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Herrrre's Johnny! 

Two relatively new ales join Moab's "Johnny" family of beers.

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MIKE RIEDEL
  • Mike Riedel

Our trip to Moab provided us with a couple of ales that are departures from what we have typically known from one of Utah's oldest breweries. The fruit additions to these two very different beers take the Moab flavor in many directions. Let's see if your personality jives with either of these fruited offerings.

Moab - Johnny Fruitah: This hazy IPA was made with citra hops, and infused with mango and a medley of berries. It pours hazy and translucent; situated atop is one finger of soapy, bubbly white head that disintegrates over the next five-plus minutes. A wide collar of creamy froth sticks around, encircling a thin cap paired with a lovely coat of messy lacing. It looks fantastic, and the aroma only excites me further—there's tons of grapefruit, lemon and orange in there, as well as notes of passion fruit, mango and melon. It's juicy first and foremost, but also includes hints of pith, grassiness and some vaguely resiny hops.

This is a very tasty IPA, practically bursting with tropical fruit and citrus flavors. I'm detecting orange and mango, alongside hints of pineapple, stone fruit, passion fruit and berries. There are also some grainy malts and honey sweetness in the background, but discerning it in the midst of the fruity forefront is difficult; the tail end of the sip has lingering tropical fruitiness as well as some pithy, pine resin-y bitterness. Medium-full in body, with low carbonation that gently brushes against the palate, resulting in a soft, smooth, rather slick-textured brew. The 5.0 percent alcohol is quite well-integrated, and I'd say this is extremely drinkable session IPA.

Overall: Though Moab's beer is widely available along the Wasatch Front, I don't have the opportunity to keep up on the small-batch stuff that hits their Moab pub. Hell, I barely have time to stay on top of what's going on here in Salt Lake, but I've generally heard positive buzz about what's happening in Moab. If their other small batches are anywhere near as good as this, then we in the north are missing out. This is a fabulous session IPA that I would pick up on a regular basis.

Moab - Bougie Johnny's Rosé Ale: I'm becoming quite fond of beer/wine hybrids. Only a handful have been produced in the state, and they all bring a unique flavor profile. Moab's Rosé inspired hybrid features Barbe Rouge hops along with Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio grapes. It pours a mostly clear, just slightly hazy pinkish-amber beneath a short head of white foam. The aroma is limited, but lightly grapey, fruity and very clean.

The flavor is surprisingly like that of a sparkling rosé wine: slightly acidic, brightly fruity with white grapes and gently effervescent. There's no bitterness to it, but none is needed, as the hint of acidity more than balances what sweetness is there. It's light-bodied and delicately bristling on the tongue, very refreshing and—at 5.0 percent ABV—you could drink more than would be possible if you were drinking straight wine. Of the dozen or so rosé beers that I've tasted, this one comes closest to replicating a rosé wine. My question then is, is it cheaper than wine? I won't do the math, but this tastes a lot like the Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Rosé Cava that I'm so fond of.

Overall: Any time that you'd want a sparkling rosé wine, you could easily replace it with this. I'm thinking of a Red Butte concert, backyard BBQs or relaxing on the beach or camping. It's really well done, and well worth trying.

You should easily be able to find both of these Moab beers at most grocery stores that carry beers in 16-ounce cans. I haven't seen either of these on draft locally, though I would like to see that very much. As always, cheers!

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