Beer of the Month: Honey Cream Ale
Beer Name: Honey Cream Ale
Brewery: Grid City Beer Works
Serving Style: 1-pint can
New brewery Grid City Beer Works is located in Salt Lake City, not far from the 2100 South freeway entrance to I-15. The brewery jumped the many hurdles needed to get a new beer establishment started. Head Brewer Jeremy Gross, President Justin Belliveau, CEO Drew Reynolds and their crew at Grid City planned a spectacular gathering to showcase the beautiful taproom and tasty food and, most importantly, to launch several beers on their menu: Pale Ale, Pilsner, Hoppy Pilsner and Honey Cream Ale. So, when it came to the all-important money shot of opening day, what could go wrong? Well, we all know what happened.
What is it about “plan for the worst; prepare for the best” scenarios? Is it really Murphy’s Law that proves time and again that we should abide by that axiom? While talking with brewery owners over the years, they consistently mention, “Always plan for the unexpected,” or “If you don’t plan for the worst, it usually happens.”
Nobody could have expected that our new normal would be social distancing, wearing masks and cancelations of long-standing annual events. Luckily, the Grid City group was fluid. Instead of the expected tap-room fill-up, they immediately changed gears like the rest of the world. No hang-out space, but they offered curbside food and beer, allowing patrons just a glimpse around of the new establishment. For now, we’ll take the beer to go, but we’ll be happy when we can gather and enjoy a Honey Cream Ale draft on the rooftop at the brewery.
Honey Cream Ale is our first glimpse of Grid City beer. The amber-hued, liquefied treat went from the frosted can straight to a tulip. A layer of off-white foam quickly clutches to the edges of the glass, forming a ring that sticks around. Aromas of citrus, flora and a bit of wheat come through with a solid smell of gourmet, farmers’-market honey sticks. It’s hard to determine which of the ingredients is taking the lead. Is it the combination of malts, the light sugars or the raw, orange-blossom honey? Regardless, it’s clear that they all come into play in the beer’s flavor, delivering a smooth and lightly dry mouthfeel. It has a clean, pilsner-type taste, finishing with honey and herbal esters from the hops. This tastes like a wonderful rooftop beer.
Over the past years, Utah has been supremely lucky to introduce new breweries with a level of quality that is spot on, right from the beginning. Grid City Beer Works is another example of this, offering excellent out-of-the-gate beers. Grid City has a cool approach to serving patrons by offering three beers using three different serving methods: traditional CO2, nitro and cask. This almost becomes a teaching moment for the beer-loving public. People get to experience what each of these methods do to the beer’s profile and flavor while familiarizing with each process.
With the pandemic affecting small businesses across the country, what a time to open up shop. Despite the chaos, Grid City is yet another reminder to support our local businesses. The black-and-yellow brewery is sure to be a prime place to meet up with your crew and enjoy a pint or two. Social distancing aside, doesn’t grabbing tasty fresh beers with friends at a new hangout sound like a fun and much-needed night out?