Epic Bloodier Orange Wheat and Beer Zombies Zombie Wars | Drink | Salt Lake City Weekly

Epic Bloodier Orange Wheat and Beer Zombies Zombie Wars 

Citrus beers to make you squeal

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MIKE RIEDEL
  • Mike Riedel

Epic - Small Batch Series (Bloodier Orange Wheat): A fairly clear, dark-medium orange (who'da thunk?), it pours with much applause in the carbonation and a proudly sudsy white head that's loose and bubbly, and quickly dissipates to almost no surface evidence. The blood oranges doing their rightful job here—brilliantly fruity, underwritten with sweet caramel maltiness and a hint of spice. There is a subtle floral quality in between the orange and caramel. Delightful.

A great orange taste emerges right up front for an immediate payoff, then eases off into the toasty wheat and leaves a familiar 7.0 percent alcohol aftertaste. And all the while, the flavors transition very smoothly. It evokes a carbonated orange iced-tea, with a little splash of gin, definitely leaving you looking forward to that next sip. The carbonation is still fairly active even after sitting; there is a slight tickle of bubbles and a crisp, refreshing snap to its light body. A bit of the orange tang jumps right into the earthy hops bitterness, which remains rather complacent through the finish. That zesty aftertaste does cling a bit to the back of the throat for a bit, though.

Verdict: I really enjoyed this. I'm always on the lookout for non-sour fruit "visions," and I think this is one of my favorites. If you added a touch of gin, this could easily become a summer winner as well. I can see myself sipping this with a bowl of peaches and cream while sitting on the deck in the evening. Since it's seasonal, I may have to pick up a couple just to enjoy during the late summer and into autumn.

Beer Zombies - Zombie Wars: This version of this Triple IPA was double dry-hopped with Citra and Cryo-Citra hops, the latter of which are produced by separating the lupulin resin from the hop flower using cryogenic processing. The result is a product with twice the potency, and reduced astringency and vegetative flavors.

This had a nice Sunny Delight hue to it, with a decent amount of brightness and a uniform cloudiness to it. Enough head topped it off as the residual lacing was in the form of thin bending rings. Tangerine, weed, grain and creamy sweetness were in the expressive nose as they were transferred almost exactly in the taste.

I first noticed that there was very little-to none of that onions/scallion spice you can get from Citra hops, but there are some earthy citrus and dry lime in the mix—this was equally dry and spicy on the palate. An underlying, outdoorsy dankness tied everything together, as the mouthfeel was quite smooth for everything that was going on. A nice body and enough carbonation kept this from feeling too layered, as the flavors didn't last long, but had me wanting to take another sip.

The 9.5 percent booze was on par with other beers that I've had from Beer Zombies—and yes, I could feel myself warming up a bit before I finished this off. Enough slickness was here to make this go down quickly, but the heaviness of the flavors was almost contradictory to that sensation.

Verdict: A bit more sweetness would have been great, but the full, grainy body and range of flavors proved more than enough to keep my attention. This was different but fun at the same time—once again, a quality brew from Beer Zombies which left me wanting more.

The Beer Zombies stuff is exclusive to their SLC pub at The Gateway. Bloodier Orange Wheat has a younger sibling called "Blood Orange Wheat" that will be popping up in grocery stores anytime now. The version I just reviewed is 7.0 percent alcohol, and is only available at Epic's pub and bottle shop.

As always, cheers!

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About The Author

Mike Riedel

Mike Riedel

Bio:
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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