Utah's 2023 World Beer Cup Winners | Drink | Salt Lake City Weekly

Utah's 2023 World Beer Cup Winners 

Local Utah breweries take home international beer competition honors

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  • Mike Riedel

A couple of weeks ago, there was an international beer competition in Nashville, Tennessee. A few local beer makers managed to shine among the 10,000 beers entered from all over the globe. The World Beer Cup is the largest international gathering, bringing judges from 26 countries together, for the single goal: to find the best examples of what makes beer great. Here are the 2023 local medal winners.

Templin Family Brewery - Squirrel (Gold): This New England-style IPA was the brewery's first attempt at an NEIPA back in 2019. This squirrel shows its head at least once a year, and locals can't get enough of it.

The aroma offers up some sweet malt, soft berries and orange. The flavor is full with additional notes of mango, passionfruit, peach, lychee, floral blossoms, grass, pine and earth. A light bitterness balances it and, along with a little bit of "hop bite," leads to a dry finish with some fruit, pine, earth and spice lingering. In the mouth it's medium-bodied, but with a lot of extra proteins that makes it seem fluffier and fuller—gently crisp, then smooth.

I cannot state how important this gold medal is for this beer. The New England IPA is the hottest style in craft brewing right now, and having the best example in the world made in Salt Lake City really puts Utah on the beer map.

Templin Family Brewery - Triple Brett Oak-Aged Dark Lager Aged on Montmorency Cherries (Silver): This mixed-fermentation sour ale was another first-of-its-type made at TF. Kevin Templin told me that it was entered as an afterthought, saying, "We just threw it out there to see how it would do." Well, it did pretty well in another difficult category to medal in.

Fruits include bruised apples, plum and cherry, while dark, caramelish malt comes through as well. This is one of those rare beers where the aroma is almost as satisfying as the beer itself, and the flavor mimics the aroma. It's quite tart and almost puckering, but the sweetness of the malt is there underneath to balance it. All of the fruitiness found in the aroma remains with some added dark raisin and tart red berries, and some yeasty phenolics. It's certainly earned a place on the world's stage. Well worth seeking out.

Uinta - Was Angeles (Silver): The term Was Angeles (Wasatch/Los Angeles ) is the local vernacular that refers to the gridlock conditions that often occur while headed up Little Cottonwood Canyon on powder days. Now, it also refers to one of the best examples of a cream ale available.

A nose of pilsner yeast, soft wheat, subtle grains and sweet honey malts leads to similar flavors, with soft wheat and honey malts lightly dancing on a subtle floral hop note that is refreshing and quenching. Nice mouth feel, crisp and medium carbonated with a subtly dry finish.

Grid City - English Brown Ale (Bronze): I think if the judges had known that this bronze medal-winning brown ale was available on nitro and cask along with CO2, it would have placed even higher.

Mild aromas of smooth cream, milk chocolate and caramel mix with faint aromas of dark bread. But it's mostly malts here, with some cream, smooth caramel and milk chocolate in the flavor, possibly some faint citrus and roastiness. Caramel evolves into a cocoa flavor in the middle; a dryness is then present, followed by caramel and slightly milky red-fruit sweetness. It produces incredibly evocative notes—a wild ride from the bursting, almost dessert-like bouquet to the maltier flavor profile with hints of bitterness. This has a ton to offer, and is really enjoyable to drink because of it.

Get out there and try these. You owe it to yourself to see what all the fuss is about. As always, cheers!

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