Rocky Mountain Brewing News December 2014/January 2015 : Page 1

ROCKY M OUN UN TAIN AIN MOUN UNTAIN VOL.12/NO.6 NG NEW I W E S BR DEC/JAN 2014•15 How Is Your BONNEVILLE On the Palate? Evaluation Tips for the Everyday Beer Drinker By Bill Downs BREWING: Side Right of the Tracks Just one of the panoramic views that can be enjoyed at Bonneville Brewing in Tooele, Utah. P HOTO COURTESY OF B OONEVILLE AND D AVE W ATSON By Brian Manternach W ith the growth of craft beers over the last few years, the palate of John Q. Public has become way more discrimi-nating. The sales of American lagers like Bud and Coors are diminishing and the public is demanding better and more complex beers. Along with the increase in beer aware-ness, the demands on the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) to certify more judges have increased exponentially, as has the demand for judges at the numerous homebrew competitions that now are being scheduled at record levels. These things having been said, just what does it really take to judge a beer? And can even the common craft beer drinker assess a brew as he or she drinks it from the friendly confines of the living room or corner pub? You bet! you, then you cannot fully share the experience with others. Let’s expand on this. There are four components to sensory per-ception: visual inspection, aroma, flavor/mouthfeel and finish are all important. Take a Look beer. Visual inspection can tell you a lot about the Fill Your Toolbox There are two tools required to judge a beer. The first is sensory perception. The second is vocabulary. If you have the best palette in the world but cannot describe what your senses tell Color: There are guidelines for the color of each style of beer expressed in SRMs (Standard Reference Method). If the beer color is outside those guidelines, the beer may not taste exactly as desired. Carbonation: A good beer should retain half of its head for a minute or so, and then leave "Belgian lace” on the side of the glass. Clarity: Some styles are black and opaque; others have crystal clear clarity depending on the style. Wheat beers tend to be cloudy. A beer conditioned in a bottle could be cloudy, at least moderately. If the beer has “floaters” in the glass, See Palate p.3 INSIDE Calendar ........................................2 Beer Directory .......................... 8-10 State by State News Utah.................5 Montana..........6 Wyoming.........7 daho.............11 Colorado Denver..............................12 Central Peaks..................13 Western Slope.................14 Four Corners...................14 Front Range................... 15 Sadly, not all startup breweries find lasting suc-cess. While every small business faces its trials, some challenges are more insur-mountable than others. Tooele, Utah, is home to 32,000 people, which is more than half of the county’s population. It’s 35 miles away from Salt Lake City’s one mil-lion residents and thriving beer community and is not in close proximity to any of Utah’s popular state and national parks. Like many rural Utah towns, the overwhelming majority of its residents are members of the LDS (Mormon) religion, which encourages its members not to consume alcoholic beverages. Therefore, on paper, there is no reason that a brewery in this location should stay afloat. This was the hard truth discovered by the owners of Tracks Brewing, Tooele’s lone brewery for years. But a new brewer, a new building, and a new name are the results of a new vision that has established Bonneville Brewing with firm footing. Head Brewer Dave Watson began producing Bonneville beers in 2012 and by March 2013 they had opened the doors of their new brewpub to the public. The two-story facil-ity offers a varied menu, a surprisingly wide assortment of beers, and views of the Great Salt Lake—remnants of the prehistoric Lake Bonneville from which the brewery takes its name. Now more than two years into the job, Watson reflects on the brewery’s past, present, and hopeful future. A Conversation with the Brewer What was the impetus to close the old Tracks Brewing and re-open as Bonneville Brewing? Tracks had been in pretty poor shape and hadn't been brewing beer for a number of years when it finally closed. When they finally gave up and put the property up for sale, our owner saw See Bonneville p.4

How Critical Is Your Palate ?

Bill Downs

Evaluation Tips for the Everyday Beer Drinker

With the growth of craft beers over the last few years, the palate of John Q. Public has become way more discriminating. The sales of American lagers like Bud and Coors are diminishing and the public is demanding better and more complex beers.

Along with the increase in beer awareness, the demands on the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) to certify more judges have increased exponentially, as has the demand for judges at the numerous homebrew competitions that now are being scheduled at record levels.

These things having been said, just what does it really take to judge a beer? And can even the common craft beer drinker assess a brew as he or she drinks it from the friendly confines of the living room or corner pub? You bet!

Fill Your Toolbox

There are two tools required to judge a beer. The first is sensory perception. The second is vocabulary. If you have the best palette in the world but cannot describe what your senses tell you, then you cannot fully share the experience with others. Let’s expand on this.

There are four components to sensory perception: visual inspection, aroma, flavor/mouthfeel and finish are all important.

