Wasatch Brewery – The latest release from Wasatch Brewery has me decidedly excited. The brewery has entered the bottled nitro craft beer category with its new release of Polygamy Nitro Porter, making it only the second brewery in the country to finesse these tiny bubbles into a bottle. This nitrogenated Porter is six percent ABV, soft and creamy.
Bottled nitrogenated beers require extensive research and development. “Our new Polygamy Nitro Porter has been a tremendously exciting project for all of us at the brewery,” Wasatch founder Greg Schirf says. “We spent more than a year testing and retesting the technology of injecting nitrogen into our Polygamy Porter, resulting in my favorite beer experience.” To date there are less than a handful of breweries successfully packaging nitrogenated craft beers.
“Getting nitrogen to pour properly in a bottle is about a hundred times more challenging than nitrogenating a keg.” Schirf said. “I could not be prouder of our guys putting their cumulative brewery experience of more than a hundred years together and pulling off a game-changing achievement in the craft brewing industry. You really have to try it to fully appreciate the love.”
To enjoy the ultimate experience of nitro beers, it requires an aggressive approach. “Pour it harder into your favorite glass and enjoy watching a bazillion little nitrogen bubbles make their way to the top of the glass,” brewmaster Dan Burick says. “Watch the beautiful dark mahogany fluid that Polygamy Porter is cascading through the rising bubbles. This necessary foreplay creates a dense head of foam that invites you to enjoy a silky smooth Porter.”
Wasatch Brewery has been bottling a four percent session Polygamy Porter since 2001. Recognized at World Beer Cup and winning gold and silver awards in the session category. The name and edgy taglines – Take some home to the wifes! Why have just one? I’ve tried polygamy. – have grabbed the attention of craft beer drinkers over the years. It is not difficult to see it was time to add to the fun.
Bonus Wasatch and Squatters information: check out my interview with Dan Burick in this month’s Utah Stories magazine.
Epic Brewing Company – The popular local micro brewery shows no sign of stopping it’s Epi…no I won’t make that pun…growth. Now approaching its fifth year in operation, Epic grew sales by 54% in 2014 churning out a total of 16,840 barrels of beer between its three breweries. Excuse me while I pause and imagine 16000 barrels of beer on the wall for a moment. With this increase in sales Epic Brewing is now designated as a Regional Craft Brewer by the Brewer’s Association.
Epic’s beers were recognized with eight domestic and international awards in 2014, with each of the following beers winning gold medals: Hop Syndrome Lager at the San Diego International Beer Festival, Smoked Porter at the LA International Beer Competition and Brainless Belgian-Style Golden Ale at the North American Brewers Association.
The Denver brewery continued its planned expansion with the addition of three 80 barrel and two 40 barrel fermenters, along with a 40 barrel brite tank, in the early summer of 2014. In late January of this year they added an additional three 120 barrel fermenters and a 120 barrel brite tank, as well as a second 20 Barrel kettle to the brew house. A further two additional 180 barrel fermenters and a corresponding brite tank are planned for delivery in the late summer of 2015.
The Denver Brewery also installed a canning line and began packing several beers in 12 oz. cans. Current offerings include the popular Escape to Colorado IPA, which was brewed in celebration of Epic’s expansion to the East side of the Rockies and features Mosaic hops. The second beer to be canned was the 2012 and 2013 Silver Medal Session Beer winner, Hop Syndrome Pils-Lager, which would subsequently win gold at the San Diego International Beer Festival. Hop Syndrome will return this June and become a year- round offering. Epic also introduced Element 29 Pale Ale, an all-Amarillo-hopped American Pale Ale, in October, as a fall seasonal.
Last but not least, the release I am most excited for – in February Epic released Lil’ Brainless Raspberries: a 5.2% ABV canned version of its award winning Brainless Raspberries, Belgian-Style Ale, bringing the total offering of 12 oz. canned beers to four. This should be hitting shelves any day now (if it hasn’t already) making one of Epic’s awesome fruit driven beers, more accessible in the lower alcohol format.
