Thursday, May 21, 2009


Utah is not the first place that pops into your head when thinking of beer destinations. It has arcane and anachronistic beer laws that hinder brewers and beer drinkers. I am not sure of all the intricacies of Utah beer laws, but I am pretty sure that the beers you get in a restaurant cannot exceed 4% alcohol. (I did see an 8% alcohol beer at a conference cocktail party a few years back, but it was in a bottle at a hotel convention.) Utah brewers can make beers with an ABV greater than 4%, these beer just can't be consumed at a bar or restaurant. You have to give the Utah craft brewers credit and admire their skill in creating most of their beers within the 4% alcohol limitation.

We had some friends over on Sunday for Lakers, beer and barbecue. They brought a huge beer (literally and figuratively) that they had bought while in Utah on a recent hiking trip. It was a Moab Brewing Desert Select Ale, black imperial IPA. It poured a dark brown, with thick cream-colored foam. By the time we got to this beer we had tasted four or so other IPA-type beers so my taste buds and memory are not perfectly clear, but I remember it was a serious beer. It was rich and hoppy, and I think the alcohol was over 8%, but it was balanced and drinkable. The beer came in a paper wrapper and bottle that must have been over 30 ozs, which are shown in the picture to the right. I would try this beer again. Props to the guys at Moab Brewing for embracing the West Coast hop revolution and crafting a black imperial IPA.

1 comment:

Mikey said...

Your the first guy that I've seen to review that beer. I've been trying to make time for a trip to Moab for weeks, glad to hear you liked it. Can't wait to try it myself.
Also, restaruants in Utah can and do sell beer over 4.0%.