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Thread: Utah Beer Myths
03-01-2006, 12:13 PM #1
Utah Beer Myths
Saw this in the sl trib today. Thought it was intersting considering how much utah beer gets talked about here(in the ski/snowboard forum).
Busting Utah's Beer Myths
By Kathy Stephenson
The Salt Lake Tribune
Matt Beamer, Jennifer Talley, Chris Haas and the state's dozen other brew masters work hard to make great brews that are busting Utah's beer myths.
But liquor lore is heavy here and many customers just won't shed their age-old thinking.
Take, for instance, the number 3.2, which refers to the percent of alcohol - by weight - contained in beer. Under state law, "three-two" beer is all that can be sold in grocery stores or on draft at bars and microbreweries. But Planet Utah is like no other in the universe.
Producers from everywhere else - from California to New York and Belgium to Germany - measure the percent of alcohol in beer by volume. Brewers say it is a significant mathematical difference that is lost on the everyday beer drinker.
"It's apples and oranges," says Beamer, the brew master at Wasatch Brew Pub in Park City.
When measured like the rest of the world, Utah's beer has 4 percent alcohol by volume. And while that is the lowest level in the nation, it is not far behind the national average of mainstream beers, which are about 5 percent.
That means all those youthful drives to Wyoming for "better beer" were probably a waste of time and gas.
"You'd have to drink a lot of beer to notice a 1 percent alcohol difference," said Haas, the brew master at Salt Lake City's Desert Edge Brewery in Trolley Square.
More lore: That brings up Utah Beer Myth No. 2: The point in brewing beer is to have as much alcohol as possible. In reality, beer is not brewed to be as alcoholic as possible - in Utah or anywhere else in the world. Beer is brewed to match a specific style or taste. Each style has a general color, flavor, bitterness and alcohol level.
A German-style pilsener, for example, generally has a light straw or golden color, a moderate flavor and aroma and an alcohol-by-volume level that ranges between 4 and 5 percent. An imperial stout has a dark copper, almost black color, a rich malt flavor and 7 to 12 percent alcohol by volume.
The list goes on since there are dozens of beer styles around the world. The Great American Beer Festival, the Oscars of the beer-making world, has nearly 70 beer-style categories, according to the Brewers Association, which sponsors the annual event.
That means lower-alcohol beers made at Utah's microbreweries - pale ales, English-style browns and bitters - are comparable to those made outside the state.
Many people assume that popular beers, such as Guinness, a dark Irish stout and Corona, a beer from Mexico, have a higher alcohol content everywhere except Utah. But in reality those beers are 4 percent by volume (or 3.2 by weight) all over the country.
Large manufacturers like Budweiser and Coors make their beers fit all the different alcohol rules simply by adding filtered water, according to experts.
Of course, like any craftsperson, Utah brew masters would love to have a full spectrum of beers in their arsenal like a bock (6 to 7 percent alcohol) or a barley wine (8 to 12 percent).
"There are some styles that I'd love to do but will never be able to do unless there's some sort of revelation that happens on the [state Alcohol Beverage Control] commission," said Beamer. "It's happened. I'm not crossing my fingers, but it's happened before."
However, Utah brewers with the ability to bottle their beverages are producing beer with higher alcohol content. Squatters Pub Brewery in Salt Lake City makes an India Pale Ale that is 6 percent alcohol by volume, while Uinta Brewing Company makes a barley wine that is almost 10 percent alcohol. The beers are sold in Utah only at state liquor stores.
Karl Menzer worked as a brew master in Louisiana before coming to Tracks Brewing Co. in Tooele. He said it hasn't been that difficult to adapt to Utah laws.
"There are styles you can't make here, so I concentrate on the summer beers and fall beers instead of the traditional 5 1/2 to 6 percent I made before," he said. "But they are great beers nonetheless."
Smarter brewing: Menzer and other brew masters say working under Utah alcohol limitations has made them better brewers. With a higher alcohol brew, they say, the easier it is to hide any imperfections in the beer.
"That's the beauty of 3.2 beer," said Talley, the brewer master at Squatters Brew Pub. "Everything the brewer puts into a beer is right on the palate. You can't hide behind it."
Because of that, Utah brewers are forced to work smarter than some of their counterparts in other states, paying careful attention to the marriage between their hops and barley, said Talley.
That careful attention has paid off in numerous gold, silver and bronze medals for Utah's microbreweries at the Great American Beer Festival as well as the World Beer Cup.
Sales figures say customers like what they are being served as well. Talley said beer sales at Squatters brew pub grew 11 percent over the last year.
And last year, the Uinta Brewing Co. sold more than 15,000 barrels of beer, moving it out of the smaller "microbrewery" category and into the group known as regional specialty brewers, said Steven Kuftinec, the director of sales and operations.
Utah is following the national trend. In 2005, America's craft brewers sold 9 percent more barrels of beer than the year before.
