, creating a white, foamy head that dissipates swiftly. It pours a light-straw yellow that falls on the hazy side of the spectrum. As we dive in for the first investigative sniff, hints of graham cracker, citrus and zest are picked up. From the preview, we are expecting the beer to be extremely salty or overly sour. To our blissful surprise, the beer is neither. DFH has crafted a beer that is tremendously subdued in the sour department. Seeking to build on the adjunct ingredients, tart lime bursts upfront followed by sweet bread from the malts with a small touch of salt to polish it off. The flavor is well-balanced, crisp and refreshing. It’s a great thing that these were made sessionable for how crushable they are.

Overview:

Dogfish Head Brewery is known for pushing the creative liquid limits. SeaQuench Ale seems to represent mature thinking, or a more mainstream approach. This is a beverage that will appease all types of drinkers—not limited just to beer, but wine- and margarita-lovers, too. From a brewery that has brewed beer using everything from corn chewed up and spit out by their staff to high-end ingredients like saffron, we may have been expecting something a little more adventurous. The initial offering coming to Utah via Delaware may seem a bit tame, but likely, this brewing powerhouse will slowly infiltrate the market with plenty of the odd ales we have come to know and seek out. Many of the local high-end beer bars have already started to special order additional DFH products, and there is no shortage of interesting beer to try. As mentioned before, we are always pleased when we get breweries to enter our shops. We just wish that this one was five years sooner because a beer like SeaQuench Ale would have been epic exploratory magic circa 2013. As of now, it’s just a pleasant, easy-to-drink, well-balanced beer we really enjoy.

Cheers!

Photo: Chris Hollands

Beer Name: Dirty Chai Stout
Brewery: SaltFire Brewing Co.

ABV: 6.7%
Serving Style:  500-mL bottle

Perfectly located in a future hotspot for local beer is SaltFire Brewing. Since their launch earlier this year, it’s proven to be a special addition to the Utah brewery family. Opening day, SaltFire’s Head Brewmaster, Patrick Bourque, pieced together a strategic lineup. Saltfire show-cased beers with traditional grounding and the risk-taking needed to excel in today’s competitive craft beer world. Along with their hopped-up monster Füry Kölsch, they took a gamble by releasing the robust Dirty Chai Stout in warmer months. “I’m sort of surprised at the response to this beer,” says Bourque. “We originally had put it on the back burner as the hot summer months were approaching, and I was cautious about how well a dark, spiced beer would do in the heat. When it comes down to it, you have to listen to your customers. People wanted it despite the season, and more importantly, people wanted it as our first batch sold out.” The SFB crew listened to the masses and went along with the release.

Description:

SaltFire Brewing delivers their beer in classically styled 500-mL bottles. This showcases the clever label designs, helping to identify the brewery quickly among the crowds. Cracking the top, this newly bottled bad boy gives a quick hiss then retreats into a welcoming silence. Anxiously, we pour the beer into a properly labeled beer glass. As the liquid layers itself along the edges of the glass, it settles into a dark, creamy, bubble-farm of foam that seems to clear quickly. Strong aromatics of cinnamon race to the nasal passages. A few sips in, hints of dark chocolate and full-bodied coffee balance the spice. With a crisp and surprisingly light mouthfeel, cloves complement the cinnamon and java. The taste is much like you would anticipate if you are a chai tea or coffee fan. Everything is in perfect harmony, as all of the ingredients play a key part in making this a delightful beer experience.

Overview:

Dirty Chai Stout is made with a local coffee roaster and brewery favorite, Blue Copper Coffee. The combo of Blue Copper and Indian Chai spice might have you thinking that this is just another hipster drink. However, we would urge you to open up your mind and taste buds and give it a try. The Dirty Chai is a popular blend of traditional chai tea and an espresso. If these are up your alley or if you have been wondering what all the fuss is about, this beer is for you. Due to its popularity, it has earned its place into regular rotation, but plans for this recipe are on the horizon. Bourque says, “We have started our barrel project and expect to release an imperial version of the Dirty Chai Stout as the months get cooler.”

