Daily beer project

Two more Uinta beers + one new brewery

Posted in American Craft Beer, Epic Brewing, Uinta Brewing, Utah Beer by dailybeerproject on April 6, 2010

Thursday after work, I rolled over to the Uinta brewpub housed in the Uinta brewery facility. It’s sort of like the Squatters/Wasatch Beer Store, but sort of not. It’s like the beer store in that it’s smack in the middle of an industrial district, totally low-key, casual, and uncrowded (a far cry from the Squatters or Red Rock brewpubs, which are kind of fancy, trendy, crowded places downtown). It’s quite unlike the Beer Store in that the focus is on selling draft beer by the pint. I think you could get a growler filled there, and they have a fridge with a handful of their bottled beers that you can buy, but that’s certainly not the focus. At the beer store, you can only buy draft beer by the growler (can’t drink it there, nowhere to even sit) or bottled beers, of which they have a full selection.

My objective was to sample a couple more Uinta brews and get some bottles of beers that they didn’t have on tap. The first beer I sampled was the Blue Sky Pilsner. It tasted fine if unremarkable. As a relatively new drinker of beer, I’m still struggling to figure out the popularity of the Pilsner style. I mean, it’s OK, but with so much out there in the beer world, why would you choose that? And for people that drink, say, Bud Light* exclusively, I ask why would you do that to yourself? I expect a little more of a craft-brewed lager than I would from Budweiser, but they don’t always deliver. This one was good (in that I wouldn’t turn it down), but when compared to Bohemian’s Pilsner or Wasatch First Amendment, it’s a bit wanting.

*I confess, I have still never tried Bud Light, but that’s sort of my point. If it were that good, I would have had it by now.

Next I ordered a pint of Hive. Hive is made by Uinta under their Four+ label, which I don’t really understand from a branding standpoint unless it’s just a play for more shelf space at the retailer without looking like it’s just more beer from Uinta. The big breweries play this game, too, owning a lot of brands–such as Beck’s, Bass, Stella, Peroni, and Kirin–that you’d have no indication were owned by Anheuser Busch or Miller Coors.

Hive is described as a honey ale, which I guess means a honey-colored ale with a bit of actual honey flavor in it. For me this one was good, a lot like the Blue Sky–a decent, drinkable beer, but not my first choice when other options are available. And considering Uinta IPA and Hefeweizen are both available on tap at the brewery pub, I don’t see any reason to order the Hive again. Oh, and it claims to have had honey in it, but I really couldn’t taste it.

So in the title I also mentioned a new brewery. Just found out about this yesterday, and it’s not actually open yet, but Epic Brewing is about to open for business. What with the fairly recent change in local liquor laws such that breweries can sell bottled beers of >4% abv direct to the public, Epic Brewing is focusing on craft beers with greater than 4% abv. Obviously they won’t sell anything on tap, but if they put out quality stuff in a setting similar to the Beer Store, I won’t complain a bit.

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