Salt Flats 2 Hops 2 Furious and Epic We Can Brew It Ale | Drink | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Salt Flats 2 Hops 2 Furious and Epic We Can Brew It Ale

Two hopped-up ales that challenge the palate

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MIKE RIEDEL
  • Mike Riedel

Salt Flats - 2 Hops 2 Furious: This is Salt Flats' take on the Belgian IPA style—basically the same as your typical European IPA, with that unique Belgian yeast spiciness. It pours a dark gold and mild amber, and its brilliant clarity shows off those goldenrod highlights beautifully through a sparkly glow. A creamy, off-white head races to the surface to cap the beer with a tall column of foam. It smells surprisingly toasty and biscuity, as the scent of savory bread crust leaps right out. Then comes a waft of perfume, caramel, fruit and spice, as the layers of complexities unfold one by one.

As in the nose, a sip moistens the palate with the savory malt taste of melanoidin-rich toasted bread and biscuit-type sweetness that's lightly reminiscent of shortcake and caramel. Like cashews, the brazen malts melt on the early palate and allow for freshly zested oranges, tangerines and lemons to wash over the middle. Lightly tropical and floral notes allow the taste of apricots and mangoes—both of the over-ripened variety—to abound; just ahead of the rose hips, coriander, cardamom, chamomile and tea-like herbs that round out is flowery taste. Finishing spicy and bitter, the ale leaves the palate with a mildly soapy impression. Medium-dry on the palate, the beer's hearty malt structure and creamy-type carbonation sides with what's expected of American IPA, but lacks much of the more expressive carbonation of Belgian ale.

Verdict: A very good take on a Belgian IPA, featuring restrained Belgian yeast notes with a brash West Coast IPA hop character.

Epic - We Can Brew It Ale: This beer features the Pink Boots Society's 2023 hop blend. A portion of the sales from this beer will go towards the Pink Boots Society, a fermentation industry group that supports women and LGBTQ+ members in North America.

It pours a deep reddish-brown hue with an off-white head on top that sticks around for a while and leaves sticky rings of lacing. Tons of sediment floats around in there. A heavy dose of citrusy hops in the aroma combines with a bunch of caramel malt and a bit of soft pine. Maybe even a hint of apple? You get a bit of alcohol, but not an extraordinary amount, while the nose lets you know that you'll be getting a bold flavor profile.

That flavor is somewhat sweet and caramelly up front, moving to a grapefruit taste in the middle, which turns into a fairly citrusy bitterness in the back. The front is almost barleywine-like in its sweetness, with hints of apple and pear combining with the caramel malt. This is a short-lived flavor, however, as the hops take over and make for a flavorfully bitter beer. The bitterness is certainly not over the top, and I'm finding that the sweetness up front does a pretty good job of balancing this beer out. It has plenty of grapefruit citrusy hops to make for this interesting combination.

The alcohol could actually go fairly unnoticed, except for a bit of a twinge in the middle and the breath; at 8.0 percent ABV, this is a feat of brilliance. The other flavors keep it the alcohol in check very nicely, but also allow it to be known. It finishes dry and hoppy, making for a bitter but citrusy lingering aftertaste, still with that hint of soft herbal spices.

Verdict: This is a very enjoyable beer, as it has those nice, sweet, almost American barleywine qualities to it, but also has a nice amount of hops that balance the beer out with a citrusy, grapefruit kind of taste.

We Can Brew It Ale is available in 16-ounce cans for the first time, and you'll find them at Epic. 2 Hops 2 Furious is on draft and in 12-ounce cans, and can be found at all Salt Flats locations, as well as select grocery/convenience stores. As always, cheers!

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