It’s exciting to hear about all of the new beer planned in the coming months from SaltFire Brewing. This includes additional barrel-aged brews, sours and, of course, more New England Style IPAs. As SaltFire’s distribution and fanbase continue to grow, we should hopefully start to see their labels appear throughout the state. As of now, find the freshest selection at their brewery, located 2199 S. West Temple in South Salt Lake City.

Cheers!

Photo: Sylvia Hollands

Brewery: 2 Row Brewing
Beer Name: Chasing Haze

ABV: 6.5%
Serving Style: 12-oz. bottle

Just over three years ago, Brian and DeDe Coleman made their dream a reality. They opened the doors to Midvale’s very own 2 Row Brewing. Around that time, the local craft beer scene was pretty well set in place with a handful of usual suspects littered throughout the state. Utah was a little slower to catch the craft beer wave, so we were overdue for something refreshing and new to drink. When the Colemans launched in June of 2015, they brought not only the hops but the charge for a slew of new breweries to come in the following years. Brian loves hoppy beers and, as head brewer, almost immediately rose to the top of the IPA food chain with classics like Random Double IPA, Accelerator IPA and crowd favorite Tastes Like Citrus. The latter brew has the honor of being one of the neighborhood’s first local New England Style IPAs. Once other breweries realized the importance of this now official style of beer, it was just a matter of time before everyone was Chasing Haze.   

Description:

Upon drinking, we gently rolled the bottle in our hands in an effort to distribute the haziness evenly before dispensing the goodness. We cracked the top and proceeded to pour the goldenrod-colored beer into our trusty tulip-stem glass. As the liquid fills the cup, minimal froth makes an appearance, leaving only a permanent halo clutching the rim. A popular characteristic of this style is the amount of purely electric aroma from the hop bill, and Chasing Haze does not lack in this area. The hop bill consists of Citra, El Dorado and Mosaic, thus creating a tropical, citrusy smell. Lifting the cold beer to our lips, we both took different approaches. One of us took a slight sip and the other welcomed the liquid with a refreshing mouthful, which is much more fitting on a warm day. Chasing Haze doesn’t disappoint in the flavor department—another well-liked trait of the style is the citrus’ sleek mouthfeel and low bitterness. Having learned all about NEIPAs, Brian is happy that this beer comes in at a 6.5 percent ABV. Based on his experience, it is the perfect alcohol content for this style.

Overview:

Chasing Haze is the latest NEIPA to make the cut for the brewery’s regular rotation. Adorned with a groovy label, it fits in perfectly with the rest of the 2 Row staples. We asked Brian if it was a blessing or a curse to be considered one of Utah’s premier stops for hoppy beer, and he replied, “Absolutely a blessing. We love making IPAs, and of course, every brewery wants to have a reputation for making something extraordinary.” Many of the local breweries have jumped on the haze train at some point, making it great for all of us who enjoy this refreshing approach. 2 Row Brewing was one of the first to see the haze at the end of the tunnel, giving hopheads what they crave so badly. Brian says that this is the first beer he brewed using a “secret sauce” method, which he plans to employ in upcoming releases of Feeling Hazy and Tastes Like Citrus. We appreciate Brian’s creativity and his vision for the future of craft beer. It helps break down barriers for new breweries in our state, as well as bring one of the beer industry’s most popular trends to the masses.

Cheers!

Photo: Sylvia Hollands

Brewery: Salt Flats Brewing
Beer Name: Salt Flats Hefeweizen

ABV: 4.0%
Serving Style: 16-oz. draft

It was time. We gallivanted up the southeast hill in Draper to Garage Grill, showroom of Salt Flats Brewing, where we planned to do something neither of us had done in quite awhile—purposefully order a Hefeweizen with our meal. We remember the Hefeweizen gaining a ton of traction back in the early to mid-’90s.

This traditional German-style wheat beer is likely the first “cloudy” brew we can remember that wasn’t a filtration mistake. Like IPAs, as the style grew in popularity, brewmasters sought to build on a good thing by adding fruit to the mix. Apricot, blueberry and raspberry seemed to be popular. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, these beers seemed to suffer a fate similar to the pilsner with craft beer–seekers, falling out of favor as big, bold hoppy beers took over. In recent times, our consumption of them is usually because they are in a mixed-style pack or part of a brewery’s standard sampler flight. Nonetheless, we went to Salt Flats Brewing and ordered up a tall pint of this often discounted craft brew for old times’ sake.

