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Cover Story

State of Beer Page 2

What's on tap in the great state of Utah

By City Weekly Staff
Posted // August 14,2013 -

Beer Bulletin
Utah’s tried-and-true craft brewers all have something new in the tank.

boho.jpgBohemian Brewery
Founded: 2001
Signature Beer: Czech Pilsener

Cult Favorite Brew: Cherny Bock. “It has a more unique style,” says Bohemian sales manager Will Gillane. “It’s for a certain kind of beer drinker.”

Where to Get It: At the Bohemian brewpub, on tap at area bars and restaurants, and in cans at grocery stores; Oktoberfest will be available on draft at the brewery restaurant and the Beerhive Pub, The Bayou, Brewvies, Piper Down and Cheers to You.

What’s New: Bohemian brewmasters have regularly created seasonal beers to serve at the Midvale brewpub, but it wasn’t until the past year that anything beyond the brewery’s four staple beers—Czech Pilsener, Viennese Lager, Cherny Bock and Bavarian Wei—has made it to the outside world. It’s been a year of change; Bohemian launched a new seasonal line and been experimenting with some high-point beers to, Gillane says, “create some excitement and spur interest in our brand.” The buzz has been strong so far, starting with the overwhelmingly positive response to Oktoberfest—a rich, malty lager that was brewed for Snowbird’s 2012 Oktoberfest. Currently, a special Noble Hefeweizen is on select taps around town, and will be replaced by Oktoberfest in late August. “We’re hoping to make that more solid, a stable seasonal plan so that we’ll always have something out there different than our normal four,” Gillane says.


2013 also saw the Bohemian crew on the road at beer festivals in Wyoming and Idaho, taking their high-point beers out for a spin. The beers—an easy-drinking export and a roasty, lagered alt bier—have “gotten a really good response,” Gillane says. And, assuming all goes to plan, cans will be hitting liquor-store shelves in a few months.

94 E. 7200 South, Midvale, 801-566-5474,

desert.jpgDesert Edge Brewery
Signature Beer: The UPA—Utah Pale Ale, an amber-colored ale with some bitterness and lots of hop flavor.

Cult Favorite Brew: Radius, a 100 percent local beer; all ingredients come from a 150-mile radius of the brewery. It’s on tap right now, too.

Where to Get It: At the Desert Edge Brewery in Trolley Square. Don’t expect to see Desert Edge beers on liquor-store shelves anytime soon, says Chris Haas, Desert Edge head brewer. “We want to be a pub always; there aren’t many pubs around,” Haas says. “We’re not that interested in doing a big expansion.” Although if you do find yourself captivated by a particular beer, you can take home a 64-ounce growler bottle.

What’s New: The Pub has been celebrating its 40th anniversary by brewing up Celebrate 40, a heavily carbonated, wood-aged beer. The brewery tries to come out with new brews every six to nine months; this year it’s produced three. Currently, Bagpipe, a Bavarian wheat beer, and Citra in Red, a beer loaded with lime and citrus flavors, are on tap. “If all goes well, we bring it back; if not, we go on to the next one,” Haas says. “It’s hard, though, because often the one we decide not to bring back is still someone’s favorite.”

Trolley Square, 602 E. 500 South, 801-521-8917,

epic.jpgEpic Brewing Company
Signature Beer: Spiral Jetty IPA

Cult Favorite Brew: Big Bad Baptist

Where to Get It: At loads of local restaurants—but for the widest selection, hit the brewery’s storefront at 825 S. State.

What’s New: After years of selling sandwiches and pouring samples at the brewery’s broom-closet-size Tapless Tap Room, Epic is opening a real brewpub in Sugar House called The Annex. Located in the old Granite Furniture building on 2100 South near 1100 East, The Annex will start serving in mid- to late September, if all goes according to plan.

The restaurant will serve gastropub food designed to pair with Epic’s 36 brands of beer. The space will also hold a seven-barrel brewhouse, which will be used to make house-only seasonal brews and firkin specials.

However, you’ll have to look elsewhere for the Unsacred line, Epic’s unbranded line of 3.2 beers. Unsacred exists only because of the state’s “outdated and restrictive alcohol laws,” says Matthew Allred, Epic’s PR director. “We operate in a market which seriously limits our ability to sell our product.” As a brewery dedicated to strong beers, Unsacred doesn’t fit under its umbrella. But if you want to get an Epic-made product on tap or at the grocery store, you know what to look for.

