Beer Reviews – March 2009

Ahhh, so the month of March has hit and it’s time for the amateur hour of excessive drinking, piss water disguised as “green beer,” pretending that you are Irish (despite the years of strategic breeding that proves otherwise) and placing bets to see which one of your friends will get a DUI this go round. All the same, St. Patty’s day is a day when good beer should be consumed in honor of heritage and chasing snakes out of the Emerald Isle. The Irish styles of today are rich in history and make themselves present in mainstream beer production (i.e. red ales and stouts). So if anything, make this St. Pat’s a day when you drink a beer that ends with anything other than “light.”

Oatmeal Stout
Brewer/Brand: RedRock Brewing Company
Abv: 4.0%
Price: $4.50
Size: On Nitro Tap/Pint
Description: This comes off nitro, and when poured in a pint, it has a deepbrown color with a dense pillow-like tan head. The nose is very light in roast with some undertones of toffee and caramel. The taste is so smooth that it is hard to hold on to the softly sweet caramel malts and light roast. The finish is as light as the body on this one, and leaves you wanting another sip.
Overview: The typical oatmeal stout is rich and creamy in body with a very unique mouth feel pitched off by the oats that are used in the production of this type of beer. In all other ways, this style of stout fits the standard of any regular stout as well (i.e. bitterness, roasted character, and sweet complexes). When it comes to this style, the majority of Utah brewers are left with no flexibility of alcohol content, so the beer has a tendency to suffer. This brew is usually a bit better than other oatmeal stouts available in Utah. I recommend giving it a try if you have yet to, or even better: try pairing it with a smoked meat and dessert to bring out this beer’s full potential.
Where to Find: This is on tap year round at both locations in Park City and SLC.

McGees Red Ale
Brewer/Brand: Hoppers
Abv: 4.0%
Price: $4
Size: On-Tap
Description: With an off-tan head, this beer is crystal clear and amber to “red” in color. The aromatics lead you into some sweet dextrines and malts, some dry toastiness, and finish with a bland hop character. The taste is some toast and roast with sweet malts laying the backing with next to no hop bitterness.
Overview: The Irish red ale style is typically an easy-drinking ale with moderate hop bitterness, a touch of sweet malt laying out the body and a very light toasted or roasted undertone (which is where the color is derived). In this case, it is an easy drinker without too much to think about.
Where to Find: This is on tap year round at Hoppers.

Captain Bastard’s Oatmeal Stout
Brewer/Brand: Utah Brewers Co-Op/Squatters
Abv: 4.0%
Price: $1.25
Size: 12 oz Bottle
Description: This beer is deep brown/ borderline black with light ruby hints and a quickly receding tan head. The scent is a definite coffee with some light undertones of currant, tobacco and some chocolate. The body is a touch light for an oatmeal stout, but makes up for it with a complexity of deep roasted characteristics. It finally leaves your palate with flavors of roast, chocolate and light tobacco to finish rather crisp, which opens you up for more.
Overviews: This is a brew that has been on the Brewers’ Cooperative arsenal for many years and does not seem to be going anywhere. As it is a touch bland on its own, I would recommend pairing this with any hearty breakfast or even some raw oysters to make a killer pairing.
Where to Find: Found at most grocery stores, The Beer Store and on nitro tap at Squatter’s. Cheers.