On the Grid | Drink | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

On the Grid 

Utah's newest brewery, Grid City Beer Works, offers options that set them apart.

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click to enlarge MIKE RIEDEL
  • Mike Riedel

Coronavirus be damned! Utah's first debut brewery of 2020 is here. Grid City Beer Works (333 S. 2100 South, South Salt Lake, gridcitybeerworks.com) went on line in mid-February, and head brewer Jeremy Gross has been busy brewing up a storm for their soft opening this week. Luckily, I got the opportunity to sample what's to come. I think you'll be impressed.

Grid City Beer Works - Honey Cream Ale: This one is loaded with local honey—and you can definitely taste it. At a glance, it has a darkened gold hue with a small puffy cap of white froth. Aroma is dry and bready with an herbal grass tone. Pilsner-type malts and hops make it unique through and through; it doesn't take much whiffing to grab the nose. There's a pilsner-like taste, too, and I sense a theme here: The malts are forward and set with a dry, bready quickness. A healthy dose of honey sweetness creeps through just past midway, along with a tiny bit of hops. Gradually it gets less pale and dry, adding more intertwined sweetness to help balance out the finish. Quite subtle with some dry, yeasty wood-ish notes floating around in there, too.

Overall: It's much more subtle and tender after it's warmed up a bit—smooth and easy, with just enough body and flavor to keep it interesting. If you're a fan of honey ales, this 5% beer may go straight to the top of your list.

Grid City Beer Works - Pale Ale: The clear bright copper/amber colored beer pours with a finger of off-white head that recedes slowly but visibly. The nose includes a noticeable, well-rounded caramel malt background, complemented by some almost fruity aromas that include pine needles and citric grapefruit from the hops. The flavors are much as expected from the nose, with the pine and grapefruit from the hops as well as a noticeable caramel sweetness from the malt backbone. The malt and its sweetness are in a very nice balance with the bitterness, in that neither conceals the other and each keeps the other from becoming unpleasant. The fairly long finish begins as the caramel sweetness briefly allows the pine and grapefruit to become more prominent

Overall: The current drinking culture seems to demand that pale ales become smaller versions of IPAs. This 4.6 % pale, however, keeps true to its roots, drawing a noticeable line.

Grid City Beer Works - English Brown Ale: This ale has a warm and inviting appearance—more of a deep burnt red than brown, flaunting its darker shades. The aroma, on the other hand, is all brown ale, with roasted chestnuts and walnuts ground up and slathered on toasted white bread. A vague spice gives it a robust tingle. Lightly toasted pumpernickel bread leads off the sip, while a bite of sweet toffee with crushed nuts and a light-handed drizzle of chocolate gives this English ale a centered decadence. The nuttiness lingers on, hand-in-hand with a slightly spicy and woody finish.

Overall: A delicious, nutty, focused brown ale with a teeter-tottering of sweet and bitter. This 4.2% ale was probably my favorite of Grid City's debut beers.

The best part of these beers is that you will always get to try them three different ways: gassed with classic carbon dioxide, nitrogen and on cask via traditional hand-pumped beer engines. All of the aforementioned beers were reviewed with the standard CO2; the nitro and cask versions will undoubtedly come across as tasting different. You'd be surprised by how bitter carbon dioxide can be. This triple-gassing option will be available every day for all of Grid City's core beers, and I think that's pretty damn cool. As always cheers— and stay safe out there.

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