Twists and Turns | Drink | Salt Lake City Weekly

Twists and Turns 

Taking a ride in two untraditional "hop rods"

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click to enlarge MIKE RIEDEL
  • Mike Riedel

Grid City - Spanish Cedar Infused Whole Flower Dry-Hopped Nitro Pale Ale: This new pale ale from Grid City features Spanish cedar as its guest-star. The hop bill utilizes a fairly common zap of Citra and Mosaic, but it's the wood that shines here.

Spanish cedar imparts aromas similar to a cigar box, with flavors like citrus, spicy white pepper and sandalwood.

It poured an unfiltered amber orange color, that took on more of a reddish tinge when held to the light, with two fingers worth of creamy nitro foam that lasts for days. The aroma starts off with a slightly higher level of medium sweetness, with the hops being the first to show up; they impart a mixture of citrus rind, floral and piney hops, with the floral and citrus notes sticking out the most.

Up next comes a woody cedar aroma, and when combined with the hop profile, it makes for an aroma that is a little perfume-like. The hops and the cedar work well together for a lovey bouquet.

The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but it's a little lighter, starting off with a that same slightly higher amount of medium sweetness as the aroma, and with no single hoppy aspect sticking out the most.

Up next comes the cedar, which is assertive enough on its own, though some green hop flavors also show up a little. That's followed by some light malts, which impart on the palate the same aspects that they did before in the aroma.

On the finish, there's a slightly lighter amount of medium bitterness, combined with a hoppy aftertaste.

Overall: This beer had nice drinkability—not too filling, and the cedar taste does a decent job at holding my attention. I never got bored while enjoying this, and even went back in for one more.

Uinta/Utah Pink Boots Society - Our Lady of the Desert: You'll come across quite a few Pink Boots Society beers out there (see Beer Nerd, April 14 issue), but only one that was collaborated on by nearly all of Utah's breweries. Our Lady of the Desert is a lager that utilizes the 2022 Pink Boots hop blend, and was brewed at Uinta's brewhouse.

It pours a clear and bright golden color, with very refined streams of tiny bubbles. I love the clarity in the body; it's a classic attribute for a pilsner. The head is crackling and full at first, leaving an airy mess of huge bubbling in the top of the glass. The nose is just gorgeous: a full bouquet of new and old hops that's like being smacked in the face by a demolition ball made of pot-pourri. Crisp and sharp herbal characters emerge, with plenty of citrus and bite and pungent, sharp ozone characters. Whew, what an aroma!

The first taste is also very good, and drags it nicely back into the crisp, drinkable territory of good pilsners. Sharp hop oil on the front delicately balances with mild light grain characters that give it a crispness throughout, and though there's some lingering bitterness on the back, it complements the mouthfeel. Citrus and herbs on the assault fade away for the mid-palate, which is grainy, with barley and a touch of wheat. Hops return for the finish with a fresh-cut grass flavor, balanced with fruity notes of passionfruit and lemon. They fade away nicely and slowly, and the final notes are crisply bitter

Overall: This has everything you want from pilsner, with a hoppy punch that is far from traditional.

Since Our Lady of the Desert is a multi-brewery collaboration, you'll not only find it at Uinta on draft, but at many of the collaborating Utah breweries as well. The Spanish Cedar Infused Whole Flower Dry-Hopped Nitro Pale Ale is unique to Grid City, and due to its nitro conditioning, it will only be available to enjoy at Grid City's pub. As always, cheers!

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