What is it about men and beer? My Friday Night Beer Club kept my beer explorations current, with different themes each time, a home brewer in the group, and a local microbrewery (Devils Canyon Brewery) seemingly always well represented (thanks Charles!). On this trip, as with other trips, I try to sample as local of brews as I can get. Throughout Nevada and Utah, there always seemed to be a beer from Uinta Brewing, based in Salt Lake City. Their IPA is both tasty and common, helping out a few meals for me.
Our visit to Moab Brewery had us trying their Black Imperial IPA. Only distributed in a bottle
(because it is bottle conditioned), it was a very interesting complement to our meal, though the high alcohol content (8.4%) did leave some taste of alcohol in the mix, something that represents a love/hate relationship for me with high alcohol beers. It represents what many of the US brewmasters are trying – combinations that go beyond established beer styles. I love the creativity and look forward to tasting more experiments going forward. As for this experiment, given its 1 liter size, I'm glad we could walk back to our beds.
Speaking of creativity in beer, my Uncle Russ keeps up his run of interesting blends. In his walk-in fridge now, he has Beef Hearted Ale, Vienna Waltz Lager, Krispy Kream Ale, Rootin Tootin Werenbock, Kewl Kolsch, California Common Lager, Dr. Dunkleweizen, Little Bo Pils, Dry Fly Stout, and Wreak Havoc Ale. While I won't bore you with what all these styles are, I love the creativity he has in naming his concoctions. As with all beers, the styles are created from a combination of different malts, hops, and yeast, and he has a story as good as the name behind most of them.
His friend Bruce is also a homebrewer, so I was in heaven last night talking about beer and brewing. Bruce's son is now a brewmaster at a local microbrewery, so let's just say I was in good beer company. Kymberlee also jumped in to understand more about this passion. She checked out Russ's brew room and now she knows just what I'll eventually want! He has a big burner for boiling the mash, a mill for the malted barley (or wheat), tubs for different styles of barley, a freezer full of hops, and all the plumbing/carboys/filters to get a beer from raw ingredients to the bottle. And as I already mentioned, he has what many envy – a walk-in fridge for storage of the finished product. I hope at some point I can put together the space (and time) to be as good as a brewer as my Uncle.