Vine Lore * – Wine more your thing? With the weekend afoot and the work week mercifully drawing to a close, here are some picks from our friends in the wine trade (with some handy notes about sale prices too, hint hint).
DABC code: 423249
Regular price: $13.99
March Sale: $11.99
95 points! The hot, dry climate of the Colchagua Valley is world renowned for producing concentrated Cabernets of exceptional quality. Root: 1 is known for its elegant and ripe fruit flavors.
Tasting notes: Rich garnet in color with intense aromas of ripe red fruits. Bright notes of plum and cherry followed by a hint of vanilla. Abundant flavors of juicy, ripe berries and a hint of toast, with balanced fresh acidity, soft tannins and good structure. Full-bodied with a smooth finish.
Food pairings: Root: 1 Cabernet pairs well with barbecued steak or a colorful, fresh stir-fry. The rich, ripe flavors also complement dishes like grilled chicken or shrimp. Before dinner, try it with hard salami or salted nuts, and a selection of mild to medium cheeses.
DABC code: 423244
Carmenere: After years of being thought extinct, Carmenere was rediscovered in Chile in 1994. The lush flavors and soft tannins of Root: 1 Carmenere are proof that the “lost grape of Bordeaux has finally found its perfect home.
Tasting notes: Deep violet in color with rich, ripe aromas of black fruit and soft herbal, spice notes. Full-bodied and ripe with blackberries, plums and a hint of warm vanilla spice. Balanced, bright flavors and supple tannins are followed by a lingering finish.
Food pairings: Try Root: 1 Carmenere with flavorful and spicy foods like grilled Italian sausage, chicken cacciatore, or pizza with the works. Also a great match with blackened fish, roasted vegetables like eggplant, garlic and peppers or with spicy pork tacos.
Casablanca valley, Chile
DABC code: 423247
Pinot noir: The coastal breezes, intense sun and cooling fox of the Tapihue region in Casablanca Valley provide the perfect micro climate for producing fresh, ripe expressive Pinot Noir.
Tasting notes: Deep ruby with hints of violet. Ripe strawberry and raspberry aromas mingle with notes of plum and cinnamon. Soft, supple tannins with mouthwatering flavors of ripe red fruits and a touch of vanilla accompany lively acidity and a long and clean finish.
Food pairings: Serve Root: 1 Pinot Noir with fresh seared tuna, grilled swordfish or roasted autumn vegetables. A classic wine style that pairs well with meats like roast beef, veal or lamb. Enjoy with rich cheeses or creamy pâté.
DABC code: 918418
Pioneering: Owned by the Niven family; pioneers of the Edna Valley AVA, farmers of the oldest continually harvested vines in the region, and previous owners of a Paso Robles Cab ranch – part of San Luis Obispo County’s farming history for more than four decades.
Tasting notes: True Myth Cabernet Sauvignon shows how beautiful Cabernet from Paso Robles can be. A rich and robust Cabernet, loaded with blackberry jam, cheery, black currant, exotic spices and cola, with notes of caramelized oak.
Here’s a few other items on sale this month at stores around the state. Prices listed are standard price versus March sale price:
361760 | Falesco Vitiano | $13.99 | $10.99
361270 | Di Majo Sangiovese | $13.99 | $10.99
632791 | Divining Rod Chardonnay | $15.99 | $12.99
507500 | Silver Ridge Cabernet | $11.99 | $8.99
617540 | Silver Ridge Chardonnay | $11.99 | $8.99
552500 | Castle Rock Chardonnay Central Coast | $9.99 | $6.99
367680 | Kris Pinot Grigio | $15.99 | $13.99
423249 | Root 1 Cabernet | $13.99 | $11.99
423775 | Santa Carolina Carmenere | $13.99 | $11.99
* Gastronomic SLC is a proud local partner of Vine Lore.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. I ate all the pies.