It was a humid Saturday afternoon in San Diego. I had just checked into a hostel, and was getting settled into my bunk when two of my roommates walked in. We did the typical introductory thing. Where are you from? What are you doing here? What are your plans? They were from Germany. I told them I was from Utah, and visiting San Diego to take a big beer exam. One of them asked me, disbelief as thick as her accent, “And you said you’re from Utah?” …that’s right, even people from the other side of the world know Utah’s not the easiest place to get a drink.
There’s no denying it. There are more than a few obstacles to navigate before a cold, fresh, properly stored beer above 4% ABV touches your lips. But I’ve got five words that’ll take the edge off.
For those of you lucky enough to place a six pack of cold, full strength Sierra Nevada next to the milk and loaf of bread in your shopping cart, you must be wondering what I’m talking about. You cannot purchase beer to-go above 4% ABV in Utah unless it’s from a liquor store, all of which are state run and store their beer at room temperature. The exception to the rule is that breweries may sell their own full strength beer to the public provided they carry the proper license. And guess what? We keep our beer cold! Not only is this better for preserving the quality of the beer, but it means you’ll never again have to clean frozen beer out of your freezer because you wanted your warm beer to chill faster.
Ok. It’s BEER and it’s COLD – and it’s also FRESH? Keep your eyes on those date codes! You’ll never find anything fresher than directly from our beer store. Each day we bottle, old stock is replaced with new, insuring the freshy-fresh beer in my glass is the same beer that’s in yours.
This brings us back around to COLD and BEER, which is less for this blog post, and more for the people driving by that double take when they see the signs. Instead of being redundant, let’s discuss something that’s not on a red and white sign. Enter the brewery…
Yes, enter the brewery, not the beer store, at least not yet! Towering stainless steel fermentors, oak barrels, pallets of malt, the dull clinking and clanking of the bottling line, and the aroma (oh, the aroma!) of sweet, steeping malt – these are the sights and sounds that greet you at the door. Paradise… oh, right! You’re here for the beer store! March on past the first row of barrels, and your destiny awaits you on the left.
Enter the beer store! Cold bottles are on your left, fresh draft beer for growler fills are on your right, and merchandise is straight ahead. Just wanna talk shop? We can do that, too! All of our beer store employees are Certified Beer Servers through the Cicerone Beer Certification Program. That means we can more than likely answer your beer-related questions. If you stump us, there’s almost always a brewer on site who is more than happy to help. We’ll get you an answer!
And there you are. Cold, full strength beer in hand, smile on your face, and knowledge in your brain. The next time you need us, just look for the signs.