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Blinded By the Lights 

Two beacons of light in dark beer season

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RoHa - Crisper Drawer: When Utah's ski resorts scream for beer styles that they know their customers will clamor for, attentive brewers will take heed. After receiving feedback from various winter resorts, RoHa has come up with a beer that should fit the bill year-round.

The beer is clear and has a nice golden color, with some hints or orange. A pure white foam head rests on top; it was about a finger thick, but settles to a skim, while swirling leaves a bit of foam behind. It has a nice aroma of wheat and other golden grains, plus a small peppery note that I think comes from the yeast.

"Crisp and dry" are the first words that come to mind with this beer. There's a touch of sweetness, somewhere between multi-grain crackers and pale grains—and I like it. The brewery wasn't lying when they said this is an all-weather beer; it would be great in the summer. The body is a little fuller than I expected, but the carbonation is average. There is a noticeable coat left behind that has some flavor, and the carbonation tickles my tongue if I let it rest in my mouth before swallowing.

Verdict: This is an enjoyable beer. I usually don't buy light ales like this, but I'm glad I tried this one—it's light, refreshing and goes down easy. I find this beer interesting, as it could easily be a replacement for a macro-lager.

Proper - Suba Bleu's Hazy Not Hazy: A portion of the proceeds from Suba Bleu's Hazy Not Hazy will be donated directly to Discovery Gateway Children Museum and Volunteers of America—Utah.

Essentially a non-hazy pale ale, you could call it unfiltered. It pours a pretty, light golden orange color, with small bubbles slowly ascending. A rocky white head has diminished to a thin white foam, hugging the surface and sides of the glass. Very nice aromas of grapefruit and orange peel appear up front, then floral notes, then a lemon-drop sweetness on the back end along with some generic malty notes. Some spicy, piney scents are mixed in on the front end, too. I really like the way that sweet lemony note comes in; overall, this aroma kind of gives me a "lemon iced tea" vibe.

The taste follows the nose quite well. This is a chugger, and it's very easy up front with citrus and pine, along with some mild malty sweetness. The finish on this beer is wonderful; a nice bitterness rounds out all corners of your mouth and really leaves you with an almost unsweetened lemon iced tea dryness that has a long-lingering aftertaste grapefruit rind and lemon zest. In all fairness, apart from the finish, it tastes surprisingly light, and I would have liked to see greater flavor impact up front and in the core, as it comes off a bit watery overall. Light to medium mouthfeel with an appropriate level of carbonation, it works well for a 5.0 percent American pale ale.

Verdict: I think of this beer as a "throwback beer" even though technically it's not; it uses exclusively citra hops, but to me it seems that it is very much brewed in a west coast or "old school" style. This one reminds me a bit of Firestone Walker's Pale 31; I see a lot of similarities, but with different hops used in each. It would be interesting to blind taste-test those two beers along with some other classic American Pale Ales like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Anchor Steam, Firestone Walker, etc. I'll pick this up again for sure.

Enjoy Suba Bleu's Hazy Not Hazy at any Proper Brewing establishment. RoHa's Crisper Drawer is available at the brewery, but soon it'll be everywhere. As always, cheers!

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