- Mike Riedel
Even now, when times are tough for local breweries, you can count on them to step up and help out our communities—even as their own long-term survival is in question. This week, I'm proud to bring you a couple of beers that are all about charity, solidifying their places as civic pillars.
Red Rock All Together: All Together is a worldwide, open-ended beer collaboration created by New York's Other Half Brewing Co. to raise support for the beer industry. This effort is intended to raise awareness and provide relief to those who are struggling during the pandemic. The recipe is open-source, the artwork is public, and the name is available for any participating brewery. Last May, I gave you the scoop on the Templin Family Brewery's participation in the All Together program. This week, it's all about Red Rock's new charitable beer.
It's got a hazy apricot appearance, more yellow than orange, with a solid aroma that's quite fruity and very hop-forward. Citrus notes were most apparent, bursting with juicy orange and tangerine specifically. There's a moderate amount of dankness, along with ripe honeydew melon.
The taste is similar to the nose, with bright, slightly bitter citrus and grapefruit. Stone fruits make an appearance as well. Tropicals including some pineapple pop a bit more, before becoming more dank with slightly green hop flavors. The Mosaic hop varietals come through big time, with strong earthy and slightly vegetal notes that, like the nose, become more intense as it warms.
Overall: This is a solid New England IPA, but the Mosaic unfortunately cancels out a lot of what the Citra, Simcoe and Cascade bring to the table with its earthy notes. Still, it was damn delicious. Red Rock tells me that 100 percent of the proceeds of this 6.5 percent beer will be going to the "Tip Your Server" program that is spearheaded by actor and Salt Lake City resident Ty Burrell.
Saltfire Black Is Beautiful: The Black is Beautiful initiative is a collaborative effort amongst the brewing community and its customers, in an attempt to bring awareness to the injustices that people of color face daily. This collaboration was started by Weathered Souls Brewing out of San Antonio, Texas, and is meant to bridge the racial gap that's been around for ages and to provide a platform to show that the brewing community is an inclusive place.
The body is an opaque dark black, certainly not an ink-black or jet-black. The gas is very light, which makes for very little in the way of foam or head. The beer is a simple oatmeal stout, but from the nose I get a fair amount of fresh ground coffee bean. There is none but the richness from the roasted malts, which is very deceiving. Could it be richer? Yes, but too much would give it that charred profile that tends to put off those who are not stout fans.
Coffee pops again as it did in the aroma with java/espresso characteristics. Dark malts along with some hints of pleasant pecan begin to emerge as well—subtle enough not to be bothersome, present enough to add complexity. There's a nice texture here as well, courtesy of the oats, that's smooth, slick and approachable. As you get into the stout's finish, you begin to notice campfire marshmallow ash.
Overall: A tasty 5 percent stout that offers a range of flavors without all of the overblown adjuncts you tend to get with much bigger beers. Proceeds from Saltfire's version of Black is Beautiful will go to support the Black Lives Matter Utah Chapter and the Utah ACLU.
As these beers are solely for charity, no limits have been put upon them, all the better to get the cash they raise to the charities that they support sooner rather than later. Red Rock's All Together IPA should be at all three of their locations, while Saltfire's Black is Beautiful is only at the brewery. These are great beers for excellent causes. As always, cheers!