Red Rock Brewing | Le Quatre Saison
How do you define style these days? When we think of a head brewer with style, we think of Kevin Templin. He has been crafting some of our state’s most iconic brews before we even knew what good beer really was. You see, Templin led Salt Lake City’s Red Rock Brewing team as Head Brew Master for just about the past two decades. When we finally woke up and peered into the world of craft beer, Templin was one of the first professional brewers we met. We once wandered a beer fest with this guy and people simply gravitated to him. Silly enough, it was an honor to see him work the room (or should we say “tents”). He didn’t think of himself as a celebrity, but we were certainly in a bit of awe hanging out with him. Admittedly, the intimidation of his beer knowledge captivated us. Yet it turns out; this suds veteran effortlessly balances connections within all levels of experience in the trade.
Are you questioning what does this have to do with Le Quatre Saison? Well, after meeting Kevin and the crew at Red Rock – things changed. They challenged us to look outside of our comfort zone and seek different variations of beer. Red Rock offers a diverse and expansive selection of hand-crafted beverages worth exploring, and that exploration essentially led us to Le Quatre, a French-Belgian style ale. At the time, this was a flavor we didn’t seek out, nor care for. However, we trusted Red Rock. We continued to pick up this beer during visits to the brewery, and guess what happened? Its complex essence grew on us. Le Quatre opened the gate to the longstanding style and remains one of our favorite saisons. We don’t know if this modern version fits exactly, but it is our “Beer Zero,” so it defines the saison style for us.
Le Quatre pours wheat-yellow in color, but foggy like a steamed glass window. While dispensing, the cascading flow causes big bubbles to thin into a lather of sticky fizz that sways above the liquid. Spicy aromatics with touches of musky tangs were originally an obstacle, but are now attractive to us. An earthly, sweet peppery taste spotlights the drinkable dance on the tongue with a sparkle. The finish of this bitter infusion has a light hint of dry, crisp tartness varnishing the smooth brew. It smells and tastes like history.
Recently, Kevin Templin decided to leave Red Rock Brewing. This valiant decision stages his pursuit of his dream to own a brewery, which he intends to model on the German concept of a family-run, neighborhood brew house. The realization of that dream is T.F. Brewing, which he hopes to open by the end of the year.
From an outsiders view, it appears Templin planned his departure in the most perfect way. His exit allowed Kevin Davis and Chris McCombs, formerly of New Belgium Brewing Company, to take the lead at Red Rock. McCombs previously collaborated with Templin in the development of the GABF gold medal winner Paardebloem, a Belgian style ale.
In the end, as we know with most aspects in life, things change. If you stay optimistic, it likely turns out for the best. Now we have new possibilities at Red Rock Brewing. And we get to look forward to another brewery run by someone that we truly respect and appreciate his beer and his style.
Chris & Sylvia are a #craftbeercouple who love everything beer! Check them out on Instagram @chrishollands & @sylily