- Mike Riedel
I logged a lot of miles looking for the newest of the new in Utah's exploding craft beer hotspots. Currently, 33 breweries dot the state, with two more looking to go on line any day. Roosters Brewing Co.'s B Street Brewery in Ogden just opened for business, and I was able to try a new beer from those guys. But first, let's get into a new IPA from one of Salt Lake City's newer beer spots.
RoHa Brewing Project's Shambo Juicy IPA: From the name, some beer drinkers might think this is one of those hazy Northwest-style IPAs—but it's not. It comes across as a fruit-enhanced IPA that is juicy on the palate. It pours a hazy, medium golden-yellow color, with one to two fingers of fairly dense and rocky off-white head. Pleasant aromas offer a good balance and complexity of citrus/fruity hops, orange peel and bready malt notes. The taste starts off with a rather clean and crisp citrus flavor; it's not until later that a juicy orange flavor begins to develop prominently. There's not much bitterness at first. Instead, the developing orange flavor plays against a bready and honey-like malt sweetness. However, a bitterness eventually begins to develop, along with spicy, floral and grassy hops flavors until it reaches its bold, resinous peak. The finish carries a touch of alcohol spice, citrus pith and hops bitterness.
Overall: This is a nice fruited IPA, an all-around pleasant combination of robustness, malt and orange peel, and it proves easy to drink with the modestly bitter/drying finish and slightly aggressive 6.5 percent ABV. The hops complement the orange peel exceptionally well. It makes for an enjoyable offering and decent example of a fruited and enhanced IPA.
Roosters Brewing Co.'s Flyover California Common: I wasn't looking for this beer; I came across it by chance last Saturday over at Roosters' new B Street Brewery at 2325 B Ave. in Ogden. As I located my stool at the end of the long rustic bar, I noticed "Fly Over" on the big chalkboard that towered above and couldn't resist getting to know a new California Common-style beer. This mildly hazy copper-colored beer has a dense off-white cap of foam that forms with a great reverse-cascade effect. The nose is a smorgasbord of hops, with resiny pine, spruce and some subtle orange peel. The mild caramel malt backbone reveals just enough toast and delicate sweetness to round out the nose. The taste opens with sheets of hop flavor and bitterness, the melange of pine and citrus transitioning rather quickly to a blend of cracker-like malts with a touch of rye-like bready spiciness; I wonder if there actually is some rye in here. The malt sweetness is low, easily beaten into submission by the assertive hop character. Finishing dry and hoppy, with plenty of bitterness, this beer is excellent. The carbonation is moderate, lending a creamy mouthfeel to the brew.
Overall: It's a very drinkable beer. It's not too complex and it could easily be one of those go-to brews when you're just in the mood for something good but don't want to sit around contemplating its various nuances. The 4 percent ABV doesn't hurt, either.
Shambo just hit RoHa's cooler recently and is still super fresh. Look for it in 12-ounce cans. As for Roosters' Flyover—that's a Roosters exclusive, but you'll be able to find it on draft at all three Roosters brewpubs. As always, cheers!