Proper Brewing Co. – With Spring in the air, our friends over at one of Utah’s brightest new breweries have a quartet of new suds hitting the shelves, bottles and pumps right now. Info and tasting notes provided by Proper Brewing…
Ostara – Belgian tripels are classically strong and pale-colored ales with abundant abbey-style yeast character and a dry finish. IPAs, on the other hand, are less about the yeast and more about the wonderfully varied fruity and resinous flavors of hops. Ostara is a true hybrid, resulting in a bright and dry beer that combines the fruity elements of both styles along with actual citrus peel.
This hybrid beer combines citrusy hop flavors and the character of an Abbey-style golden ale into a unique taste for the beginning of spring. “Ostara” is the Old English word for the vernal equinox, and this bright, Belgian-style IPA brewed with grapefruit and lemon peel bids farewell to the cold winter months and welcomes the longer hours of daylight. Delicate floral notes pair with lush tropical aromas and warming hints of alcohol. Perfect for those first brisk nights out of hibernation!
Ingredient List: German Wheat malt, German Munich malt, German Pilsner malt German CaraFoam malt, Belgian Biscuit malt, Beet Sugar, NZ Pacific Jade hops, US Citra hops, US Sorachi Ace hops, Lemon peel, Belgian Abbey Ale yeast. ABV range: 8.1-8.5%.
Hop v hop – First developed in the 90s by American brewers looking to push the envelope on hoppy beer, Double IPAs have evolved into the premier showcase for fresh hop flavors. Ranging in color from straw to amber and in alcohol from 7-10% ABV, these beers generally have a relatively neutral base of quality malt in order to let the hops take the spotlight in the boil and dryhopping stages. The flavor range can include tongue-drying bitterness, quenching juiciness, and pronounced floral & fruity flavors.
Punches are flying in this dual-hop (or duel-hop?) Double IPA. Hops from all over the world will meet in this ring to battle it out for lupulin domination. Are resiny pine and bright citrus the champions or will tropical notes and stone fruit win the day? The real winners are Utah’s hopheads. This rotating beer will feature a different combination of two aromatic hops with each release.
Ingredient List: UK Marris Otter Pale malt German Pilsner malt, Chilean Crystal Malt, UK Caramalt, Rotating Hops, American Ale yeast. ABV Range: 7.6-8.1%.
New Zeangland Session IPA – Session IPAs are a new, low-gravity take on the classically popular American IPA. Designed to have all the hop-forward balance of an IPA but with significantly less alcohol so that several can be consumed in one “session,” these beers are truly a product of developing American drinking tastes. A dry, but present malt body serves as the base for hops from all over the world, often showcasing citrus, tropical fruit, and pine flavors.
We combined the two recent trends of new varietals of New Zealand-grown hops and the increasing popular New England (or North East) style IPA famous for its opacity and juiciness. New Zealand hops are famous for their interesting blend of flavor notes; from piney and resinous, to dank and wine-like, to tropical and bright, these hops have quite the range. We wanted to showcase what these hops can do and brewed a hazy, straw-colored session IPA to showcase them. The hops in the boil and dryhop are 100% New Zealand grown and throw off orange, pineapple, lemon and pone notes to compliment the light malt base.
Ingredient List: UK Maris Otter Pale Malt, Idaho 2-Row Malt, UK Caramalt, NZ Waimea Hops, NZ Motueka Hops, NZ Wai-iti Hops, American Ale Yeast. ABV: 4.0%.
Beckerman’s Brew – Lager-type beer was developed in 19th century Germany through a curious set of circumstances that ended up breeding a strain of yeast that fermented at cold temperatures and produced a clean, dry flavor profile. Around the same time, other technological advances allowed for the development of lighter malts, cheap and durable glass vessels, and refrigeration – even on the American frontier. All these factors contributed to clear, light lager becoming the dominant beer style in the world over the next century. Today, these beers are often derided as flavorless yellow water, but excellent examples of these difficult-to-make beers are being made by craft breweries all over the country.
We’re proper soccer fans here at the brewery, so it’s an honor for us to team up with Real Salt Lake captain, USMNT member, and World Cup veteran Kyle Beckerman. This refreshing game day lager takes a smart, tactical approach by controlling the middle of the field between flavor and drinkability– while malts from Idaho and Germany set the crisp, crackery tempo, just enough bite from the Mt Hood hops keeps things interesting.
Ingredient’s include: Idaho two row malt, German Carafoam malt, Mt Hood hops, German lager yeast. ABV 4.0%.
Wasatch Brewery – As you might know already, much of Wasatch’s portfolio is already available in both cans and bottles, but soon cans will be the exclusive vessel of Wasatch Brewery. Bottles will be a distant memory as the brewery looks to canning for reasons of sustainability and quality control.
