- Mike Riedel
The odds are pretty good that if you've spent any amount of time in southern Utah, you've washed the dust from your throat at the Moab Brewery. Since 1996, the brewery has aided beer drinkers as they biked, hiked and camped the Southern Utah's beautiful landscapes. Geographic amnesia sometimes plays a part when making beer selections here in the northern part of the state. I'm here to remind you that our desert brothers and sisters in suds are faithful in their duty to keep the whole state happy and satisfied with beer.
FMU Double IPA: Moab's newest brew lets just enough amber/orange light pass through to keep it on the hazy side. Foam builds to a nice cap along the perimeter, loosely sticking to the glass. From the aroma, I can tell this isn't about to be a citric juice bomb. I get more cognac-like alcohol, with rich malts and fruity esters resembling fig and resiny pine clinging to it all. There's a sticky pudding-like flavor with hints of gooey caramel sauce, plus some butterscotch and dried fruits. Faint orange-y and citrusy hops mix in, keeping the malts from becoming overly sweet. A trace of tropical character shows up, but herbal pine ultimately dominates the back end.
Overall: In beer drinker parlance, FMU would stand for "Fuck Me Up." In Moab speak, it's simply "From Moab, Utah." Whatever it is, it's big for a Double IPA (9.6 percent ABV), making it practically a Triple IPA or a barleywine. The more malt-forward conception of this big IPA left me wanting more hop balance, not just an uppercut of huge bitterness impacting the side of my tongue.
Moab Pilsner: This lager pours a crystal-clear golden yellow color with a moderate amount of visible carbonation streaming skyward from the bottom of the glass. The beer has a finger-tall bright white head that reduces to a film covering the entire surface. After a huge whiff, I get a little foam in my nose and sneeze. The second whiff is much more subdued, and I can finally get aromas of bready malts with hints of sweet grains that are rounded out by a light amount of earthy hops. Those bready malts, along with some graininess, start off the top of the swig, transitioning to toasted wheat. As I swallow, there's a light to moderate presence of grassy and slightly earthy hops that provide a perfect balance. The finish is slightly dry and prickly from the carbonation.
Overall: This new addition to Moab's 4 percent grocery line-up is a wonderful Pilsner that's not trying to be anything other than a crushable pils in a tallboy can. Get some!
Rocket Bike: This lager has an amazingly hypnotic amber/rust color that is brilliantly clear. The nose is dry with bready malts and a bit of floral hops. The combo doesn't do the palate justice. Starting with a great balance of toasted and caramel malts, there'a an almost Spanish sweet bun notion happening. Hints of roasted malt along with drier kilned malts even out the sweetness, providing the grasses and the dull floralness from the hops a perfect counterbalance. The finish is semi-dry.
Overall: Moab has brought out a smidge more malt character in this steam beer, which gives the yeast and hop selection something to work with. It is without a doubt one of the finest examples of the style available anywhere, and it's as close as your grocery store.
The price point on the Moabs is one of the better deals you'll come across, not to mention that the four-pack tall boy cans are brilliant packaging. As always, cheers!