Now that we’re in the midst of summer’s full heat, it’s time to think about those thirst-quenching beers. Sure, you can visit the occasional double IPA or Belgian golden strong ale but, after mowing the lawn on a 90-degree-plus day, are you seriously going to tell me that you want something sweet with a little bit of alcohol burn? Hell no! Your filthy, grass-covered ass wants something cold and light in those calloused hands. Luckily, I’ve spent way too much time on topics such as these so you don’t have to. I’ve compiled three sure-fire ways to make your tongue, mind and tummy happy all while keeping the heat at bay.
Uinta Brewing Co.
Draft, 12 oz Bottle/Can
This German-style pilsner pours a brilliantly clear and yellow-gold color with a bright-white cap of sudsy foam. The nose has a strong grassy/herbal smell with a sweet, pale malt smell beneath. The taste is similar to the nose: It begins with toasty crackers, some lemon and floral hops. A light, malty sweetness comes next—that sweetness fades as a spicy/herbal bitterness creeps in toward the end. The finish is mostly dry with a hint of sweetness.
Overall: This is a brand-new offering from Uinta, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Its unique flavor profile comes from its yeast strain—one that keeps buttery/sulfur flavors low.
Snap Down Header India Pale Lager
Brewery/Brand: Wasatch Beers/Utah Brewers Cooperative
Draft,12 oz Bottle/Can
This one, compared to the Uinta offering, has a more golden hue to it. There’s some chill haze but, for the most part, it’s a nicely bright beer with a fairly sturdy cap of white foam. The nose is mostly pine needles and citrus peel with a hint of toasty grain lingering in the background. The taste starts with bready malts and dry, toasted cereal. A fairly pronounced herbal/grassy hop bitterness comes next. The end has a little cracker snap with a hint of citrus peel to round out the bready notes.
Overall: This is a fairly new offering as well. Named for a term used by Real Salt Lake Announcer Bryan Dunseth, this lager is part of a new style of over-hopped lagers that are catching on in popularity due to the current India Pale Ale craze.
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Serving Style: 12 oz Bottle
This ale pours a nice golden/amber color with a great nose packed with grapefruit, tangerine and a hint of lemon rind. A mild amount of sweet malt is noticeable in the background as well. The taste follows the nose. The citrus hits first, followed by some light, bready malt. It really provides a nice base for the fruity citrus notes the hops are giving off. Next comes ripe tangerine notes and caramel, followed by a big finish of bitter hops and lemon zest. The balance could be a little better in favor of the malt, but still, it’s quite nice to drink.
Overall: Ninkasi is new to the market, and it’s only available at the better beer bars in town. This seasonal ale is perfect for the weather and is a nice change of pace for those that tend to get overloaded on toasty/grassy lagers.