The transition is already underway. The last bottles of Wasatch Ghostrider White IPA and Wasatch Devastator Double Bock came off the line in March. The shift is expected to be complete sometime this spring when the remaining beers will be available exclusively in cans, including Wasatch Polygamy NITRO Porter, as well as all new and seasonal beers.
“Polygamy NITRO Porter was a cutting edge beer in the bottle, and the same is true of the can package,” says Production Director, Adam Curfew. “In this new format, our award-winning Porter will achieve its trademark creamy nitrogenation without the help of a traditional widget.”
The benefits of the can package are multitude according to Director of Brewing, Jon Lee who explains, “No damaging light is able to penetrate the can, keeping staling reactions at bay. The hermetic seal of the can’s lid guards against loss of carbonation and the threat of oxidation.”
Wasatch also has an eye on the environment too. Cans weigh less, both empty and full. They are easier to transport, requiring less fuel per journey and less energy to chill to drinking temperature – reducing Wasatch’s carbon footprint. There’s also an 83% reduction in cardboard usage per case according to Wasatch, not to mention cans are infinitely recyclable. The brewery reckons that on average, a can contains 70% recycled aluminum and once it enters the recycling loop it can exist there forever.
The changes come amid growing success for Wasatch Brewery. Year to date sales are up 21% with planned expansion into Missouri and Illinois on the horizon. Having rounded out 2016 with an uptick in barrelage that puts Wasatch at over 59,000 barrels for the year, the brewery is looking forward to continuing the upward trend in 2017 – in their own words – the Year of the Can.
Bonus news: also on shelves now: Wasatch White Label Belgian Strong Ale (6% ABV) returned in March. Additionally, the newest beers to join the mix – Wasatch Blueberry Hefeweizen (4% ABV) & Wasatch Snowbird Session IPA (4% ABV) will also only be available in cans this month.
Epic Brewing – Another Utah home grown brand, and another announcing some great new beers – this time three new Utah Session Series beers in 12oz cans. The initial offering will feature Epic’s popular Session IPA, Mountain Ale and the new Salt Lake Lager. Each brand will be available in 6 packs and 12 packs and sold exclusively in Utah grocery and convince stores.
Epic originally released their line of Utah Session Series beers in December of 2015 with 5 beers sold in 22oz bombers at grocery stores and on draft at local bars and restaurants. The popularity and success of these beers led them to expand the package offerings. The new 12oz cans will be sold alongside the original 22oz bomber.
“Utah has some of the best recreation in the West – there’s something for everyone and we wanted to enjoy our beer while enjoying all the State has to offer.” says Ryan Kluh – Utah Sales Representative, “Nothing beats a refreshing can of craft after a hike or just chilling with friends in the backyard.”
Notes provided by the brewery on the beers as follows:
* The Session IPA is an exciting, contemporary-style India Pale Ale featuring tropical flavors such as passion fruit and tangerine from late-addition Mosaic and Simcoe Hops. It’s a bright, hop-focused beer that’s refreshing and bold.
* Mountain Ale is a smooth malt forward English Ale that’s great to kick back and relax with. There are minimal hop additions with hints of vanilla, honey, and a mellow graham cracker sweetness on the finish.
* The brand-new Salt Lake Lager is a quaffable American Lager with a European backbone featuring authentic German Pilsner malt and spicy noble hops. This lager packs in the flavor but is light enough for any session.
The Utah Session Series cans will be available starting April 10th from local grocery stores such as Harmons, Smiths, and Fresh Markets as well as Maverick and other convince stores. Distribution will be state wide and handled by General Distributing Company, Golden Beverage Company, and Bald Eagle Beverage Co.
Uncommon Green – And if you’re looking to pour any of this golden goodness into something with aplomb, look no further than these custom pint glasses from Uncommon Green; a Boston based design agency with an eco-friendly bent to match our local brewers.
These snazzy 16 ounce glasses come two to a set; replete in Ute home and away colors, they are emblazoned with a map of the immediate area of the U and SLC. Uncommon Green sent us two over gratis to take a look at, and yes, drink copiously from (Uinta Cutthroat featured!). They’re suitably hefty and so far have happily withstood repeated dishwasher runs to no ill effect.
I’d imagine they’d make a perfect tailgating or BBQ talking piece, or even a gift for your beer loving buddy with a bottle of can of one of the above new brews.
And if you’re not really a sudsy type, Uncommon Green also offer a whiskey glass too in both SLC and Park City flare.
Founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review. Former restaurant critic at the Salt Lake Tribune. Stuart is largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words he doesn’t understand. Ate all the pies.