- Mike Riedel
A few weeks ago, we introduced you to Silver Reef Brewing Company's line of 5.0 percent beers that recently hit northern Utah. This week, I have the pleasure of bringing you their line of bigger beers—an India Pale Ale and a Golden Bock—each of which represents their respective realms as solid performers.
Silver Reef White Dome India Pale Ale: This has a hazy pineapple-juice glow that's about 70 percent opaque. Yeast and hops fight and make up at the same time, under jurisdiction of beer law. There;s tension here, but also harmony—like, what the hell are these two doing together? But it works. To be honest, it smells like a European spice rack that got spilled on some white cake. Most predominant are the notes of coriander, with hints of grains of paradise. There's some dried orange peel in there as well, giving the whole thing a hoppy Belgian witbier feel. Fucked up? No, it's actually awesome.
It drinks easy like a witbier as well, and that is the most important thing for me here. But it also presents a faint crack of dry hops at the end that tells me it's an IPA. That's what I'm looking for, because this ain't a witbier, and it ain't a typical IPA. So, being more of a White IPA, it scores points for being dead-on. A yeastiness is present and some fruity esters (like orange cream) are also surrounding it. What can I say: It tastes pretty all right. The finish is built up with a medium 6.7 percent body and a rush of electrifying carbonation livens it up, as it ends semi-dry/semi-creamy.
Quarantine Desirability Rating: Medium to "no one expects the Spanish inquisition." I drank a few of these before my Lyft driver picked me up to take me home. As it turns out, Bangladesh is quite muggy this time of year.
Silver Reef Snowman Golden Bock: Pours a vivid golden color with a large quarter-inch head at the peak. I initially got mostly toasty malt notes, as I would expect with a small amount of Noble hops. I am questioning their nobility, and I'd be right to do so, because there are definitely some American Mosaic hops meddling around in there. They are reserved, and that's A-okay with me because I love that damn varietal; I am anxious to come back to the hops when the beer warms up some. As the beer has sat for a while, the alcohol is adding more spice and the hops are beginning to intensify, drifting into Maibock territory.
The flavor is pretty malty, with some obvious hops in for balance. The hops add a mild herbal character to the lager that comes off as Hallertauer hops. The malt is in charge, which is a good thing. It's not chewy by any means, but it definitely reminds you of its German heritage. The carbonation is low, so the beer comes across a bit heavy on the palate; near the finish, the alcohol comes into play to make the finish slightly lighter, but not by much. The beer is solidly medium in body with some warming 6.8 alcohol that comes in late in the finish, offering a slight spicy impression as well.
Quarantine Desirability Rating: Light to "dystopian middle-aged overlord." Its German origins, combined with the American influences in this lager, will have you car-yodeling as if you were the love child of Peter Hinnen and Slim Whitman.
If you're in Saint George, you can pick these up at the brewery (soon at DABC stores). I'll update the rest of us Northern Utah schlubs when they hit the SLC area. These were both outstanding examples, and will be worthy of your time. As always, cheers!