Description:
The beer was served in a 16-ounce shaker glass, appropriately adorned with the label of the brewery. Our beer was also decorated with a wedge of lemon placed tightly on top of the glass. This may be one of the drawbacks in the modern craft beer world for this traditional style; among purists, it might be seen as a gimmick or unnecessary. We do not affiliate as purists, but we quickly tossed the citrus nugget to the side. The beer pours a lovely haze of lemon sunshine with a billowing, white head that lasted just long enough to grab a couple pictures. With the raise of the glass, a fresh whiff of lemon zest and fruity granola greets the nose. Now we don’t know for sure, but this is probably where the lemon wedge laid. Lightning flavors of banana and cloves up front with a sweet, bready finish from the wheat polish the palate. The mouthfeel is clean, full-bodied and perfect for summer.

Overview:
Overall, the experience is a pleasant one and has us questioning why we seemed to dismiss this classic style. Salt Flats Hefeweizen is a reminder that it shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re in need for an easy-drinking fill-up. Salt Flats Brewing hit the asphalt revving by bringing tasty, refreshing beers to its customers. They base their purpose around celebrating the hardworking people (and cars) in the racing industry. Their name makes sense. “Salt Flats … Bonneville Salt Flats notable for racing …” You get the idea. So, though many of Salt Flats’ staple beers fall in line with what are generally considered safe beers, they are accomplishing exactly what they set out to do: allowing the “everyman” to last the entire race with their versions of session beers. SFB is keen by successfully avoiding a position as a field-filler and came to the starting line ready to be inducted into the 200 MPH Club.

Along with Hefeweizen, SFB has anywhere from 15–20 beers on tap at Garage Grill, the only pub located in Draper, Utah. A few of their beers, including this one, are also located in some convenience stores around the valley. However, visiting the racecar-filled, motor lover’s dream pub guarantees immersion into their vision.

Thanks for taking a trip with us back down craft beer–memory fast lane! Cheers!

Photo: Sylvia Hollands

Beer Name: Pilsner
Brewery: Moab Brewery

ABV: 4%
Serving Style: 16-oz. can

Right about now, the wishy-washy spring weather should be in the past, so we can get flip-flop- and sandal-deep into summertime. With temperatures rising, we feel it fitting to showcase a classic beer style built for the season, the pilsner. (To be honest, a pilsner is a great beer all year long, so please don’t get us wrong when we associate it with the hotter months.)

In our time, some of the most respected craft figures have often told us not only how historically important the pilsner is but, also, how it is still a commonly favorite style. Originating in the 1800s, a pilsner is a pale lager brewed with cold-fermenting yeast. This technique is used to slow down the fermentation, which stewards the beer’s clear transparency along with its lifespan on the shelf. The light brew is often associated with macro breweries and thus took some bruising during the craft beer boom within the last eight–10 years or so. Brewers are pushing experimental beers to the extreme. We do have to say, it is essential to explore new worlds while maintaining a solid historical foundation, and a pilsner is a nice fallback when the ropes begin to twist. Something about going back to the basics offers a nice rebalance. For every hoppy IPA, we enjoy two or more clean, refreshing lagers. Usually brewed at a sessionable ABV, a pilsner is crushable on a hot day.

Description:

Moab Brewery’s Pilsner is a fine example of the notable style. Pilsner comes in a bumblebee-jacketed, yellow-and-black, 16-ounce tall-boy can. We poured a cold one into a larger, nonic pint because we needed additional space to accommodate the extra four ounces that Moab graciously provides. The time-consuming lagering process allows the beer to pour a liquid with such clarity that it contrasts the process with its simplicity. This brew looks similar to the reflection of bright sunshine on gold. A bubbling, white head tops the glass, retreating quickly and leaving foam grasping to stay afloat. As with most minimally hoppy beers, the aroma is a balanced, musky-sweet. It isn’t the floral scent that you’re used to from an IPA. Get this beer nice and chilled, and you will be rewarded with a sharp, crisp mouthfeel, showcasing the kilned malt and teasing hops. It’s a nod to the beers of yesteryear with flavors of warmed biscuit and citrus with a hint of bitter spice.

