Salt Flats Save the Lake Pilsner and Ogden Beer's 1851 American Lager | Drink | Salt Lake City Weekly

Salt Flats Save the Lake Pilsner and Ogden Beer's 1851 American Lager 

Two new beers with local history in mind.

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  • Mike Riedel

Salt Flats - Save The Lake Pilsner: In an effort to help raise awareness for issues surrounding the diminishing Great Salt Lake, Salt Flats Beer and Spirits has developed its new Save The Lake Pilsner. Salt Flats will be contributing a portion of sales to those organizations that are at the forefront of the fight to save the lake.

It pours with a finger-and-a-half of head that stayed around decently, but did not lace much. The body is a clear, brassy gold with very even, steady carbonation. An interesting hop bill of Zeus and Motueka hops starts us off with a mix of undertones that take on slight tangerine and herbal notes. Some meandering strawy malt pops up as well.

The beer starts with a solid dose of toasty, barley malt—very cracker-like, but without corn sweetness—before turning to a crisp dusting of light dry hops. The entire beer is permeated by a peculiar citrus and soft fruit sensation that's too nebulous to really identify, so it's likely some combo of the yeast and hops at work. Simple but well done. This is really where the beer shines' I'm a fan of a dryness in beer, and this works quite well. The aftertaste is that very light, simple barley, with a hop kick that crisply cleanses the palette. The carbonation is on the edge of prickly, but even then it helps out the entire beer. The dryness I could see getting out of hand after a couple, but all in all, the beer is refreshing, mild and light-bodied, and sits down admirably.

Verdict: A solid Pilsner, and the kind of beer that strikes me as the perfect "end of the work day" beer. Make no mistake though, there's nothing here that won't satisfy as an après beer or an evening pounder; it's just a well-made, simple Pilsner for quenching your thirst and easing your mind.

Ogden Beer - 1851 American Lager: Named for the year Ogden, Utah was founded, this adjunct American lager pours very pale yellow, almost clear. I was able to try one of the first pulls from the barrel, so the photo shows the beer with a bit of haze; later tap pours were much clearer. Once in the glass, it's a fair bit darker—still yellow, but on the darker end of yellow. Nice little bubbles rise up from the bottom, reaching a bit of white foam on top. The aroma is pretty faint, mostly sweet with hints of corn, alcohol and grass when at refrigerator temperature. This is what you'd expect from this style of lager.

The taste was bready, and a little fruity when very cold. It sort of reminded me of an adjunct version of Pilsner Urquell, actually—kind of like what I imagine a "Pilsner Urquell Light" might taste like, except that beer has a much richer biscuit-like malt flavor going on rather than just the faint generic-breadiness. It all goes down very easily, definitely a drinkable lager, smooth and fizzy enough to feel like it isn't water (while at the same time not feeling harsh due to carbonation). As noted above, I ended up having two of them, and I liked it more when I had it the second time.

Verdict: A little on the light side flavor-wise, but certainly enjoyable, and actually pretty nice alongside Ogden Beer Co's chili verde. As I dream of summer warmth and pool time at home, beers like this speak to my inner beer nerd.

Ogden Beer Company's 1851 is their version of the reincarnated Becker's Best; that beer will no longer be made (at least by Ogden Beer Co.). For now, it's only on draft at the brewery. Save The Lake is available at all Salt Flats locations, and will be available soon at Harmon's and various convenience stores. As always, cheers!

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