Take a Look

Visual inspection can tell you a lot about the beer.

Color: There are guidelines for the color of each style of beer expressed in SRMs (Standard Reference Method). If the beer color is outside those guidelines, the beer may not taste exactly as desired.

Carbonation: A good beer should retain half of its head for a minute or so, and then leave "Belgian lace” on the side of the glass.

Clarity: Some styles are black and opaque; others have crystal clear clarity depending on the style. Wheat beers tend to be cloudy. A beer conditioned in a bottle could be cloudy, at least moderately. If the beer has “floaters” in the glass, there may be a problem. This is not always the case depending on style, but as a basic rule it’s something to look for.

Before we go further with these next few sections, you need to know that ice-cold beer is very difficult to judge since your taste buds start losing effectiveness at around 46 degrees Fahrenheit, so try to make sure your beer is not super cold.

Now let’s look at aroma. You need to know that as the beer sits in the glass and becomes warmer, a lot more aromas will become apparent. As you evaluate the beer and taste it, keep revisiting the aroma. It’ll be worth it to you to sense how the beer changes as it warms and breathes.

Breathe It In

Aroma itself has three components: aroma, bouquet and odor.

Aroma: Malt, grain, and fermentation by-products determine aroma. The aromas that originate from the malt and grain are often described as nutty, sweet, grainy, and malty. Fermentation by-products can be green apple or pear-like, fruity, sour or buttery (like theater popcorn).

Bouquet: Hops alone determine the bouquet of a beer. Their aroma is best noticed right after a beer has been poured as the scent dissipates quickly. Different hop varieties contribute different qualities to the bouquet, and some hops may not be appropriate for some styles. Terms used to describe the hop aroma include herbal, pine, floral, resin, spicy or earthy.

Odor: This is for the scents that are attributed to defects in the beer. Terms used to describe off-aromas include buttery (like movie popcorn), sulphury, cooked vegetable, fishy, oily, and medicine-like.

Now You Can Try It

As we move to taste, one thing needs to be clear: forget the tongue map! You still need to move the beer around your palette, but you need to know that receptors for sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami (savory) are spread throughout the tongue. All you need to do is let the beer flow over all parts of the tongue.

Let’s now dissect flavor and mouthfeel: Mouthfeel: Body is determined by residual proteins and/or dextrins (residual sugars) in the beer. Each style has an appropriate body to expect. Body is classified as light, medium, or full.

Flavor: The most important and enjoyable part of drinking a beer is flavor.

Make sure the beer flows over all areas of the tongue. You can determine bitter, sour, sweet, salt and savory tastes this way. Try to notice the balance between the hop bitterness and malt sweetness.

Finish: The lingering sensation after a beer has been swallowed is called the finish.

Depending on style, a beer could have a lingering bitter finish or a sweet, cloying quality. It may also disappear completely.

Learning the Lingo

The terms used to describe all the sensations possible are not all listed, but these are some of the more often perceived aromas and flavors.

One thing I have learned as a BJCP judge: never discount anything you perceive. In one of the style guidelines, style 16A or Witbier, the guidelines say “ham like flavors are inappropriate.” Of course your first reaction is “Well, duh!” but then the second thought might be, “Is that possible?” You bet it is! Other flavors that can be found are cheese flavors (also inappropriate), horse blanket or wet hay (often found in Lambic styles), tobacco and leather.

Some other flavor sensations, certainly the more pleasant ones, are flavors like stone fruit or dried fruit, raisins, banana (yes, banana), bubblegum, clove or spiciness. Each style has its own possible and/or unique flavors.

I would encourage everyone to do some reading just to see what is possible. Michael Jackson (the REAL Michael Jackson, not the singer) wrote some amazing books on the subject such as The World Guide to Beer. Another one I recommend is How to Taste Beer by Randy Mosher.

You’ll find that beer has some amazing and unique flavors available that can appeal to any palette.

I also encourage anyone who’s interested in seriously evaluating beers to look into becoming a BJCP Certified Judge. It isn’t an easy thing to do, but the knowledge you’ll gain will be well worth your time and effort. For those of you that want to simply try evaluating the beers you drink at your local pub or brewery to post to social media or for the pure fun of it, this same approach can be used! Cheers!

Read the full article at http://rmbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/How+Critical+Is+Your+Palate+%3F/1885233/238567/article.html.

Bonneville Brewing

Brian Manternach

On the Right Side of the Tracks

Sadly, not all startup breweries find lasting success. While every small business faces its trials, some challenges are more insurmountable than others.

