We're Still Here | Drink | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

We're Still Here 

Utah's brewers aren't going anywhere, and here's the proof.

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MIKE RIEDEL
  • Mike Riedel

I keep asking myself, "Will this be the week we'll have no new suds?" Then, out of the blue, I get a text from one of our remarkable brewers. They exclaim that they're still alive and have new adult beverages for us to fill our pandemic bunkers with. As long as they keep making them, City Weekly and I will keep you up-to-date on these offerings. We've got your back in all things beer-and-brewery-related. That being said, check out these two very different new IPAs.

Uinta Brewing Co. Free Form Lo-Cal IPA: This beer is a part of Uinta's new line of "lo-cal" Beers. The Free Form label promises ales and lagers that will be below 100 calories per serving and keep the carbs in the basement. This IPA, for example, is listed to have 3.0 grams of carbs. It pours a hazy, pale golden-yellow color not turbid by any means because it has more of an unfiltered look to it. The nose is of grainy and crackery cereal malt, muddled domestic citrus peel, a stoney flintiness and some earthy, musty, piney green hop bitters. The taste is gritty and grainy pale malt with a bit of mixed-pomme fruitiness. Orange and lemon citrus notes, then a damp minerality and more understated leafy, weedy and piney hoppiness finish the effect.

Overall: This certainly comes off as an earnest attempt to be a flavorful low-calorie and low-carb beer. It emerges as a nice Brut IPA, plenty dry with minimal sweet malts to fatten you up. The 4.0% alcohol also manages to keep the calories down. This will kill as a great recreating beer, but if you're looking for more of a flavor bomb look towards Uinta's Hop Nosh.

Level Crossing Brewing Co. Space Oddity: I love the colors of the label. It's definitely one of the better packaging looks in our market, and pours a hazy golden body beneath a two-finger-thick head of pillowy off white foam. The aroma is mildly pungent with notes of hop resins and pine, and then juicy as well with notes of pineapple and orange. The flavor follows with all of those essences, threaded throughout a sweetish grainy malt base. It's not really that bitter, but there's an appealing slight dryness due to the addition of orange blossom, making it honey-medium-bodied and gently smooth and silky. They're not calling it a New England-style IPA, but it's clearly done in that cloudy and juicy style, and I think it delivers. The head holds up well although it finishes as just an island with a collar around it and the lacing is pretty nice.

Overall: As a good example of the style, it has pretty much all the aspects that I look for in a solid IPA. It compares very well with Level Crossing's other high-ABV IPAs. This beer has good drinkability at 8% alcohol. I could knock back a few of these and would buy this beer again. All in all, it makes for an enjoyable addition to Level Crossing's lineup. Sadly, this is a seasonal that we will not likely see again in the near future. Good job guys: This is a tasty IPA. Keep it up.

As we're still a few weeks into our new bizarro world, the unexpected should be expected. Look for both of these beers at their respective operating breweries for the moment. The Free Form should be popping up in grocery stores any time, so keep your eyes opened there as well. As always, cheers!

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