Salt Lake Brewing Company

I think I’m going to take a slightly different approach to blogging the conference the rest of the week. Everybody here is going to be writing about the Macromedia topics. So, unless something is just absolutely unbelievable I don’t plan on writing about the technology much (okay, I probably won’t be able to resist, but who knows). Instead, I’m going to write about the epicurean MAX experience.

Last night most of the Usergroup Managers met at Squatters/Salt Lake Brewing Company. If you’re in town for the conference I highly recommend it. They brew six different beers year round, three seasonal beers, and serve three blends. To the shock of several people, I tried them all.

Most microbreweries have a tasting platter that can be a good deal. Especially if you’re wanting to expand your taste in beer. Squatters is no different. For $6 you can try all 12 varieties currently being served.

Everything on tap at Squatters was good, although some of it is better than others. Something to keep in mind is that a lot of the beers seem to have a fairly high IBU (I couldn’t get the numbers about Squatters beers, although that may be my own laziness). Just so everybody knows, a hoppy/bitter beer is not a in general bad thing, although it can be. At Squatters the bitterness is appropriately balanced with the other flavors.

So here’s my rundown:
1. If I could only get one beer it would be the Emigration Amber Ale. It’s surprisingly hoppy for an amber but a very good drink.
2. I usually like wheat beers, but the Hefeweizen didn’t do anything for me. It was good, but not the level of on-tap goodness I’ve come to expect in a quality microbrew like Squatters.
3. Of the blends only the Shandy appealed to me. I like a black & tan and a black & blonde, but they are premixed which changes the flavor. I think that a properly prepared black & tan with Squatters beers would be great. That said the Shandy was quite good. After bad Cervesa con limon experiences in Spain I was a bit hesitant to try the Provo Girl Pils blended with Sprite, but I enjoyed it. Perhaps the Spain experience is because I’ve yet to taste a Spanish beer that I would drink by itself.
4. The Cask Conditioned Ale and the Full Suspension Pale Ale where quite good. I’m not much of a pale ale fan, but I’m starting to develop a taste for them. The Squatters varieties are quite good. I do think that being cask conditioned makes a huge difference in the taste of an ale. If you can get your pale ale from the hand pump, all the better.
5. All three stouts were good (oatmeal, cream, nitrogen draft). I’m a huge stout fan so having three on a tasting platter made me happy.
6. The seasonal currently being served is Hophead Red. I usually don’t like red beers, but I think it may be psychological. Not knowing this was a red until after I’d tasted it I thought it was quite good. I’ll have to try again with some others when I get home.

I would happily order any of the Salt Lake Brewing Company beers again, that’s not something I’ve been able to say at all microbreweries. Although if I have to pick a winner it would be the amber.