Utah Beer – PorchDrinking.com
Thirty-five miles west of Salt Lake sits Bonneville Brewery. The brewery sometimes gets lost in Utah craft beer conversations because it’s outside the capital city and it’s been brewing award-winning beers going on eight years now, which often means it’s excluded from the new-school–cool-kids-club.
Sir-Veza, a Mexican-style light Lager brewed by Utah’s preeminent Lager brewery, is a beer for all seasons. The crisp Lager is the perfect refresher—or so I’ve heard—after a day spent carving turns on the ski slopes. For Utahns like me who don’t ski or snowboard, this is the time of year we’re dreaming of soft sandy beaches and warm summer breezes. And a sip of Sir-Veza, coupled with an active imagination, transports us to a sun-soaked oasis.
Last weekend was not a craft beer lover’s dream for me. I was charged with bringing liquor to the Burbot Bash, a nighttime ice fishing derby on Flaming Gorge, on the Utah/Wyoming border. My buddy and derby teammate brought the beer. He went with Coors Lite.
Utah’s September muzzleloader buck deer hunt yielded, for me, the viewing of several beautiful sunrises, tons of squirrels, birds of prey attacking those squirrels, other orange-clad hunters, lots of does and one tiny spike buck that I thought about shooting for only a moment before letting him walk away unscathed. What it didn’t yield was any buck sizable enough to fill the freezer.
Now I sit here, in October, drinking an Allosaurus Amber Ale from Utah’s Vernal Brewing Co. I drink this tasty, medium-bodied amber ale next to a campfire in the Book Cliffs of Utah, where I’ve spent the last two weekends trying to make up for a failed deer hunt by trying in vain to fill my spike elk tag for the winter’s meat. We’ve seen some elk, but so far the only spike among them was in our neighbor’s campsite, already dead and being prepared to fill their freezer.
Halfway through today’s 16-mile mountain bike ride in the 95 degree heat of the Moab desert, I looked down to check my water bottles; things were definitely half empty. I looked in vain for a tree or rock that might offer a bit of shade for a short rest, and I told my friends, Charlie and Stacia, “I $%&#ing hate mountain biking.”
When I stopped at the Utah state-owned liquor store last night after a day on the slopes, the label of Epic Brewing’s Pfeifferhorn Lager stood out, what with its powder-covered peak imagery. Named after the 11,326 foot Pfeifferhorn Peak, a.k.a Little Matterhorn, which overlooks the Salt Lake Valley, this beer’s label proclaims that its namesake’s “craggy summit lures hikers and skiers year round.”