Bewilder Rice for the Cure and Shades Blueberry Cheesecake | Drink | Salt Lake City Weekly

Bewilder Rice for the Cure and Shades Blueberry Cheesecake 

Crafting summer beers for every palate

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  • Mike Riedel

Bewilder - Rice For the Cure: Bewilder Brewing will be donating 10 percent of the proceeds from this "new school rice lager" to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Rice lagers are a fairly simple concept, as rice is used as an adjunct, adding some unique Koji flavors along with a very crisp and dry profile.

The new lager pours a very pale straw yellow color. It's brilliantly clear, with maybe just the faintest chill haze. There's a steady stream of very tiny bubbles rising up the glass. That stream generates/maintains a very thin rim of head. Upon pouring, there was a very rocky white head that crumbled pretty quickly. A nice nose of subtle floral and citrus notes also features a hint of white grape and pear, as well as some soft, earthy Noble hops. A soft, cracker-forward malt base emerges as well.

This is very tasty and super drinkable—definitely on the light side in terms of flavor and heft, but it's a 4.9% ABV beer, so that is to be expected. The flavors mimic the nose very much. Up front, you get some nice floral and fruity flavors, along with pleasant toasted cereal grains. The finish has a moderate bitterness that sticks around for a while, then fades away and ends dry and crisp on the palate. The body is very light, highly-carbonated and crisp.

Verdict: Very light and easy to drink, but still has a good flavor. I would say that the bitterness is more than I anticipated from this beer, yet it definitely works well here as a contrast to the super-light and floral/fruity profile upfront. It's hard to say which part of the flavor profile I enjoy more; the floral and the fruity parts both come off so well. Either way, give me some sushi or ribs with this beer!

Shades - Blueberry Cheesecake: Shades is at it again with another confection-themed sour ale. The Blueberry Cheesecake has a thin, bubbly, bright white cap of froth topped with a pinkish-tinged, light amber body. Tiny dots of lacing trickled along the glass initially, but they as well as the head soon disappeared. The aroma was really crazy—super punchy and sweet, with potent berry notes along with lots of graham cracker. The blueberry came across as very candy-like. Some crisp, tart Kveik yeast was noticeable as well, with a touch of citrus-like acidity.

If you've ever had cheesecake, just close your eyes and take a sip, and it is exactly as described: Blueberry, followed by a restrained cheesecake taste. The flavor profile also features many of the same qualities as the nose, but the adjuncts served more as accents here than as the stars of the show. Vanilla and graham crackers are also noticeable, with wheaty notes coming through in the center. It's moderately sour and acidic, as more blueberry, vanilla and lingering lemony tartness pop up on the back end and the finish. The liquid contained a fine, fairly aggressive carbonation that frothed up as the beer moved along the palate, for a somewhat spritzy mouthfeel. At 6.3 percent ABV, this super thick smoothie—full- to medium-bodied for the style—has a texture that's creamy, probably from the lactose.

Verdict: This is an amazing addition to Shades' Kviek Series, and close to their many other pie-themed beers. If you are really into the "smoothie beer" movement, this ranks up there as one of the best that Shades has made in a while—worth a six pack or two for sure.

You can find Blueberry Cheesecake at both Shades locations in 12-ounce cans. Rice For the Cure is available in 16-ounce cans to go and on draft at Bewilder Brewing. As always, cheers!

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About The Author

Mike Riedel

Mike Riedel

Local boy and pilot of City Weekly’s best gig, The Beer Nerd column since 2017. Current photojournalist at KSTU TV (Fox 13) and host of the Utah Beer Blog and Beer Nerd Radio on KUAA 99.9 FM radio.

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