#slc Archives – PorchDrinking.com
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.
2017 left as swiftly as it came. Year after year, the clock seems to tick more rapidly. Repeating the daily grind of the morning wake up, leaning on a java and finishing the night with a great beer. Did that a few times and BAM! There we were–drawing gape as the Patriots won the Super Bowl, experiencing a total solar eclipse and then suddenly watching the ball drop on the broadcast of New Years’ Rockin’ Eve. Okay, the time lapse may be a bit of an exaggeration, but for real—the past 365 days flew by like no other.
Few words excite beer lovers as much as the word “rare”. The thought electrifies basic hunting instincts into a frenzied FoMO path to liquid bliss. Last year, when Epic Brewing Company announced its plans to release two very special versions of their barrel-aged stout Big Bad Baptist, we stood up and took notice. Released alongside the already well-established original Big Bad Baptist, was the Mexican coffee-inspired Big Bad Baptista and the sensory enticing Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist. Needless to say, many of our old trading friends dropped us a quick “ISO” once they caught wind of it.
This place really is an adult playground. Looking to the left, we see Bill & Ted and to the right, we’re greeted by Wayne & Garth (all tanks have been given names of pop culture icons.) In the middle of it all, Jack is making beer on a home brew setup and today is in charge of the tunes at Proper Brewing Co. In between watching the boil, he takes a moment to set the next song.
ABV: 7.0% | IBU: 82.4
While exploring craft beer early on, we stumbled upon the higher point brews of Utah’s local breweries. We found Uinta Brewing’s Hop Nosh IPA. In the beginning, it was tough to handle bitter, hoppy beers but did our best trying them in limited amounts. Doesn’t almost every craft beer enthusiast go through the transition of ‘hop hater’ to ‘hop head’? There is no vaccine – once you’ve caught the bug, you have it. The beginning pursuit for the most floral, hoppy, bitter beers in an effort to satisfy your tongue’s need for liquid adventure.
As the gate opened, it revealed a welcome invitation into the belly of the beast. Salt Lake City Weekly’s 7th Annual Utah Beer Festival 2016 was ready to rage. We prepared to soak up some sun, listen to solid tunes, gobble great eats and drink world class beer.
What: 7th Annual Utah Beer Festival
When: Saturday, August 27, 2016 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Utah State Fair Park – 155 N 1000 W, Salt Lake City, UT
Price: General Admission – $20 advance ($25 day of), includes 5 tokens and taster mug Early Beer Drinker Entry – $30, includes 1 hour early entry, 8 tokens and taster mug VIP $50 – Includes all GA benefits, access to the Devour VIP Lounge with exclusive samples, food pairings and Brewer Q&A. VIP Designated Driver – $20, all VIP entitlements excluding beer tokens and beer tastings in the VIP lounge Designated Driver Ticket – $5, includes admission and pats on the back for being a good friend. Purchase tickets here.
As I drive to meet a local brewer to learn about his most recent release, I think about the time we once asked another brewer what he felt was the ‘next big thing’ in craft beer. His reply: “German Pilsner.” This no doubt came as a bit of a shock. Berliner Weisse, session IPA, or even Imperial fruit beer would have all seemed appropriate. Instead, he picked a classic style originating from the Czech Republic in 1842. Interesting enough, we started noticing a trend: Friends working in breweries often mentioned pilsner as their go-to-beer. A few years ago there might not have been enough local quality pils to make an Ultimate 6er and although it hasn’t become the ‘next big thing’, it has made a resurgence. We give you a guide to Utah’s very own Pilsners.
A few years back, Epic Brewing Company did the unthinkable. They took classic beers from their standard lineup and messed with ’em! They released a handful of ‘wild’ versions of their fruit beers that we all know so well. The already natural funky flavors in the beer must have sparked the imagination of a creative brewer.
If you’re looking for a beercation like the rest of us, we know you can have an exceptional one here. Utah is generally thought of as that dry place between craft beer mega states Colorado and California. Unlike the super states that surround us in virtually every direction, you can truly experience a good amount of what Utah beer has to offer in just 2 days and 2 nights, sightseeing along the way.
Although Valentine’s day is over for another year, it’s good to continue reflecting on things we love. When a highly anticipated seasonal release of a favorite local offering just so happens to land during the same week of warm weather in the middle of winter, the combination deserves reflection. Because, 1) Warm weather means summer really is coming back, and 2) Exclusive beer releases with limited bottles really are ‘all the hype’ and you’ll feel damn lucky to have your hands on the prize. When both happen to mingle, it feels like a celebration.
We live in a state known for our curious alcohol laws. Laws we would say have inadvertently given strength to the Utah beer industry. Local breweries have been forced to brew beer at the low-alcohol 4% abv in order to serve on draft or be available in grocery or convenience stores. How can this possibly be a good thing you ask? It means: Utah-based breweries perfected the art of the ‘Session’ beer long before ‘Session’ became a thing for breweries (outside of the Beehive state) who looked for ways to avoid knocking out their consumers with huge alcohol content. In a land surrounded by high elevation, we’ve been keeping it low for years.
4% ABV- Session
If a bottle had a label that said ‘Beer’, would you be interested? We think some people might be, just because trying to ‘not to be cool’ seems to be a form of ‘cool’ these days. It is just as likely in the beer world if there isn’t something interesting on the label, it might not hit the table. These days, label art has been taken to a new level, which proves the unconditional love many brewers have with their liquid gold.