825 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-906-0123,

moab.jpgThe Moab Brewery
Signature Beer: Dead Horse Amber Ale
Cult Favorite Brew: Derailleur Ale

Where to Get It: In Salt Lake City, find Moab on tap at O’Shucks, Gracie’s, Porcupine Pub, Maxwell’s and The Green Pig. Three of its beers come in unique four-packs of 16-ounce cans, available at grocery stores; more varieties are available at select State Liquor Stores.

What’s New: Salt Lakers can expect to see a lot more of Moab Brewery, as the brewery is distributing more beers than ever this year. Starting in September, Squeaky Bike Brown Ale will be available at grocery and convenience stores in the brand’s unique four-packs of 16-ounce, colorfully striped cans. Moab’s Desert Select Ales will soon be at liquor stores in 22-ounce bottles. As for new brews, Moab owner John Borkoski says, “We are always working on new stuff. We are kind of keeping it under wraps, but I will say we’re working on a new pale ale.”

686 S. Main, Moab, 435-259-6333,

red.jpgRed Rock Brewery
Signature Beer: Bobcat Brown Double IPA

Cult Favorite Brew: Rve Belgian Trippel. “Rve is French for dream, and we call it that because it ‘sleeps’ for a year, until it’s perfect,” says Kevin Templin, Red Rock’s brewmaster and co-owner.

Where to Get It: On tap and in bottles at Red Rock Brewpubs, liquor stores, EnergySolutions Arena, Rio Tinto Stadium and pretty much every bar.

What’s New: An always-reliable grass-roots brewery, Red Rock recently expanded operations and now boasts a 10-barrel operation at the brewhouse on top of the main brewery, which is now running a 25-barrel system.

“We’re growing, but we don’t want to be the biggest, baddest or fastest,” Templin says. “We just want to be the one everyone loves.”

This fall, Red Rock will introduce new lager beers, which are expected to join the ranks of delicious, quality craft brew for which Red Rock is known. Red Rock also recently teamed up with New Belgium Brewing Company, a Colorado-based brewery and the third-largest craft brewery in the country, to collaborate on Paardebloem—Flemish for “dandelion”—a fruity pilsner bittered with the weed’s greens, available exclusively at Red Rock locations.

Multiple locations,

roo.jpgRoosters Brewing Co.
Signature Beer: Bee’s Knees Honey Wheat is Roosters’ most-loved brew, and the only one available in both 3.2 percent draft and full-strength bottles.

Cult Favorite Brew: Chocolate Stout, which Roosters has brewed since the beginning.

Where to Get It: On draft at Roosters brewpubs and The Beerhive, Porcupine Pub, Fiddlers Elbow, The Bayou, Brewvies and more; in bottles at the Layton brewhouse and select State Liquor Stores. Roosters also started brewing Dirty Blonde Ale—an easy-drinking, lighter beer; think a local version of Budweiser—for Ogden bar Alleged.

What’s New: The Ogden institution started bottling full-strength beers in 2012. “We came out with completely unique brews, formulas, the whole thing,” says Kym Buttschardt, who co-owns the brewpub with her husband, Pete. The result was three new beers— Peloton Pale Ale; Argo ESB, an extra-special bitter; and Niner Bock, a dark, strong, 9 percent ABV—and one irresistible old favorite: Bee’s Knees Honey Wheat (just called Honey Wheat in bottles), which Kym says is basically “sweet liquid love.”

Sales of the bottled beers have been growing every month, Kym says. “It’s an organic, grass-roots growth—people try the beers, they like it, and they buy more,” she says. “We’re encouraged by that.”

Roosters is eventually planning to open an off-site bottling facility; right now, bottling is happening in the larger Layton location, which opened in 2006 and is part-owned by Steve Kirkland, Roosters’ original brewer and first employee. One of the town’s few independent restaurants, the Layton Roosters has seen a huge response from locals, especially the Air Force community, for whom the location’s Diamondback Ale was brewed.

One of the first tenants of Ogden’s now-bustling 25th Street, Roosters’ main focus has always been “building our community as gathering places,” Kym says. “It’s been really cool to see the 25th Street community grow up around us.” And now, with Roosters turning 20 and its beers becoming more accessible, that community is only getting bigger.

253 25th St., Ogden, 801-627-6171; 748 W. Heritage Park Blvd., Layton, 801-774-9330,

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Posted // August 15,2013 at 16:13

Home brew served in a frosty pint or mug, the moment can't get any better.