Beer Reviews – August 2012

This set of reviews is one that ought to hit home. This is a group of limited-run beers that, with a little luck, may still be kicking around when this issue hits the streets. For those of you who are not aware: It is you, the consumer, who decides which beers stick around. If you manage to find a new, local micro beer that you drank enough to pass out, piss yourself, wake up the next morning and keep at it, then write your brewers and tell them that. Short of a laugh at your expense, at least they’ll know someone is enjoying their craft. Even though you may think your voice is small in the beer world, it’s not. So, enjoy this beer lineup, and please write in to these guys––otherwise, we’ll riot in the streets.

Bumper Crop
Brewery/Brand: Squatters Pub
ABV: 5.5%
Serving: 25oz Bottle
Description: This anniversary brew opens up and pours a clear, golden color with a small, white head. The nose is filled with honey, florals and a healthy amount of lavender. The flavor starts off with the lavender, leads into some honey sweetness, then closes with a clean, perfume-y finish.
Overview: Brewed to help celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the Downtown Farmers Market, Bumper Crop has been made and infused with local honey and lavender. If that wasn’t appealing enough, the beer is decked out with some fancy artwork using, you guessed it, local artists Sri Whipple and Bryan Taylor. Visuals aside, the beer is an herbal treat with quite a bit of lavender influence, but still very drinkable. Sadly, by the time this issue hits, these bottles will be long gone, but hopefully, with enough crowd support, we could see this guy returning. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Chocolate Kiss
Brewery/Brand: Hoppers
ABV: 4.0%
Serving: On Tap
Description: This pint is served very dark brown in color with a medium, light brown head. The aroma starts off with a toasted chocolate malt and finishes with a smoother, clean chocolate. The taste is rich in chocolate, hints of vanilla and just a touch of cinnamon spice with more chocolate in the finish.
Overview: Moving into the place as one of my new favorite Utah porters is this gem from Hoppers Head Brewer Donovan Steele. This chocolate porter has it all: Ghana cacao, cinnamon and vanilla, and it finishes off with some Mexican chocolate. I am tempted to call this thing a treat, but with the good craftsmanship and killer blending of these exotic ingredients, this is an enjoyable beer worth drinking often. While it sounds like Steele only made a small batch of this, I expect everyone to write their congressman and file a complaint if he doesn’t brew this again.

Smoky Mountain Ale
Brewery/Brand: Hoppers
ABV: 4.0%
Serving: On Tap
Description: Off the pour, this unique wheat beer hits the glass a clear, straw color with a medium white head. The aromatics are citrusy up front, then smoky with a light grain. The flavor is complex: It starts with a mellow grain base and stretches out with citrus, light hops and a smoky, oak malt on the finish.
Overview: OK, let’s beer-nerd out a little. This out-fuckin’-standing beer is called a Grodziskie. It is a sour, smoked-wheat ale that was commonly brewed in 1900s East Prussia, with origins dating as early as the 15th Century. The primary ingredient is smoked wheat malt, a malt I have yet to see used in Utah until now. Being the booze brewing pioneer that you are, Mr. Steele, I salute you to another uniquely crafted beer that has opened my eyes to the complexity the brewing industry can offer. Now we just need to make this limited-run beer more accessible to the masses.