Daily beer project

Spaten Premium, Anchor Steam, Sierra Nevada Glissade, Bohemian Roadhouse Rye, and skunked Tsingtao

Posted in American Craft Beer, Bohemian, Imports, Utah Beer by dailybeerproject on May 18, 2010

I’ve been slacking a bit, so I’m going to try and get caught up all at once. I took a bit of a departure from the local beers and went to the liquor store for some domestic and imported brews I’ve been interested in sampling. I was also anxious to sample the seasonal rye beer at Bohemian since a) I had yet to try a rye beer, and b) everything Bohemian makes is good. So here you go.

Spaten Premium: this is a traditional light lager, the flagship beer of Germany’s Spaten brewery. I tried Spaten Optimator early on in the project and was pretty overwhelmed by how strong it was. I need to revisit that one, but I wanted to give this variety a go first.

Nothing spectacular about it, just a good but typical European lager. Not as plain as American lagers, with more noticeable hops and a more pronounced bitterness. Good but not awesome.

Anchor Steam: The only beer official allowed to be called “steam beer” since Anchor brewery trademarked the name, I was anxious to try this one after how much I enjoyed Park City Steamer. Turns out I’m quite fond of the steam or California Common style beers, as this one was awesome in its own right. Steam beers were originally considered of poor quality and were obviously a makeshift beer, but the modern iterations are some of my favorites. I would definitely buy this one again. Will be interesting to see, however, how the quality holds up over the years, as Anchor brewing has just been sold.

Sierra Nevada Glissade: Bock beers were originally created in Einbeck, Germany. They were strong beers, created by the monks to have higher food energy values to help them through lent, similar to the Trappist beers originating in Belgium. The style has evolved over the years to encompass a variety of flavors and strengths, ranging from quite strong at about 6% abv to exceptionally strong eisbock beers that are strengthened by freeze distilling the beer: the beer is frozen, and the chunks of water ice removed, leaving behind the alcohol and malt flavors. Eisbocks can be brewed to as strong as 40% abv (wow!).

Glissade is a golden bock, brewed with lighter malts. It’s on the weak side for the style at 6.4% abv. Between the lighter malt and the relatively weak alcohol, it wasn’t overpowering like the Spaten Optimator I mentioned previously (a doppelbock, on the strong end of the spectrum, excluding eisbocks). Not a session beer, but a good one and done beer. Strong enough to leave me feeling satisfied without being so strong to require some determination to finish. Awesome stuff when looking for a slightly stronger beer.

Bohemian Roadhouse Rye (Seasonal): Rye beer is any beer where rye (typically malted) is substituted for any portion of the barley. Almost never 100% rye, but typically at least 50%. Rye used to be commonly used for brewing beer, but in the 1500’s, after a series of bad harvests, rye was deemed only suitable for bread and not for beer, and the German Reinheitsgebot, or purity law, was enacted, stipulating that beer was to be produced from only four ingredients: water, barley, yeast, and hops. Only recently have rye beers reappeared in broad distribution.

Just as rye/pumpernickel breads have a hearty, grainy flavor, the same is true of rye beers. I love rye bread, in fact it’s my favorite kind. And as it happens, I love rye beer. Bohemian’s at least. It’s quite light in color for a rye beer, but that seems to fit with my preference for rye over pumpernickel and lighter beers over darker in general. Way awesome. I’ll need to go back for more.

Skunked Tsingtao: I kind of gave away my impression of this beer by telling you that it was skunked. Imported from China, comes in green bottles, stored in the open at room temperature at state liquor store. That’s a recipe for disaster, and it was. I could smell it when I opened it. I didn’t need to taste it, but I did. Then poured it down the drain. I’d like to give this beer a try, but I don’t trust that I can get it fresh.

Frankly, the state liquor stores have a huge problem with freshness. Many times, I’ve seen beers with bottled-on dates indicating they were more than a year old. Very few beers have that kind of shelf life, and even fewer at room temperature.

Thankfully, now that Epic Brewing is open for business, we have no excuse not to have fresh, refrigerated beer. Want beer stronger than 4% abv? Epic and the Beer Store both have it cold and in bottles, ready for you to take home. I’m looking forward to sampling some Epic beers soon.


4 Responses

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  1. Brandon Worrell said, on May 20, 2010 at 1:32 am

    Yes… definitely go to Epic. You can get get everything cold, rush home, and try some of them!

  2. […] so the flavor of the brown rice was apparent but still subtle. It wasn’t as grainy as the Roadhouse Rye at Bohemian, nor should it be since rye has a much more distinctive flavor than rice. But it was […]

  3. […] of the best reasons to buy seasonal beer is that it’s almost certain to be fresh, which is not necessarily the case with other beers purchased from our wonderful state liquor store. Another good reason is that […]

  4. […] I had the bartender at Bohemian tell me that he and most of the staff didn’t care for theirs, but I love it. Same for Desert Edge. Very good stuff, and a good beer to have with food. I started with a sampler […]

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