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Cold Fire 

Two Pride-themed treats and the state's new take on cold beer.

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MIKE RIEDEL
  • Mike Riedel

On June 8 at 11 a.m., for the first time, a Utah DABC store—one in Taylorsville, to be specific—offered refrigerated beer to the state's beer lovers. This is the second most momentous change to Utah's state-run beer procedures since doing away with 3.2 suds in 2019. Warm beer has been a top customer complaint of DABC patrons for decades, and while this unprecedented and sudden change in policy is a welcome revision, I wouldn't expect to see refrigeration units popping up in multiple DABC stores anytime soon, as most stores are not configured to accommodate them. The new Taylorsville store is located at 4455 S. 2700 West, and I suspect the beer sales from this location will increase significantly. Now on to this week's craft beers.

Salt Flats - Rainbow Road: The brew appears a hazy color of light golden-yellow, topped by a solid finger-and-a-half of white froth that slowly fades. The aroma includes just enough peach to let you know it is there, with a slight kiss of spice almost like vanilla, which is strange for the style but isn't bad. It is collectively quite natural-smelling, almost like unripe peaches more than the juicy-sweet character of fruit fresh off the tree.

Taking a sip, there is a bit of tartness that tastes like unripe peaches and a touch of lemony lacto. There is also an earthen component, mildly grassy, that brings out a flavor of yogurt and some cereal graininess somewhat reminiscent of wheat. As the brew warms up, a bit of sulfur is evident across the back end, but it transitions into more of the wheat grain tartness and a bit of earthy peach. At times, the banana component mimics sweet lactose (of which there is none), creating balance to the lemony base. This is a light-bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation—light, easy-drinking and a nice interpretation of the style.

Overall: I really enjoyed the natural peach flavoring here that at times seemed to add its own level of tartness to the already present lemony lacto. Solid balance, with enough sweet cereal grain and banana flavor to keep this one very easy to drink. I would partake in this again.

Bewilder - El Fruti Boi: Pours a medium murky golden color, but clearer than the typical milkshake beers; a nice two-finger white head sits atop, receding to full-glass lacing. Guava, melon, mango and vanilla dominate the majority of the aroma.

I'd had a sample of this earlier before it had finished fermenting out, and thought that the guava had lost most of its sweetness; I guess that's why you never make judgments on unfinished beer. The tropical fruits are nicely done, with guava, pineapple and notes of melon and peach, followed by a slight hint of grass and maybe some floral flavors from the hops. The fruits mix with the big vanilla creaminess, and that sweetness carries the beer all the way through to the end. A slight sweetness stays on the finish, but it still remains pretty dry for the style. There's a medium, creamy mouthfeel, but while not as creamy as other milkshakes, it's still delicious. Slight alcohol, nice carbonation and a fairly dry finish.

Overall: Another winner of a beer from Bewilder. This milkshake is a little less murky and creamy than others, but it still represents the milkshake name very well. As more high-point beers emerge, you can taste the evolution that's happening at Bewilder as they pump out these delicious IPAs.

You won't find either of these beers in DABC stores, but you will find them both cold at their individual breweries, and at various beer pubs around the valley, including Slackwater, The Bayou, Beer Bar Green Pig and Dick 'n Dixies. As always, cheers!

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