Overview:

The number of pilsners continues to grow as demand for the style urges the production. It seems that the more the old-school style is integrated, the further it gains footing in the community. We are firm believers that all breweries should have a fine pilsner on draft. A pils is the perfect complement to any lineup of beers. Now and then, it’s nice to sit down, enjoy a beer or two and not overthink it. Moab’s Pilsner is easy to drink. It can easily be used as a gateway beer for someone just getting started in to the world of craft beer, perfect for a BBQ, sunning on the patio, mowing the lawn or hiking to Delicate Arch (the one on many Utah license plates). If you’re not near the beautiful red rock destination, this pilsner should be easily found in local convenience and grocery stores. Pick some up. We are sure to see this style make a push for comeback kid of the year.

Cheers!

Photo: Jo Savage

Beer Name: RiNo APA
Brewery: Epic Brewing Company
ABV: 5.8%
Serving Style: 12-oz. can, 21-oz. bottle

Photo: Jo Savage
Photo: Sylvia Hollands

When Epic Brewing Company announced plans to open a second location in Denver a few years back, we admit we were excited—and a little nervous. Of course, the possibilities for enhanced creativity by having a new large brew space had us giddy. On the other hand, would they forget about us? Would the Coloradans get all of the good stuff? Epic produced RiNo APA, a beer named in honor of the River North District where the Colorado-based company is located. RiNo American Pale Ale is an upgraded version of a Pale Ale with the same name created during the launch of the Denver brewery. Learning the ropes by brewing New England–style IPAs, this APA showcases Epic’s growing abilities to deliver a juicy, hazy beer, while partaking in one of the fastest-growing beer styles in the world. With this new brew, Epic aims to deliver their promise of loyalty by showcasing something special and sharing it with us. Needless to say, Epic continues to do a great job of taking care of the community where their roots stem from.

Photo: Jo Savage
Photo: Jo Savage

Description: A zap of citrus aroma strikes the air almost immediately after opening the properly chilled 12-oz. can. The brew pours like a bright apricot pulp that maximizes the haze factor, which makes it absolutely lovely to lay your eyes on. A completely white froth seems to pop on top then quickly retreats. Using late-addition Mosaic and Centennial hops to ramp up the juiciness, the scent offers hints of a tropical summer vacation and sweet citrusy sunshine. Grapefruit and illusions of banana bread present a pleasing medium body. This reimagined American Pale Ale has a smooth and silky mouthfeel. It glides over the tongue with ease like a flowing river that has cascaded over smooth stones eroded over decades. As we set out to enjoy this delicious beverage, we are completely satisfied with the refreshing flavors that finish clean with minimal bitterness.

Overview: Having visited the River North neighborhood (RiNo), and specifically Epic Brewing Company’s location, we understand the excitement the shot-callers at the brewery had when they decided to open a location there. “When we opened our brewery in 2013, the neighborhood was already buzzing with creative freedom, and we were instantly drawn to its infectious energy,” said Epic Co-founder Dave Cole. The area has become a hotspot for the craft beer community, with several surrounding brewhouses within walking distance of each other.

We are happy Epic decided to take a chance and make these changes to a beer that has been around since the latest location opened. RiNo APA was fashioned to share the spirit of their new neighborhood by being creative and pushing the limits, while still maintaining friendly accessibility for us consumers. The beer has bold, welcoming flavors and is simply beautiful to look at. It was released in 22-ounce bottles earlier, but this offering is being distributed into our local liquor stores in 12-oz. cans with a design motivated by wall paintings from around the district. This is just in time for the hot summer days ahead where we can already see ourselves crushing these brews at a family BBQ or a camping trip down south. Regardless of when or where we enjoy them, we have to thank Epic Brewing Company for not forgetting about us!

Cheers!