With a Little Help From Their Friends | Drink | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

With a Little Help From Their Friends 

When beer makers and beer nerds have each others' backs.

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In the mood for a delightful berry KO? This brew's for you. - COURTESY EPIC BREWING CO
  • Courtesy Epic Brewing Co
  • In the mood for a delightful berry KO? This brew's for you.

In the midst of the chaos that has taken over a good portion of our once-normal lives, it's good to see that our local brewing institutions are still trudging forward—regardless of all the setbacks they've endured. Servers and barkeeps—who make us laugh and deal with our shit—are for the most part furloughed and scattered to the wind. As you ponder your next frothy mug, please remember to support our friends and neighbors who make and serve us some of the most unique beers around. I'm happy to report there are still new beers being brewed locally that are available at stores. Here's a small selection of what's out there for you this week:

Epic Brewing Co. Imperial Pink Ale: From the name, you'd expect this beer to look, well, pink. But it actually doesn't. While Epic's brewers do dial back some of the malts used for color, it ends up with a hue that's closer to a strong fuschia with ruby highlights.

It has an interesting nose. Though there's no actual fruit added, it smells like berry purée and with a nice creamy addition. Fruity red berry varieties present an explosive and juicy component that's driven by excellent harmony between the malt and hops. Overall, it hints almost at chocolate-raspberry candy. The result is a fascinating and enjoyable scent, which makes me curious about what to expect from the flavors.

The taste follows the nose, with fruit notes right up front: melon, berries, rich caramel and some toasted biscuit. The hops follow with citric, tropical and woody notes cutting the sweetness from the initial sip. At mid-palate, the flavor features some sort of cherry-raspberry thing happening—a mild sense of controlled tartness that really pops. You'll find hints of steel-like grapefruit at the finish as well. The mouthfeel is a simple, solid coating of neutral sweetness and juicy red fruit flavors along with traces of mild lime hop aroma.

Overall: This is fantastic beer that definitely ranks among Utah's top hoppy beers. I would like to try it side-by-side with other local imperial reds. With the beer's Pink Boots hop blend in limited supply, I'd advise jumping on this one sooner rather than later.

Uinta Brewing Co. Birthday Suit (Blackberry Lemon Tart): The color takes on more of an orange tinge when held to the light. The aroma starts off with a medium-to-high degree of sweetness with the blackberry being the first to show up. That seems to be the aroma that sticks out the most in this beer imparting nice natural and tart vine aromas.

The taste is similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of sweetness. That blackberry is still the first to show up imparting the same aspects that it did in the nose for the most part. Though there's a natural lemony tartness to the beer. The zesty citrus is more than aggressive enough to come through on its own. On the finish, there's a higher level of tartness including a puckering berry aftertaste that plays off of the lemony twang.

Overall: Very refreshing, much in the same vein as a blueberry lemonade.

Epic's bottle shop has new temporary hours: 11a.m.-9 p.m. This is where the Imperial Pink can be found in 22 ounce bottles. Uinta has new hours as well: noon-6 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. For cans and bottles purchases only (no growlers). Both breweries are maximizing sanitation and safe distancing. Beer makers and beer nerds gotta stick together, and that's how we'll survive this. Cheers!

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