Taste of Utah (and Minnesota)

skit Greetings BeerToronto faithful! This is not your normal contributor so if you are expecting the usual dry and sarcastic wit of the regular contributor you may want to stop reading now… If you are still reading, I will preface this post with the fact that this is my first blog post. You should also know that my social media development has been retarded (not in the non-P.C. sense of the word) since 2007. I don’t have Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I don’t even really know what Instagram is except that it involves iPhones and pictures. I do have LinkedIn; begrudgingly. Also, although I have drank a lot of beer over the past 13 years, only recently have I cared what it tasted like.

Notwithstanding all of that, I recently had the occasion to experience a few interesting brews while in the great States of Minnesota and Utah. Minneapolis was just a layover and the majority of the trip was spent in Utah, specifically the Sundance ski hill near Provo.

The plan was to be in Utah over New Year’s Eve and so my initial concern of course was that it might be difficult to fully enjoy the evening based on the preconceived notion that Utah is a dry state due to the significant population of Mormons that reside there. Perfect example of why you shouldn’t form essentially baseless pre-judgments. Although I did meet some people that were adamant abstainers, I was pleasantly surprised to find alcohol sold in grocery stores (more convenient than Ontario) and a pretty solid selection of local craft beers to try. Also, when I returned I did some extensive legal research (on Wikipedia) and determined that Utah state law actually precludes the ability of communities in Utah to go dry.

Overall, I came away with a great impression of the place; beautiful landscape, friendly people and pretty good beer. You can’t ask for much more. So, having said all that, let’s get to the beer. Here are my thoughts on a few:

Squatters Pub Brewery – Hop Rising Double IPA

 hop Specs:

  • Brewed in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 9% ABV
  • 75 IBUs

Overall Impression: It should come as no surprise that this beer will knock you on your ass pretty quick. I didn’t notice a large variety or complexity in the flavour. However, the strong hop profile along with the lasting bitterness achieves what I presume to be the intention of the brewers. Perfect beer to enjoy after a day on the slopes, or any other cold environment.

UINTA Brewing Co. – WYLD EPA

 wyld Specs:

  • Brewed in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 4% ABV
  • 29 IBUs
  • Certified Organic by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Overall Impression: Solid beer. Not very hoppy or bold in flavour, but has a nice, sweet, caramel-like finish. Colour is a hazy bronze with a more orange tinge. The type of beer that you could enjoy prior to, and with, a nice meal.

Summit EPA

 summit Specs:

  • Brewed in St. Paul, Minnesota
  • 5.2% ABV
  • 45 Bus

Overall Impression: Unfortunately while I was consuming this one I was in the St. Paul airport and furious having just finished running to try and make a connection only to arrive at a “closed” gate with the airplane sitting there. There was also some doubt whether I would make it to my final destination that evening which was also weighing on my mind. Traveling over the holidays generally sucks. However, this beer did not.

Ed Note: You could also try Squatters Provo Girl Pilsner from Salt Lake City Utah. A creamy smooth pilsner JB gave me, which happens to have a “ski bunny” on the bottle and a sufficiently tacky ad:


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Categories: Beer Review, Beer Tourism


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