The signs of shifting seasons are all around us. Temperatures are warming, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping at 6 am, and local beer is transitioning from the rich, darker styles of long winter nights to the light, thirst-quenching varieties of long summer days. It’s time to lighten up and enjoy the changes happening to the menu of your neighborhood brewery. Here’s my spring collection of Utah beer to get you started.
Fever Pitch – Proper Brewing Co.
Nothing epitomizes this period of transition like a flavorful saison. Refreshing beer with plenty of vitality is ideal. This beer challenges the palate without being heavy. The Belgian yeast plays a big part, but the leading roll goes to the hops. Just in time for baseball season, Fever Pitch is bursting with Citra, Motueka, and Wolf hops incorporated in both the kettle and dry-hopping stages. Grains of Paradise add a spicy, peppery element to the lavish flavors, and the beer finishes crisp and dry. Fever Pitch, along with peachy saison La Belle Peche, is among the Belgian styles Proper does so well. Available on draft at Proper Brewing Co. and in crowlers to take home.
Chasing Tail Orange Golden Ale – Squatters
You there! Put down that Bud Lite Orange! There is no need for such depravity when Squatters is making a perfectly drinkable orange version of their Chasing Tail Golden Ale. It’s got a respectable amount flavor without reminding you of when you drank Tang as a child. This beer has a light, bready malt character accented by navel orange and the floral notes of Super Galena hops. At 5.2% ABV, this pup has some kick along with a handsome golden hue. And the fact that it comes in cans will have you taking it along with you on all sorts of adventures. Pick some up at the West Side Tavern.
Hop Rising Tropical Double IPA – Squatters
The popular double IPA, Hop Rising, has had a bit of a makeover. Hop Rising Tropical is not a fruit version, however. The tropical flavors have been achieved entirely by using all new hops: El Dorado, Azaaca, Pacifica, Galaxy, Citra, and Mosaic. With a whopping 3.2 lbs. of hops per barrel, it’s the most used in any Squatters beer thus far. All of that juicy hop flavor is supported by a malt and grain backbone that gives this beer a really nice balance. It may be 9% ABV, but drinks really easy considering the alcohol content. Cans available to go at West Side Tavern.
Boomhauer – Strap Tank
This dang ‘ol light-bodied wheat beer is dadgum good, man. Made with honey, peaches, and orange peel, Boomhauer is tart, fruity, and thirst-quenching. The clean, subtle flavors are revitalizing and will have you dreaming of those hot summer days. So put on your tiger-print bikini and take a ride with Boomhauer! Available to enjoy on draft at Strap Tank Brewing Co. and in crowlers or growlers to go.
Brainless Passion – Epic Brewing
Epic’s Brainless series has long been a go-to for fruited Belgian style beer. The newest version, brewed with passionfruit, joins the cherry, raspberry, and peach varieties as a flavorful choice that works well for many occasions. The Belgian yeast gives this beer a funky, floral tone that mingles nicely with the tart passionfruit and slightly sweet finish. Pair it with soft-ripened cheese, chocolate, or seafood, and find yourself transported to a tropical beach with a salty breeze on your face. Available in 22 oz. bombers from Epic Brewing Co.
The Jenny – Hoppers Grill & Brewing
I love it when I have a good excuse to visit Hoppers Grill! It’s close to home, and a 19 oz. beer is only $2.50 on Sundays and Tuesdays. The Jenny, brewed with hibiscus flowers and rose hips, has the feel of a rejuvenating glass of herbal tea. Crisp Maris Otter, Vienna, and caramel malts give this beer a solid foundation, but the hibiscus is the star of the show, giving it a slightly tart, herbal flavor and dry mouthfeel. This tartness is well balanced by the sweetness of the malt and strawberry flavoring. It pairs well with Hoppers’ fruity mixed green salad topped with salty bacon, feta cheese, and champagne vinaigrette. On draft at Hoppers Grill & Brewing or take a growler to go.
Fifth AnniversaRye – Bonneville Brewing
First of all, Happy 5th Anniversary, Bonneville! I was able to try the latest AnniversaRye at Pins & Ales located inside All Star Bowling & Entertainment in Draper. This medium-bodied beer is sweet and rich without being heavy. It reminded me of a blueberry muffin! The malt is prominent with a spicy rye character and citrus, blueberry, and vanilla notes courtesy of the hops. This is a great beer to enjoy while the temperatures are still a bit cool. It’s well-balanced, warming, and has plenty of rousing flavors to keep things rocking and rolling. It could be a dessert beer, but could also be enjoyed on a lazy afternoon out on the deck. Available on draft at Bonneville Brewing in Tooele, or Pins and Ales in Draper.
This fine collection of fresh spring beers is just a small portion of what you’ll find popping up at your local breweries. Celebrate the coming warm weather by raising a glass of something crisp and flavorful to ease you into the balmy conditions to come.