That made microbrewed beers the fastest growing segment of the U.S. alcohol beverage industry for the second year in a row, according to the Brewers Association.
"Small brewers lead the entire industry by offering flavorful, interesting beers," said Ray Daniels, the associations director of craft beer marketing.
And Utah has some of the best, says Spencer Alston, co-owner of The Bayou private club in Salt Lake City. "We outperform other states on a regular basis."
Photo: These three Utah-brewed beers contain alcohol amounts that are comparable to beers made outside the state. But, because they contain more than 4 percent alchohol, they must be sold in state liquor stores.; Wasatch pale ale: 5 percent alcohol; Uinta barley wine: 10.4 percent alcohol; Squatter's pale ale: 6 percent alcohol (Chris Detrick/The Salt Lake Tribune)
03-01-2006, 12:18 PM #2
While that is one of the best Utah beer articles written in a while, it leaves out one key fact.
A sixer of "real" beer at the liquor store can pretty easily be north of $10, when the same thing would sell for $6-$7 somewhere else. The 50% DABC markup kills the "don't drive to Wyoming" argument pretty easily...
03-01-2006, 12:34 PM #3
So how far is the trip to Wyoming? How long does it take and where do you go?Fightin' to save the motherfucking day...
03-01-2006, 12:49 PM #4
It takes about 45-60 minutes driving from salt lake to evanston.
Another argument against the wyoming drive is
can't get it in utah and it's hard to throw a proper party without it.
03-01-2006, 01:07 PM #5
Oh sweet Jeebus here we go again!
but you know I like it!
Fuck that wyoming argument! I'll take a real BudCoors/ BudCoors light over a the UT basterdized product any freaking day. and If you say I cant tell the difference, I will prove you wrong every time.
Yep the current price for mediocre Sam Adams per bottle at the Church run store is $1.80 a 12 oz bottle
here is a price list for Pale ales in 12oz btls....biatches!! Fuck the UDABC
989000 355 ANGLERS PALE ALE 355ml 1.55 1
910101 355 AVBC HOP OTTIN'IPA 355ml 1.60 L
912154 355 AVBC POLEEKO PALE ALE 355ml 1.60 L
989115 355 BASS ALE ENGLAND 355ml 2.25 1
989171 355 BOULDER PASS TIME PALE ALE 355ml 1.25 1
914590 355 FIRESTONE PALE ALE 355ml 1.45 L
989086 355 MENDOCINO RED TAIL ALE 355 ml 1.90 1
989035 355 MOLSON CANADIAN 355 ml 1.40 1
989005 355 MOLSON GOLDEN 355 ml 1.40 1
989052 355 PETE'S WICKED ALE 355ml 1.65 1
989034 355 PYRAMID INDIA PALE ALE 355ml 1.45 1
912817 355 S SMITH INDIA PALE ALE 355ml 2.65 L
989147 355 SAMUEL ADAMS BOSTON ALE 355ml 1.80 1
989048 355 SAMUEL ADAMS PALE ALE 355ml 1.80 1
989206 355 SIERRA NEVADA PALE ALE 355ml 1.25 L
989033 355 SQUATTERS INDIA PALE ALE 355ml 1.50 1
989426 355 WASATCH SPEC RES PALE ALE 355ml 1.50 1
910098 375 COOPERS SPARKLING ALE 375ml 1.60 L
989784 441 BODDINGTONS PUB ALE DRAUGHT 441ml 2.40 1
910611 500 PINKUS MUNSTER ALT 500ml 2.95 LPoints on their own sitting way up high
03-01-2006, 01:07 PM #6
I've got two friends driving out from Colorado today to ski for a few days. One of them calls me yesterday:
Friend: "You can't buy beer in Utah right?" (serious question, not kidding)
Me: "No, prohibition is still in effect since the 1920's."
F: "Cool, I'll stop at the grocery store, what do you want me to buy?"
Me: " As much PBR as your car can haul."
F: "Got it, see you tommorow with a 3-4 cases of PBR." (from the grocery store)
I don't care where you live, free beer is the best beer.
(the only thing truly different about "Utah" beer is the price, they full on rape you at the state stores)"People blame me because these water mains break, but I ask you, if the
water mains didn't break, would it be my responsibility to fix them then?
- M. Barry,
Mayor of Washington, DC
03-01-2006, 01:13 PM #7Originally Posted by Mr. Altagirl
CO has the same shitty 3.2 in grocery stores, hopefully they know that and went to Applejacks or a liqour store (applejacks is a super liqour store )Points on their own sitting way up high
03-01-2006, 01:14 PM #8Originally Posted by Ski Monkey
It's been suggested this is where the "Canadian beer is stronger than American beer" legend came from. Canadian brewers specified ABV which is always higher than ABW because the specific gravity of alcohol is less than water.
