Maybe I’m behind on the vernacular at times, but when I overheard one of the brew brethren utter the phrase, “Getting some strange,” I wasn’t quite sure what it meant, but I was positive that it was douchebaggy.
Despite my hip-lingo handicap, my beer brain wandered off into thinking, “I could go for some strange brew-drinking tonight.” My friend Derek, of course, meant getting some broads outside his norm, but it’s these douchebags whom I want to thank for the inspiration for this set of Beer Issue reviews. This lineup covers all of those beers that don’t fall into the norm of your typical drinking night. Maybe these infused-and-funky, aged beers may not be your type, but I’ll recommend all of them for that one-nighter try, even if she’s not your “reg.” This one is dedicated to you, Derek.
Brewery/Brand: Uinta Brewing Co./Crooked Line
Serving: 750 ml Bottle
Description: The newest member to the Crooked Line-up pours a reddish/pink color with a small white head. The aromatics are balanced with the scent of cherries and soft notes of oak. Off the first sip, you get mild cherry flavors and a polite amount of tart fruits. It finishes with a rounded oak character.
Overview: Marking Uinta’s 19th Anniversary, this tart cherry ale is a soft-drinking brew that is well suited for every level of drinker. While those sour freaks out there are looking for that enamel-peeling acidity, this mild-mannered brew is simplistic and rounded enough in flavor for any drinker, and it packs enough depth to keep your palate pleased. Even if it’s not your beer of choice, the bottle art (designed by Utah’s own Travis Bone) has enough aesthetic appeal to make this a must-try.
Brewery/Brand: Epic Brewing Co.
ABV: 5.3% (Release #2)
Serving: 22 oz Bottle
Description: Pouring a light-yellow, hay color with a small, white head, this gluten-free beer opens up with aromas of grapefruit, pine and some grain. The taste is cidery-tart with light hints of sugars and an herbal finish.
Overview: This is the second time I’ve reviewed a local gluten-free beer. While I would prefer to say, “Hey, glu-tards, stick to your cider and wine,” Utah’s brewers have forced me to hold my gluten-tolerant tongue. This millet, sweet-potato-and-molasses infused brew was interesting enough that I’d call it a safer alternative to drinking that RedBridge-Anheuser-Busch shit. Not to mention, it’s local! Thanks, Epic, for appealing to all the demographics out there.
Bohemian Zoigl Beer
Brewery/Brand: Bohemian Brewery
Description: On draft, this unfiltered brew pours a deep, hazy, reddish-brown color with a soft, tan head. The aroma opens up with some toasted malts and a decent amount of bready fruit. The same aromatics carry through into the aroma with a heavy, bready malt influence and a steam-
Overview: Ah, the long-awaited seasonal from Bohemian Brewery! The Zoigl Beer is traditionally an unfiltered, short-aged lager, intended for easy drinking consumption, and this one is just that. What I enjoyed most about this was the fresh yeast character and the heavy malt influence. Bohemian has always been my favorite lager producer in the state, so this interpretation of a lost style will be sure to keep me on my toes, waiting for their next seasonal release.
Squatters Wee Peat
Brewery/Brand: Squatters Pub
Description: Off the tap, this seasonal release from Squatters Pub pours a reddish/amber color with a medium, off-white head. The aroma is a pleasant balance of peat smokiness and some subtle floral hops. From there the taste leads into a heavy peat character, grains, soft, earthy bitterness and finishes with a smokey linger.
Overview: Not many breweries out there are willing to venture into the smoked ales, but as a whiskey drinker, my beer boner hits half mast when I hear about this style hitting the taps. Wee Peat is a lighter version of a Scottish Ale, with a lot of flavor packed into a “four percent-er.” This guy was flavorful enough, and met the needs of almost any food pairing I threw at it. Whiskey/beer dick aside, it was worthwhile to toss a handful back. Wee Peat is a must drink from the folks at Squatters.
Brewer/Brand: RedRock Brewery
Description: This new experiment pours a tawny orange with a white head and a slight haze. The aroma is a little spicy and rich, with maybe a hint of citrus. The flavor starts off with a refreshing, almost tropical quality, full of citrus and slight acidity, then refines into an extremely complex body that finishes with a pleasant herbal dryness. The use of specialty ingredients defines this beer as the coriander and lemongrass begin and then fade into the lasting notes of juniper berries. The esters and phenolics from the Belgian-style yeast bring everything together and add a wonderfully
Overview: With the experimental combination of a Trappist yeast and unusual herbs, the guys down at RedRock hit this one out of the park. It drinks like a witbier, the coriander evoking brews like Höegaarden, but the use of juniper and, to a lesser extent, lemongrass create the refreshing sensation of a gin and tonic, making a warm-weather favorite that is much more quenching on the palate. The richness of the yeast and the dryness of the herbs in this beer play against each other with a result that is actually less cloying or filling than a witbier. This is great for sessioning, but go get it fast because it may be a very limited release. –Rio Connelly