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17 December 2006

Beehive Brew

Polyporter Let's leave wine for a bit and talk about the rich history of Utah beer..(blank stares all around)

Actually, there is more to Utah's liquored past than abstinence.  Local brewer/pub-owner, Del Vance has penned a 300-page book entitled Beer in the Beehive (Utah is known as the beehive state).  From Vance's recent interview with the local alt-weekly, we learn that..

  • Between the post-prohibition era and 1968, local brewers were producing upwards of 100,000 barrels of beer per year
  • One avant garde brewer obtained a licenese to produce beet-based beer
  • ZCMI, the LDS Church-owned general store sold beer, wine and liquor out of its Salt Lake City location in the late 1800s
  • Brigham Young passed a law in the Utah territory (known as Deseret at the time) prohibiting the production of whiskey - except by him.  Young's spirit was known as "Valley Tan."  Apparently, even by frontier standards, it was heavy-duty stuff
  • A few of the legendarily-named beers produced by modern Utah brewers are: St. Provo Girl (Squatters Brewery), First Amendment Lager and Polygamy Porter (Wasatch Brewery)

Beer in the Beehive is published by Dream Garden Press.

20 November 2006

My Sweet Lucifer

Luciferetiket Rarely do I drink beer.  However, once in a while, malted brew catches my eye.  Such was the case with Lucifer, a Belgian golden ale brewed by Liefmans Brewery.  Naturally I got a kick out of the label's Satanic playfulness.  Yet, what sold me was the flotsam of expired yeast carcasses awash in the bottle.  Upon further inspection I discovered that Lucifer undergoes secondary fermentation sur lie in the bottle.  I wondered if this ale would possess some of that yeasty-tang that I often find & love in sur lie Muscadets.

Lucifer did not disappoint.  This brew is fiery (8.5% abv) and full of bitter flavors.  Yet it also showed a soft side with blood orange flavors and a hint of vanilla yogurt - courtesy the dearly departed yeasties.  Throw your wine palate a curveball; sip a little Lucifer ($3-4, 33cl bottle; $8-9, 750ml bottle).

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