Along with a sun-drenched deck on which to imbibe from a selection of some 120 or so beers, this beer garden is an actually garden. MacCool's manager Michael Andersen showed me around the joint, including pointing out the veggies and herbs that surround the beer deck - produce that is used by the MacCool's kitchen team in dishes they prepare.
Offerings from the MacCool's beer menu range from local brews like Squatters St. Provo Girl Pilsner to imports such as bottled Bass Ale and then, special orders like Portland's Alameda Brewery El Torero IPA, the latter bursting with hints of orange and floral aromas.
I have to say, there was nothing brutal about the taste of Rogue Brutal IPA. It's an Imperial Bitter beer with a smack-you-upside-the-head hop aroma (OK, maybe that's the brutal part) and gorgeous, citrus flavors with more hops on the tongue. The brewmaster at Rogue describes this beer as a "cross between a Very Extra Special Bitter and an Indian Pale Ale." That pretty much nails it. I'd recommend sipping this interesting IPA with MacCool's outstanding split pea and ham soup, or maybe alongside potato-filled pierogies.
As part of their commitment to all things hoppy and malty, the Layton MacCool's also features a monthly beer pairing dinner. So, brew lovers, set your GPS for Layton!