Tooele, Utah, is home to 32,000 people, which is more than half of the county’s population. It’s 35 miles away from Salt Lake City’s one million residents and thriving beer community and is not in close proximity to any of Utah’s popular state and national parks. Like many rural Utah towns, the overwhelming majority of its residents are members of the LDS (Mormon) religion, which encourages its members not to consume alcoholic beverages.

Therefore, on paper, there is no reason that a brewery in this location should stay afloat. This was the hard truth discovered by the owners of Tracks Brewing, Tooele’s lone brewery for years.

But a new brewer, a new building, and a new name are the results of a new vision that has established Bonneville Brewing with firm footing. Head Brewer Dave Watson began producing Bonneville beers in 2012 and by March 2013 they had opened the doors of their new brewpub to the public.

The two-story facility offers a varied menu, a surprisingly wide assortment of beers, and views of the Great Salt Lake—remnants of the prehistoric Lake Bonneville from which the brewery takes its name.

Now more than two years into the job, Watson reflects on the brewery’s past, present, and hopeful future.

A Conversation with the Brewer

What was the impetus to close the old Tracks Brewing and re-open as Bonneville Brewing?

Tracks had been in pretty poor shape and hadn't been brewing beer for a number of years when it finally closed. When they finally gave up and put the property up for sale, our owner saw an opportunity and seized it. Bonneville is a completely different company and we've done a lot of work to make the brewery a nicer place to be.

How did the offer come about for you to become head brewer?

I was working at The Beer Nut, a local homebrew shop, when brewery consultant Eric Dunlap called. He was looking for Rio Connolly, who was in the early stages of starting the Avenues Proper Publick House, his own brewery. Rio referred him to me and that's how I first got involved.

What had your brewing background been up to that point?

My first brewing job was at High Desert Brewing Company in Las Cruces, New Mexico. After moving to Utah for my wife's job, I worked at The Beer Nut and Desert Edge Brewery.

Why did you specifically want to work for Bonneville Brewing?

I wasn't interested at first, thinking it was just a Tracks reboot. When I heard more about the new ownership and the plans for the brewery, the opportunity to enter at nearly the ground floor was enticing. Helping to shape the identity of the brewery from the beginning has been a really great experience.

What were your first goals when you came on board?

I wanted to build a beer brand with a reputation for quality and consistency. I'm not trying to turn the beer world on its head; I just want beer drinkers to see the Bonneville logo and feel confident the beer behind it is going to be good.

Have there been surprises along the way or have things gone pretty much according to plan?

There are always surprises, changes, bumps, and challenges in this business, but my basic philosophy is the same. I feel that it's really important not to lose sight of that.

Do you have other brewers on staff?

My assistant Jared Wright gives me a lot of help keeping our product moving out the door.

You have a built-in distribution entity in that your beers are on tap at all of the All Star Bowling locations in Utah. Has this helped promote your brand and has it brought people out to the brewery in Tooele?

Our ownership is the same as All Star. Having the bowling centers as distribution points has been integral to the success of the brewery. It has gotten Bonneville beer into the glasses of a lot of beer lovers who otherwise may have not had the chance. I can't speculate on how many people have visited the brewery after discovering our beer at All Star, but it has certainly widened our exposure greatly.

Though you are still a new brewery, you have already undergone an expansion. What is your current capacity and how has that impacted your production?

The brewery originally had four 10-barrel fermenters to go with the 10-barrel brewhouse and six ten-barrel bright beer tanks for finished beer. We added two 30-barrel fermenters, one 30-barrel bright beer tank and two 10-barrel bright beer tanks. We also installed a cold liquor tank, which is basically a water chiller. This speeds production times and greatly reduces the amount of water we use. Before the expansion, we were squeezing too many beers out of that small brewery, so this helps us keep up with demand with room for growth.

Which of your varieties has seen the most success?

We have a lot of beers for a brewery of our size. Silver Island Hefeweizen and Black Rock Belgian White are especially popular in the All Star centers while Free Roller Pale Ale and Redline Irish Red do well at the brewery and our outside accounts.

How have you done in the competition circuit?

I've entered the North American Brewers Association competition the last two years, each time bringing home a bronze and a silver - the first year for Bee Wild Honey Wheat Ale and Goldenrod Ale, and this year for Redline Irish Red and Antelope Amber Ale.

What are your goals for the brewery in the future?

One goal I have is to enter more competitions and hopefully win some more hardware in the future. For me, the goal is always the same: keep producing quality beers and continue to get them into a growing number of glasses. I'd like to see our beers in cans or bottles so people can enjoy them at home or anywhere they want to have a good beer. We've begun using a distributor to sell our beers, so if people would like to see Bonneville beer at their favorite bar they can ask the managers to give us a try.

Read the full article at http://rmbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Bonneville+Brewing/1885241/238567/article.html.

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