03-01-2006, 01:16 PM #9Originally Posted by MacDaddy.....Visit my website. .....
"a yin without a yang"
03-01-2006, 01:18 PM #10
It's ok, you can still come spend your money in my state.
Last edited by 72Twenty; 03-01-2006 at 01:22 PM."Have fun, get a flyrod, and give the worm dunkers the finger when you start double hauling." ~Lumpy
03-01-2006, 01:59 PM #11Registered User
Originally Posted by 72Twenty
- Join Date
- Jun 2004
Fuck Utah highway patrol.
Fuck state liquor stores. and fuck that bitch who works the summit court office.
03-01-2006, 02:17 PM #12....................
- Join Date
- May 2005
Egon, what happened? Didn't yer peeps watch out for undercover cops?
03-01-2006, 02:22 PM #13
I though any barley brew over 7 % was classified as "Malt Liquor" ,& anythng over 11% was considered "Barley Wine" .Calmer than you dude
03-01-2006, 02:29 PM #14Originally Posted by Pope Benedict XVI.....Visit my website. .....
"a yin without a yang"
03-01-2006, 02:51 PM #15Originally Posted by Egon
03-01-2006, 02:57 PM #16
Brewers can rationalize all they want but the beer situation here is bleak.
Hows the beer selection at the stores in Evanston? Can I get Deschutes, Fat Tire, Avery, Red Nectar, etc.? Maybe its time for a road trip.
03-01-2006, 03:01 PM #17
The only reason you can't get New Belgium beers in Utah is because the liquor stores here don't refrigerate the beer. That's the word I got straight from the NB brewery.
That said, I don't really bother with buying beer at the sliquor stores here. Since none of the beer is refrigerated, most of it is spoiled. And with 4% available at the grocery store...fuck it, I'll just drink that.[This Space For Rent]
03-01-2006, 03:12 PM #18User
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
I'm checking into rehab if I ever drive more than 4 blocks for beer.
03-01-2006, 03:17 PM #19I'm checking into rehab if I ever drive more than 4 blocks for beer.
I don't drink, but you took the words right out of my mouth flykdog."dad, do Unicorns poop."
03-01-2006, 03:19 PM #20
Shit, I fly to Peru a few times a year just for the Pisco sours...amateurs.
03-01-2006, 03:25 PM #21Originally Posted by Mr. Altagirl
03-01-2006, 03:31 PM #22Originally Posted by Red Baron
However the Uinta Barleywine is almost worth it.
Since my ski season came to an abrupt end in january i have started brewing my own brew to kill some weekend couch time. First batch ready to drink this wknd-pale ale (not expecting too much) and will probably start a second (ipa?). Any utah maggs in the ogden area feel free to drop by and grab a sixer or two. (one batch brews over 60 beers so i might need some help drinking. then again...)
03-01-2006, 03:41 PM #23Registered User
Originally Posted by Dantheman
- Join Date
- Jun 2004
Then they ask me why I was in Evanston and said I had lunch with some friends running errands(truth). They don't believe me. Then they asked about open containers and if I had been drinking (it's 2 in the afternoon for fucksake). Nope. Then they ask me to step out of the car so they can check. Meantime they start asking my friend all the same questions running our stories against each other trying to catch us in the middle of a lie. At this point I know they know whats in the duffle bag.
Finally they want to know whats in the large duffle bag. I tell them it's just what I'm transporting. They take the bag off. Keg entered into 'evidence'. Tap also entered into evidence. I'm charged with possesion of container over 2L, and unlawful importation.
At the time I was almost laughing at them. They were young (seemed to be fresh out of cop school), and it was funny how proud of themselves they were on the bust. They were the type of fucktards who couldn't make it through college so they became cops.
Well they sure outsmarted me. I'm not sure how they knew I bought a keg. I spent all afternoon eating lunch and running some errands around evanston. Bought the keg from an old lady with no one else in the store or parking lot.
It's funny that I get punished for keg possesion, yet most days I can't even walk to campus without some methhead asking me for spare change. Oh and fuck shurtleff too.
03-01-2006, 03:51 PM #24Originally Posted by Egon
Is not having insurance "on record" a primary law, that they can just pull you over? Does any one know? Does this justify or manifest probable cause?
I take it you didnt fight it? You paid a fine on top of losing $70 in keg beer and $50. 00 deposit? brutal!Points on their own sitting way up high
03-01-2006, 03:57 PM #25
Seriously, that's pretty damn weak. Aside from the fact that I think "we didn't have your insurance on record" is total bullshit, they had absolutely no legal authority to keep you pulled over once you showed them POI. As soon as you showed it to them your response should have been [extremely polite tone] "Now that we have that cleared up can I be on my way now officer? I'm going to be late for a class. [/extremely polite tone]
Maybe you just need to find a nice little old lady who will do your keg shopping for you, preferably one with glaucoma so you can just kick her a nug for her troubles